Having the plumbing go out at your home causes one set of issues. You need to call a repair professional and, in the meantime, hopefully there is a second bathroom available to use!
Having the plumbing go out at your place of business causes a whole other set of issues. Depending on the type and extent of the problem, you may face any number of challenges in achieving a speedy repair and getting back to the day’s business at hand.
In this article, we outline some of the most common plumbing problems our commercial clients experience and give you some early warning signs to look for. This way, you can hopefully nip bigger plumbing problems in the bud by getting them taken care of early on!
One of the most common plumbing issues our commercial clients experience is what seems to be a simple leak. But many plumbing leaks are often less simple than they at first appear!
A dripping faucet may indicate a faulty washer or seal, which is a simple repair. However, it may also indicate a bigger issue, such as a leaking pipe or an issue with system-wide water pressure.
Toilets let you know they are leaking in a number of ways:
1. The endless flush
Often, with this issue the temporary fix is to go back in and jiggle the toilet handle until the flushing stops (of course, this only works if you have the old-school toilet that still has a handle to jiggle!).
2. The phantom flush
Another similar issue is what plumbers call the “phantom flush”—this, because the toilet often sounds like it is flushing itself. Weird, right? This is caused by a small leak, often due to a flapper valve that no longer fits tightly, which lets water into the bowl even when no one is using the toilet.
3. The clog
If there is one experience no employee looks forward to, it is to be the one to cause the toilet at work to clog! However, if plumbing pipes have become compromised over time, there may be no way around it.
Pipes can become compromised for a variety of reasons, including intrusive tree roots, outdated piping that can’t keep up with modern demand, runoff from other sources collecting in the pipes, and similar other issues.
A more serious concern is that the clog isn’t really a clog at all, but a backup from an over-full or under-functioning septic system.
4. The sewer smell
Yuck! If there is one event guaranteed to get the attention of everyone in the building, it is the smell of sewage inside or around the building!
A sewer smell is most commonly linked to an issue with the septic system. However, it can also be caused by faulty plumbing when there is a significant leak or a break in the pipes.
Uneven (High/Low) Water Pressure
Because so many companies have chosen to install eco-friendly low-flow fixtures for their faucets and toilets, noticing and diagnosing poor or uneven water pressure can be just a bit more difficult today.
Yet clearly there is a big difference between the two. The former gives you control over how much water is used to perform different activities. The latter gives you only so much water to work with no matter what you are trying to do.
Too-low water pressure issues tend to capture everyone’s attention and interest quickly. Too-high water pressure, conversely, can often go unnoticed unless your ears are open to telltale signs like a toilet that flushes like an exploding geyser or a faucet that sounds like a slamming door when you turn it to “off.”
Uneven or inadequate water pressure can be traced back to any number of causes, from systemic pipe leaks to sediment build-up in pipes and valves, a malfunctioning pressure regulator, or even fundamental elevation issues with how the plumbing is set up to work.
Either excessively low or high water pressure can impact the life of your plumbing system at the level of every component, from the water heater to the toilet fill valve to the external appliances that are connected to your water supply lines (dishwasher, washer/dryer, shut-off valves, etc.).
Hot Water in Short Supply
When hot water at your workplace becomes scarce, it can affect everything from the coffee supply in the break room to the structural integrity of your building itself.
Commercial hot water heaters are not just larger versions of your at-home edition. They are often also far more complex in their operation than their residential peers.
If your business relies on a steady supply of temperature-sensitive hot water, it is critical to know which signs indicate the problem is mild or severe. For example, if you see condensation forming on your hot water heater, typically this is normal unless drainage is inadequate for some reason.
But if you see water leaks, this is a more serious situation. Valve water leaks indicate an issue with the valve operation or seal. Water underneath the hot water heater on the floor is an SOS sign from your unit to call for service now (and likely ask them to bring a new water heater unit with them).
Commercial Plumbing Problems? We Can Help!
At Shipton’s, we have nearly a century of experience serving residential and commercial customers in the Hamilton and surrounding areas. Contact us online, or give us a call day or night, evenings, weekends, or holidays at 905-549-4616