As a business owner, you know that issues can quickly arise across the board. If it isn’t your payroll, it’s the furnace. And if it isn’t trying to hire employees, it’s a leaky pipe. Maintaining clean and safe plumbing is essential for the comfort of your employees and customers (and your wallet!).
Use this list of the 7 most common commercial plumbing repairs to know what to watch out for and when to call a professional.
Common Commercial Plumbing Issues
Many commercial plumbing issues overlap with residential issues. However, in commercial establishments, plumbing problems can occur on a larger scale. While businesses have toilets and sinks just like homes, a commercial building may have 7 or 8 (or 50 or 60) toilets. And if multiple appliances or fixtures need attention, it can be urgent.
Professional plumbers get called in to repair the following 8 issues in commercial buildings quite frequently:
1) Leaky Pipes 💧
Unfortunately, many pipe leaks are silent or out-of-the-way enough that you may not notice them right away. The pipes behind your walls could spring a leak, causing gallons of water to leak out.
Usually, pipe leaks occur because fittings become loose or the pipes expand and contract with changing temperatures. Leaks can occur in many places, including:
- System pipes
If left untreated, the leaks can cause mold growth, and the pipes can even begin to rot! These issues are quite expensive to fix, so be sure to call a plumber at the first sign of a leak.
What to Look For: A leaky pipe may not be as obvious as a dripping faucet. In the case of “silent leaks,” be sure to keep a watchful eye on your monthly water bill. If you notice a spike in your bill, it’s wise to call a professional commercial plumber to look for any leaks.
2) Clogged Drains 🪠
Clogged drains are a common occurrence in homes and businesses alike. However, there is often more traffic in commercial buildings, causing plumbing fixtures to be more prone to frequent clogs. (Plus, many people use restrooms and kitchens in commercial buildings with less consideration than in their own homes.)
Clogged drains can occur in sinks and toilets. While you can often unclog a drain as a DIY task, you probably don’t have the time as a busy business owner to be toiling with a plunger or drain snake. In these cases, it’s helpful to have a commercial plumbing repair partner you can rely on for fast repairs.
3) Sewage Odors 👃
Another common plumbing issue for commercial businesses is sewage odors. This problem doesn’t stay hidden or silent because once odors start to emerge, you’ll be able to smell an issue.
Sewage odors are problematic for commercial businesses because they put off customers, tenants, and employees— and rightfully so.
- A common culprit of sewage smells is dry pipes that clog, leading to a buildup of sewage in the pipes.
- They can also occur thanks to ineffective dry traps. Dry traps connect to the end of a drain and hold some liquid to prevent sewer gases from leaking out. If the trap goes dry, the odors escape.
4) Running Toilets 🚽
If one or more of your toilets continue to run after flushing, this issue can also cost you a pretty penny in water bills. Running toilets happen when toilet flappers fail. If a toilet flapper has a broken seal, it can cause the float of the toilet to fall out of level, which causes the water to keep running.
It may not seem like a plumbing emergency because the toilets still function and nothing is flooding, but it’s almost always more cost-effective to pay for a repair than pay higher utility bills for months.
5) Dripping Faucets 🚰
Drip… drip… drip…
You know the sound of a dripping faucet. Whether it’s in your kitchen or bathroom, a leaking faucet can cause a lot of annoyance. Not only that, but as you might’ve guessed, dripping water can cause your utility bills to spike.
Faucets usually leak when seals or washers are loose or damaged. You might be able to simply tighten the aerator to solve the issue. But if multiple faucets are leaky or if the issue persists, it’s always best to utilize commercial plumbing services.
Don’t ignore a leaky faucet because there could be more silent leaks occurring within your pipes or behind your walls.
6) Low Water Pressure 📉
No one wants to wash their hands or dishes or take a shower in a measly trickle of water. If you get complaints from tenants, employees, or customers about low water pressure, call a commercial plumbing contractor to take a look.
Low water pressure can often indicate a leak occurring elsewhere in your plumbing system. If you ignore noticeable low water pressure, you could risk further damage to your building.
7) Water Heater Issues 🌡️
In a similar vein, if an employee goes to wash their hands or a tenant wants to take a shower, only having cold water come out of the pipes is jarring and unpleasant. Hot water is a vital service, so if your commercial building is having water heater issues, you need to schedule plumbing repairs right away.
The water heater systems in commercial buildings are often large and require thorough, detailed inspections. Typically, hot water issues arise due to:
- Thermostat failures
- Tank insulation mechanism failures
- Not having a large enough tank for your building’s needs
Your Trusted Local Commercial Plumbing Partner 🤝
Even though all of these commercial plumbing issues are common, that doesn’t mean you can ignore them. They won’t go away— in fact, they’ll continue to get worse, causing you to pay more money and making your employees or customers unhappy.
If you’re a business owner in Minnesota, you thankfully have a trusted plumbing partner in Paladin Plumbing. Our skilled team can handle commercial and residential plumbing across the board.
If you’re dealing with any of the issues on this list (or a different plumbing problem), give Paladin Plumbing a call today. We’ll promptly schedule repairs to get you taken care of.