Commercial Property Drain Maintenance: More Info


Commercial property drain maintenance is crucial for preventing clogs, avoiding costly repairs, meeting health and safety standards, and extending the plumbing system's lifespan. Slow drainage, backups, and even flooding can result from left unattended drains that are eventually clogged with waste, such as hair, food scraps, grease, etc. Addressing these issues ASAP is vital to saving money and protecting the building.

Importance of Proper Drain Maintenance in Commercial Spaces

Maintaining the drains on a commercial property is crucial for several reasons:

Prevents Clogs and Backups

Neglected drains can become clogged with grease, soap scum, food particles, hair, and other debris, leading to slow drainage, backups, and potential flooding. These clogs can occur gradually over time or suddenly after a significant event, like a storm. Preventing clogs is critical to avoiding messy, costly overflows.

Avoids Costly Repairs

Addressing clogs and pipe issues can save thousands in emergency plumbing services and water damage repairs. Clearing a significant clog or broken pipe after it has caused flooding often requires tearing up floors, replacing damaged drywall, and hiring water damage restoration specialists. Proactive maintenance is far less expensive.

Meets Health and Safety Standards

Proper drain maintenance helps commercial properties comply with health department regulations and avoid fines. Restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and other businesses that handle food or provide healthcare services are subject to regular inspections. Clogged or improperly maintained drains can lead to failed inspections and hefty penalties.

Extends Plumbing System Lifespan

Cleaning and maintaining the plumbing system can extend a building's drainage infrastructure. Over time, grease, mineral deposits, and debris can build up inside pipes, restricting flow and putting pressure on the plumbing system. Keeping drains clear extends the useful life of the pipes, fittings, and other components.

Following a regular drain cleaning schedule is essential for keeping commercial properties in shape. Drains should be maintained consistently to prevent minor buildups from becoming significant clogs.

Recommended Drain Cleaning Schedule

Monthly Drain Cleaning

All drains, including sinks, floor drains, and grease traps, should be cleaned monthly. Cleaning involves flushing the drains with hot water, using an enzyme-based cleaner to break down organic matter, and removing visible debris. Monthly cleaning prevents minor buildups from turning into significant clogs.

Quarterly Grease Trap Maintenance

Grease traps in commercial kitchens should be pumped out and serviced by a professional every 3-4 months. They are designed to collect fats, oils, and grease before they enter the main sewer line. The grease can harden and restrict flow if not regularly maintained, causing backups. Quarterly pumping ensures the grease trap is working correctly.

Annual Drain Snaking

Have a plumber use a drain snake or hydro jetting once a year to remove any built-up debris deep within the pipes. This more intensive cleaning reaches further into the drainage system than monthly flushing and annual snaking, which helps prevent significant clogs from forming.

Video Pipe Inspections

Consider scheduling a video pipe inspection every 2-3 years to identify any underlying issues in the drainage system. A camera on the end of a flexible rod is inserted into the pipes to provide a live video feed. The device allows the plumber to spot cracks, corrosion, root intrusion, or other problems before they cause significant leaks or backups. Video inspections provide a clear picture of the pipes' condition.

Proper drain cleaning techniques and best practices are essential for maintaining a healthy plumbing system. A lot of work can go into keeping pipes clear of obstructions and backups by avoiding harsh chemicals, disposing of grease correctly, and fixing problems as they arise. 

Drain Cleaning Best Practices

Use Enzyme-Based Cleaners

Harsh chemicals in drain cleaners can damage pipes over time. Opt for enzyme-based products that break down organic matter safely. Enzymes work more slowly than chemicals but are less corrosive to pipes. Avoid pouring harsh chemicals like bleach down the drains.

Avoid Pouring Grease Down Drains

Educate staff on properly disposing of cooking oils and grease never pouring them down sinks or floor drains. Grease may seem liquid when hot but will solidify as it cools, coating the inside of pipes. Over time, this grease buildup restricts flow and causes clogs. Provide staff with proper disposal containers for grease and oil.

Install Drain Covers

Use filters, screens, and other covers to catch large debris before it enters the pipes. The debris includes hair, food particles, paper, and other items that could get flushed down a drain. Drain covers are inexpensive and can significantly reduce clogs.

Plunge Minor Clogs

Use a plunger to help you clear minor clogs before calling a licensed and qualified plumber. Plunging can dislodge small blockages in the sink or shower drains. If the clog persists, it may require more intensive snaking or hydro jetting.

Address Issues Promptly

Don't ignore slow drains or gurgling sounds - these are signs of a problem that needs attention. Letting a minor clog go can allow it to worsen over time. Addressing drainage issues can prevent more significant headaches, even if they are not yet causing substantial problems.

Investing in proactive commercial property drain maintenance benefits commercial property owners and managers. Preventing clogs and backups saves money, extends the plumbing system's life, and keeps the building in compliance with health and safety regulations.

Benefits of Proactive Drain Maintenance

Prevents Costly Emergencies

Addressing clogs and pipe issues avoids the need for expensive emergency repairs. Waiting until a drain is completely blocked or a pipe has burst can lead to flooding, water damage, and extensive cleanup and repairs. Proactive maintenance is far less expensive.

Extends Plumbing System Lifespan

Regular commercial property drain maintenance and cleaning can add years to the life of a commercial property's drainage infrastructure. Neglecting drains causes buildup that stresses the pipes, fittings, and other components. Keeping the system clear allows it to function as designed for longer.

Maintains Compliance

Proper drain upkeep helps ensure the property meets all health and safety regulations. Restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and other businesses are subject to regular drain inspections. Clogged or improperly maintained drains can lead to failed inspections and hefty penalties. Staying on top of drain maintenance helps avoid these issues.

Protects Against Water Damage

Preventing backups and overflows safeguards the building from water damage and mould. Clogs that cause drains to overflow can lead to significant water intrusion, soaking floors, walls, and ceilings. This moisture can promote mould growth and cause structural damage if not addressed quickly. Proper commercial property drain maintenance prevents these problems.

Improves Operational Efficiency

Well-functioning drains allow sinks, showers, and other fixtures to operate at peak performance. Slow drains can be frustrating for staff and customers. Keeping drains clear ensures plumbing fixtures work as intended, improving the user experience.These best practices can help commercial property managers keep their drains flowing freely and avoid costly plumbing emergencies. These practices can protect the long-term health of their building's plumbing system. Regular drain maintenance is a wise investment with significant returns.

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