The trouble with having plumbing issues in a commercial building is that it can quickly bring your operation down. Whether you’re operating an apartment complex or shared office space, the sheer number of people who will lose access to their toilets and clean water makes it imperative for you to conduct regular inspections at least twice a year.
While there are 24-hour plumbing services, who will respond to plumbing emergencies, it’s always better to catch issues and resolve them early. This way, you will minimize disruptions and prevent incurring large costs in repair work.
Here are four common plumbing issues that are best repaired immediately, before they can cause further damage.
Depending on the kind of pipes that are installed on your building, it can last up to 70 years before they develop pin-sized holes. With modern buildings designed to hide pipes in between walls, these leaks may not manifest until they are big enough to cause water damage on your ceilings, floors, and walls.
For this reason, it’s best to watch out for any dramatic spikes in your water bill and conduct regular inspections of your plumbing system. If you see one of the tell-tale signs of a pipe leak, you should have your plumbing system inspected immediately by competent 24-hour plumbers.
Faucets are among the most high-wear items in your plumbing system. Most of the time, the culprit behind leaking faucets are worn-out rubber gaskets. Aside from natural wear and tear through regular use, these are also prone to corrosion due to lime and calcium buildup.
Faucet leaks usually start with slow and infrequent drips that can be remedied by tightening the plumbing system. Most people don’t know that a single faucet that is dripping one drop of water per minute for a whole year is equivalent to 34 gallons of water! To avoid such wastage, get those “minor” leaks repaired immediately!
Another high-wear item in a commercial building is the toilet. When a toilet is not running properly, it usually has to do with the flapper—the rubber seal that closes off the flush valve. This rubber device opens up when the flush is engaged and prevents water from leaving the tank when the flush lever is disengaged.
A running toilet is usually caused by a flapper that is not making contact with the flush valve. This results in water rushing to the toilet bowl as soon as it makes its way to the tank. Usually, this means that the flapper is “hung up” because of a tangled chain, or possibly a problem with the lever mechanism.
Meanwhile, leaking toilets are caused by damaged rubber flappers that do not make a complete seal. In both cases, catching the problem early and replacing the rubber seal will save you over 3,000 gallons of water a year.
If properly installed and used, drain lines are designed to be free-flowing. However, they get clogged over time because of people unwittingly dumping substances such as oil, wet wipes, leftover food, and other objects that clump together and cause clogging.
To avoid clogged drain lines, it’s a good idea to post pamphlets that inform people about the things that should not be flushed down toilet bowls and sinks. It’s also a good idea to perform preventive maintenance activities, such as hydro-jetting—which leaves your pipes as clean as the day they were first installed.
A healthy and functioning plumbing system directly impacts building occupants which can then effect operations and quality of occupancy. As a building manager, keeping your toilet and water facilities free-flowing and clean should always be a top priority. Scheduling regular inspections and maintenance are the best way to reduce common plumbing issues.
While 24-hour plumbers may be available near you, some issues that have progressed to a certain point may take longer to fix, which will cause interruptions. As in all things in life, prevention is always better in cure.