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Is Installing a Commercial Toilet a Good Idea for Residential Bathroom Plumbing?

What to Know About Installing Commercial Toilets in Your Home

Many people try to live their lives according to the phrase “go big or go home.” Some homeowners have thought about installing commercial toilets in their homes rather than traditional, residential toilets. They like commercial toilets because they have automatic flushing capabilities, which saves water, they’re smaller than traditional toilets and tend to have fewer problems. However, bigger is not always better.

Commercial toilets are rarely a good fit for homes because of the operational and plumbing infrastructure differences between a commercial building and a standard house. Before trying to install a commercial toilet, understand the key differences between the options to ensure it’s a good fit.

Residential & Commercial Toilets: What’s the Difference?

residential vs commercialThere are a few operational differences between commercial toilets and residential toilets, and homeowners should understand these differences, especially if they’re thinking about installing one in the home. Appearance-wise, commercial toilets typically don’t have tanks, and that’s because they get water in a different way.

Residential toilets store water in their tanks. The water from the tank then pushes out the water and waste in the bowl when it’s flushed, and re-fills the bowl with clean water. Commercial toilets, on the other hand, receive water from a water supply line at a high level of pressure.

That pressure helps to push the water and waste in the bowl through the drainage system, and clean water from the supply line will re-fill the bowl. The challenge with installing a commercial toilet at home is that most homes are not equipped to deliver water that quickly and at that high of pressure to properly service the toilet.

How Underground Plumbing Systems Differ Between Homes & Commercial Buildings

Though malls, offices, and other commercial buildings often use the same plumbing materials to build a plumbing system as residential homes, the system itself is quite different. Since commercial buildings have more floors, more bathrooms, and more toilets in those bathrooms, they naturally have a more complex plumbing system.

Because so many people use them day in and day out, they are built to handle a high number of flushes and high levels of pressure. As many commercial buildings will have 5+ floors, the pipes tend to be larger as well to handle more and more water and waste as gravity pulls the contents down into the main line underground.

underground plumbing

Residential plumbing systems are smaller, so they don’t have the capability of handling the number or the high pressure of the flushes and become clogged more easily due to the smaller tiers of pipes leading underground. So installing a commercial toilet could even lead you to unwanted plumbing emergencies, since their underground systems won't match properly. 

What to Know About Tankless Toilets

tankless toiletsMost commercial buildings have tankless toilets. As mentioned earlier, they receive water from a water supply line that uses high-pressure to flush down the water in the bowl as well as any waste. Tankless toilets do have a few advantages to know about.

First of all, they are much smaller than traditional toilets, which allows for a flexible bathroom design. This is especially helpful for commercial buildings because they have to fit multiple toilets and sinks into one bathroom. Because tankless toilets don’t store excess water in a tank, they often end up using less water on average.

And finally, as many people would appreciate, they tend to have fewer maintenance problems as well because they don’t have as many pieces that can break such as the valves or floating balls that exist in a toilet with a tank.

About Honest Abe’s Home Services

Honest Abe’s Home Services is a one-stop source for plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and mold remediation needs, including emergency services like clogged toilet repair. With state of the art technology and consistent employee training, they provide customers with red carpet service and top-quality workmanship.