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What Type of Plumbing Is Used in Commercial Buildings?

By July 4, 2024Plumbing
What Type of Plumbing Is Used in Commercial Buildings?

An integral part of designing and maintaining commercial buildings is the plumbing system. The plumbing system and materials utilized depend on the size, function, and requirements of the structure.

Type of plumbing is used in commercial buildings?

  1. Galvanized steel piping


  • It works well for both underground and outdoor applications.
  • Long-lasting and powerful


  • The accumulation of rust within the system might impede water flow.
  • It is difficult to install due to its weight.
  •  Over time, they are prone to corrosion.
  1. HDPE Piping


  • Water supply and drainage are only two of the many uses for this versatile material.
  • Flexible, impact- and corrosion-proof


  • It may cost more than alternative plastic piping materials.
  • Installation calls for specialized equipment.
  1. PVC Piping


  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Conveniently installed and lightweight
  • Reasonably priced


  • Ultraviolet light can cause it to become brittle with time.
  • In situations involving hot water, use CPVC instead.
  1. Cast iron piping


  • Because it reduces noise, it is ideal for drainage systems.
  • Long-lasting and sturdy


  • Long-term susceptibility to corrosion and rust
  • Heavy and cumbersome to set up
  1. CPVC Piping


  • Simple to set up
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • This product works with water of all temperatures.


  • Other materials are not as bendable.
  • Costlier compared to PVC
  1. Stainless steel piping


  • Very resistant to rust.
  • Long-lasting and sturdy


  • The installation necessitates the use of trained personnel.
  • Costlier than other materials
  1. ABS Piping


  • Ideal for use in subterranean settings.
  •  Conveniently installed and lightweight


  • Affected by ultraviolet light
  • Avoid using it in high-temperature environments.
  1. Copper Piping


  • Able to withstand extreme pressure and temperature
  • Protected from bacterial growth and rust.
  • Long-lasting and durable


  • The installation necessitates the use of trained personnel.
  • Costlier than other materials
  1. PEX Piping


  • It can be used with water that is either cold or hot.
  • It can withstand chlorine and scale.
  • Adaptable and simple to set up


  • Degradable when exposed to sunshine; sensitive to ultraviolet light.
  • Installation necessitates specialized tools and fittings.

What Type of Plumbing Is Used in Commercial Buildings?

Factors to consider when choosing plumbing materials for commercial buildings.

Consider the following factors when selecting plumbing supplies for commercial buildings:

  • Think about the physical impacts, severe temperatures, and chemical exposure.
  • Determine whether you will use the pipes for gas lines, drainage, water supplies, or heating.
  • Think about how much money you will spend on materials, installation, and maintenance/replacement in the long run.
  • Pick materials that will endure a long time and need little maintenance.
  • Always follow the rules and regulations set out by your local building code.

To guarantee longevity, efficiency, and safety, it is critical to select the right plumbing system and materials for commercial buildings.

Why is PVC not used in commercial buildings?

For a number of reasons, commercial buildings rarely make use of PVC:

Flexibility and Aesthetics

Materials used in commercial building construction must often provide both. Compared to other materials utilized in commercial buildings, PVC lacks the design versatility to provide aesthetically acceptable results.

Longevity and Durability

In commercial settings, the material’s long-term endurance and resistance to wear and tear are common considerations. Although PVC lasts a long time, it can break easily due to its brittleness and exposure to ultraviolet light.

Building Codes and Regulations

Several construction rules and regulations restrict the use of PVC to specific uses, particularly in areas where fire safety is of utmost importance. This may restrict its application in commercial buildings.

;Ecological Impact

PVC production and disposal pose significant ecological hazards. To make matters worse, PVC is not readily recyclable, and the production process produces toxic compounds, both of which add to environmental problems in the long run.

Structural Requirements

The materials used in commercial construction must be able to withstand substantial structural loads. Due to its lower structural strength compared to other plastics, concrete, and steel, PVC is not well suited for a wide range of commercial uses.

Fire safety concerns

When burned, PVC releases harmful toxins, such as hydrogen chloride gas, which, when combined with water, forms hydrochloric acid. In the event of a fire, these vapors pose a threat and may make escape more difficult.

PVC still finds use in some commercial building applications, such as electrical conduit and plumbing, because its advantages outweigh its disadvantages.

What size pipe is a commercial water main?

You can adjust the sizes of commercial water mains to meet local requirements. On the other hand, we typically install larger commercial water mains to accommodate increased water needs, unlike smaller residential ones. Commercial water mains typically have a diameter between 6 and 16 inches, while bigger ones may be necessary in highly populated areas.

Here are a few factors that influence the size:

Future Growth

Given the potential for future expansion and increased demand,

Regulatory Standards

Local codes and standards may dictate minimum sizes.

Fire Protection Requirements

In order to provide sufficient flow for sprinkler systems and fire hydrants, larger pipelines are frequently required.

Demand and Use

The area anticipates using water for commercial purposes.

For the most accurate requirements, always consult a utility company or civil engineer, as well as your local building codes.

Is PEX approved for commercial use?

The answer is yes; cross-linked polyethylene, or PEX, is safe to use commercially. Commercial, industrial, and residential structures all use PEX piping for different heating and plumbing needs. It is necessary to verify with local authorities and adhere to any particular instructions they may give about the clearance and acceptance of PEX for commercial usage, as this is subject to local construction codes and regulations.

Easy to install, resistant to chlorine and scale, flexible, and inexpensive are just a few of the benefits of PEX. Hydronic heating, radiant floor heating, and systems that provide drinkable water are just a few of its many uses. To be sure PEX products are appropriate for your project, check that they meet all local building codes, certifications, and standards.

Can ABS pipe be used in commercial buildings?

Yes, commercial buildings can indeed make use of ABS pipe, although this is conditional on both the application and local building codes. Because of its resilience to impact, ease of installation, and long lifespan, ABS is a popular material for drain, waste, and vent pipes.

However, there are a few considerations:

Chemical and Temperature Resistance

In addition to withstanding temperatures up to approximately 60 °C, ABS possesses excellent chemical resistance. It may be required to use different materials for applications that involve harsh chemicals or higher temperatures.

Fire Safety

Due to fire safety rules, specific pipe materials may need to meet fire resistance standards in particular commercial settings. ABS isn’t the best choice in places where fire safety is paramount because it doesn’t hold fire as well as other materials.


Non-pressurized uses, including venting and draining, are common for ABS. CPVC, PESX, or copper are alternative materials that may be better suited for pressurized water supply lines.

Building Codes

Local building codes and regulations may set strict criteria for the materials used in commercial buildings. To make sure you’re in compliance, it’s important to verify with the local authorities or get some expert advice.

ABS pipe has numerous potential uses in commercial construction. However, before deciding to use it, you should think about these factors and get advice from experts and local building authorities.

Components of Commercial Plumbing Systems

  1. Special Systems:
  • Manufacturing-related industrial waste management solutions.
  • Healthcare facilities use medical gas systems.
  •  Kitchen grease traps.
  1. Drainage System
  • If you want to keep sewage gases from building up, proper venting is a must.
  • The system includes elements such as sewer lines, vent pipes, and waste pipes.
  1. Heating Systems
  • For maximum efficiency, tankless systems are an option.
  • Water heaters and boilers are examples of appliances that produce hot water.
  1. Equipment and Fixtures
  • Commercial-grade fixtures are long-lasting and designed to withstand heavy use.
  • Bathroom fixtures encompass showers, sinks, toilets, and urinals.
  1. Fire Suppression Systems:
  • Construction regulations frequently mandate this crucial measure for ensuring safety.
  • Water-connected sprinkler systems.
  1. Water Supply System
  • Installing backflow preventers is necessary to protect the water supply.
  • All fittings, distribution pipelines, and water mains are included.


Planning ahead, keeping up with maintenance, and following safety regulations are all essential for commercial buildings to function reliably and efficiently.

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