No one enjoys dealing with commercial plumbing issues. Not only can it get very messy, but depending on the problem, it can be an expensive fix. If you’re hesitant about calling a professional plumber right away, then your next best solution is to resolve the plumbing issue yourself.
The most common commercial plumbing problems can be fixed with plumbing tools found at any hardware store. Drain augers and plungers are two tools you should always have at home for a DIY plumbing solution.
However, if the plumbing job appears to be much more complicated than you originally thought, it is always wise to call a plumber. Ignoring it will only make the issue worse over time, especially with more serious issues that can cause higher utility bills and damaged property.
So, before you pick up that plunger, let’s look at the top 7 commercial plumbing problems you are most likely to see.
Commercial vs. Residential Plumbing
Commercial buildings often face similar plumbing issues as residential communities, but on a larger scale for businesses, office buildings, and larger housing complexes. When repairing a broken pipe or installing new plumbing for your new building, the last thing you want is to get confused about which type of pipe or fitting you have to use.
Commercial plumbing problems can be worsened because of heavier usage compared to residential. Plus, commercial plumbing systems are often larger and more complex compared to residential plumbing systems.
Commercial facilities also have different hot water heaters than residential ones. These water heaters have larger storage tanks and gas input levels. They are often more than double the size of a water heater on residential properties.
Solutions to Commercial Plumbing Problems
Commercial plumbing problems can be big headaches and cost your business time and money. When they arise, you’ll want a quick, professional solution with long-lasting results.
But not everything will require a plumber right away, and some problems can be solved with a few common household tools. These are the most common commercial plumbing issues, how you can fix them, and when to call a commercial plumber.
Everyone has probably run into this problem at some point or another. Clogged toilets can happen from too much toilet paper, unkempt drains, or from flushing an item that isn’t meant to be flushed (children’s toys are a popular culprit).
In most cases, this plumbing issue can be solved with a few moves from your plunger, but sometimes a drain auger is necessary to break up the blockage.
Burst pipes can be an expensive and hazardous plumbing problem. A major leak is hard enough to deal with, but it can also significantly reduce the water pressure and, in some cases, contaminate the water. A burst pipe can occur for a number of reasons:
- Tree roots grow into the piping underground and burst it;
- The piping is too old and brittle;
- Corrosive metals eat away at the pipe material and weaken it; or
- An earthquake can disrupt the ground and shift it too much.
If you experience a water main break, it can be extremely disruptive. It can also increase your risk of flooding. Call a local plumber right away if you have a water line break, especially the main water line.
Low Water Pressure
As mentioned above, low water pressure can be caused by a burst pipe or any other kind of leak. Sediment and mineral build-up occur over time and cause blockages that can affect water pressure, which is why cleaning your pipes regularly is recommended.
However, you could be seeing low water pressure if your commercial property’s pressure regulator is failing or if your main shutoff valve or water meter valve isn’t fully opened. Normally this is caused by some other recent plumbing repair service that required the plumbers to temporarily shut off the valves. If you recently had plumbing services performed and are now seeing low water pressure, this could be the reason why.
Failing or Backed-Up Sewer System
We don’t really think about the actual sewer system beneath our houses: out of sight, out of mind. However, a failed or backed-up sewer system can be your worst plumbing nightmare. It is an expensive and smelly problem to fix, not to mention it can cause other home problems like:
- Mold and mildew
- Foundation wall cracks
- Soggy lawn
- Insect and rodent infestation
A professional plumbing service should always be called for this kind of plumbing issue to repair and replace the sewer lines. Plus, with closed circuit TV (CCTV), plumbers can visually inspect where the issue is without pulling up the entire lawn on commercial properties.
You’ll find that the most common commercial plumbing problem is simply a clog in your drain. Unless it’s a serious issue that is affecting the entire plumbing system, a quick DIY project can take care of most drain clogs, even on commercial properties.
Hair, soap scum, and food items can slowly build up and slow the flow of water, so removing the obstruction is usually all the work that’s required for clogged drains. Scheduling a hydro-jetting service is also a good way to help minimize the risk of clogs by giving your pipes an intense cleaning.
A faucet leak can really make your monthly water bill go up. There are two common causes of a leaky faucet: worn gaskets or bad washers. Replacing the washers is a simple task, so we recommend starting there.
If replacing your washers doesn’t help, you might need to replace your gaskets. Call your local commercial plumbing experts to help you with this task, since gaskets can be trickier to replace than washers.
A silent leak, including silent toilet leaks, is very common and can become a major plumbing emergency if gone undetected. A silent leak can cause structural damage to your property over time.
Look for these common signs of silent leaks:
- Higher utility bill than usual due to an increase in water usage
- Hearing running water even though you don’t have any faucets turned on
- Water stains on your walls or ceiling
If you suspect you have a silent leak, give a professional plumber a call right away.
What Will Help Fix All These Commercial Plumbing Issues?
If you are certain that the plumbing problem can’t be solved on your own with the plumbing tools you already own, calling a professional plumber should always be your next move. You wouldn’t want to make the situation worse and end up damaging your piping and plumbing system even more on your commercial property.