Commercial kitchens can be a difficult design project for plumbers. They are complex enough to rival the entire plumbing system of a household. Common plumbing designs such as those found in apartments and office buildings only require a few types of plumbing fixtures: sinks, mop basins, and lavatories. These fixtures are common to plumbing engineers, who have a lot of experience with them. A commercial kitchen, on the other hand, requires specialized equipment and plumbing fixtures that include specialized equipment such as industrial dishwashers, waste grinders, and soda dispensers.

Many plumbers choose to specialize in commercial kitchen design. A layout of the equipment with the specifications is the starting point in the design process. This requires collaboration between the plumber and the commercial kitchen consultant. The equipment is responsible for determining factors such as the size of the piping, the water heater capacity, and specifications for grease interceptors.

Commercial kitchen plumbing design is not only a challenging engineering field but also requires specialized knowledge that varies by country. Because kitchen equipment can have a negative impact on public health, the requirements are also influenced by health authorities. 

This article will give an overview of the plumbing requirements for major commercial kitchen components.

Sanitary Drainage and Venting System

Because liquids can change in properties depending on what equipment is used to make them, the venting and sanitary drainage system must be able to handle all types of liquid waste. Here are some liquids you might encounter:

* From refrigerators, air conditioners, and ice machines to drain pans and cool and plumbing lines.

Drain fluids From commercial stainless steel sinks and other kitchen equipment.

Cooking By-products, such as oil and grease, are subject to strict laws regarding disposal.

Commercial kitchen equipment might need to have a waste connection.

* An indirect connection connects to a private drain system which is then connected to the public sewer. A direct connection is used for cold and hot storage as well as food processing equipment. This connection should include a backflow preventer.

* Direct connections lead directly to the public sewer, as indicated by their name. These connections may require grease traps in certain cases. Direct connections are used for fixtures like indirect waste spills or floor drains, floor sinks, and mop sinks.

Commercial kitchen plumbing also includes plumbing vents. They connect waste pipes to an outdoor connection via the roof. They are used to remove sewage gases from indoor spaces.

Hot and Cold Water Supply

Nearly every kitchen appliance requires a water supply. There are certain requirements in terms of flow, temperature, pressure, and pressure. These requirements impact piping design. Also, water may be needed at a higher temperature (than in normal domestic hot water (DHW)) – which can lead to a larger boiler capability.


All establishments must meet the requirements of commercial kitchens A plumbing system and fixtures must be capable of providing potable water to all areas. It is vital to keep the potable water supply clean. This will prevent backflow, siphonage, and cross-connection.

To simplify the maintenance, isolation valves should be used. This is where the plumbing engineer considers necessary. Accessories such as balancing valves or thermostatic mixing valves are also possible.

Grease Interceptors

The  Best Management Practices provide guidelines for grease interceptor use. Grease interceptors should be used for any direct or indirect discharge that is likely to contain grease. This includes kitchen fixtures like woks, food scrap, and meat preparation sinks, as well as automatic dishwashers, pot washers, stock kettles.

Grease interceptors are required for plumbing fixtures. They can be found in many places, including restaurants, cafeterias or butcher shops, fish markets, delicatessens, clubs, and slaughterhouses. These are generally non-residential areas where grease can reach drainage systems.


Gas Supply for Kitchen Equipment

You can choose to use electricity or gas in your kitchen equipment. Pipe sizing is dependent on the pressure and flow rate of gas. The manufacturer’s input ratings determine the gas volume. It is usually measured in cubic feet per hour. These installations and accessories are subject to the  Fuel Gas Code.

 The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene might request construction documents to show the layout and specifications of kitchen equipment. They may also require plumbing installations and any other necessary complementary systems. If necessary, the Department may request another review during operation.

Guest Contributor: Peter Yordanov

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