8 Common Office Plumbing Problems That Affect Your Business
What are common office plumbing problems?
- Clogged drains
- Backed up toilets
- Dripping faucets
- Strong odors
- Murky water
- Hot water issues
- Fluctuating water pressure
Home plumbing problems may only create minor and short-lived inconveniences for homeowners — but for offices, even the most minor setback can be magnified and lead to costly problems. Sales going down, employees getting sick, structural issues and much more may be caused by just one plumbing problem.
Knowing the common office plumbing problems and how they may affect your business is key to ensuring your operations continue to run smoothly. Read on to learn more.
In commercial buildings (especially office buildings) clogging is one of the most common plumbing issues. This is because comfort rooms in commercial buildings get more use than residential ones. And, you can rarely control how people in your building use these amenities.
Though they are designed to withstand constant use, your sinks may become clogged quite often. Common signs of a clogged sink drain are if water pools or back up near the drain, or if there are nasty smells and puddles around your sink.
Failing to unclog them quickly could negatively impact your business. Blocked drains can cause dirt, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens to build up in your sinks. These contaminate water and could make your customers and employees sick.
Backed up toilets
Like your sinks, controlling how people use your office’s toilets is next to impossible. Some people think that toilets are appropriate disposal options, which could lead to a backed-up toilet.
In larger plumbing systems, these blockages can have cascading effects. For example, this could cause an overflow and can lead to serious water damage within your building. And, similar to a sink clog, this problem could lead to bacterial buildup, which is a health hazard.
If you’re dealing with a small clog, this can be removed with some elbow grease and a plunger. However, if this is a recurring problem or multiple toilets are affected, it could be caused by more serious problems — such as a pump problem.
It’s easy to tell when your faucet leaks. You’ll see water pooling around the base of the taps, or a persistent leak from the faucet itself. Even just one dripping faucet can be a huge waste of water — and money. But, this problem is easily solved. Typically, they are a sign that the seal, washer, or O-ring in the faucet is damaged. Simply examine each part and replace what’s broken, and your faucet will have no issue.
Sometimes, your plumbing fixtures may smell bad, which could mean the room needs to be cleaned more often. However, strong and unappealing odors may be a sign of sewer smell, which is a mixture of gasses like hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane, and others. This could be a major health hazard, as inhaling these gasses could damage one’s respiratory system over time.
This could be an issue with your trap, which is a u-shaped pipe. This pipe connects your drains to a sewer line. Your trap may have a crack, which causes it to lose the water it normally holds and uses to block sewage gasses from coming into the interior of the building.
Another possible cause is a damaged drain line. If there are leaks or cracks in this pipe, sewage flows out and is released under the facility instead of being carried away by a sewer line. In both cases, you may have to replace some pipes and disinfect your drains to remove the smell.
You may find that the water coming out of your fixtures looks cloudy and murky. If so, it may be caused by a mineral buildup in your pipes. This buildup not only discolors your water but can eventually wreck your pipes. To solve this, use a water softening product, or install a water purification system. Some cases will need both to clear up the water supply for your building.
Hot water issues
Hot water systems in commercial properties are more complicated than those found in homes. Thus, trying to find the cause behind issues with your hot water can be difficult.
If you find your water is too hot, then this may be a problem with your heater’s thermostat — which you can’t fix without the help of an experienced plumber. If your hot water smells weird or funky, then you may be dealing with bacteria in your heater tank. In this case, both it and your pipes need to be decontaminated as soon as possible to prevent health issues.
Fluctuating water pressure
When there are problems with your pipes, your office’s water pressure will be affected. For example, a mineral and sediment buildup in the pipes can cause your water pressure to shoot up. While more water pressure seems great, it puts more strain on your pipes, which could cause more problems.
There are many possible causes for too low or too high water pressure, and you’ll likely need help in finding and diagnosing the cause. So, it’s best to call your plumber to check your water system and replace pipes and other components as quickly as possible.
Leaks are another common problem for offices. While minor ones seem inconsequential, it wastes water and could develop into a worse leak when left alone. For example, bigger leaks could end up flooding your office and causing water damage. Apply emergency patch-ups when you spot one, and call a professional to assess your plumbing. Promptly fixing leaky plumbing can save you in costly repairs.
As with all plumbing problems, taking time to resolve them will lead to even bigger problems down the road. If you see any of these common office plumbing problems, have your water systems checked immediately.
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