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Advice on commercial water heater selection, maintenance and safety issues for businesses that rely on a steady supply of hot water.

Proactive Plumbing Maintenance Tips To Prevent Common Commercial Plumbing Issues

2 male plumbers working plumbing maintenance under kitchen sink

Preventative plumbing maintenance is the first step to avoiding the worst problems.

Plumbing problems are a fact of life—they’re going to happen, no matter what. You have one of two options: wait for problems to manifest and try to deal with the unexpected expenses (and headache), or you can be proactive about your plumbing.

Read the full post here…

Life with Pipes

Pipe symmetry creates a pleasing design commercial plumbing maintenanceLet’s all take a moment and pause in reflection: How GREAT is modern plumbing? It’s just one of those things that pretty much everyone takes for granted. It’s also one of those things we immediately realize we cannot live without once it’s not working properly.

Being proactive about your plumbing maintenance is essential to the success of your business. Plumbing problems must be addressed immediately. Ignoring plumbing problems? Not an option in your commercial building. Water damage is far more costly than proactively hiring a plumber to fix the problem immediately.

Commercial Plumber Selection

Don’t wait to try and find a qualified commercial plumber when you’re already in desperate need. It can take a bit of time, along with some trial-and-error, to find the right plumbing service. This is the first part of being proactive—develop a working relationship with a great plumber before you have problems.

There are all sorts of plumbing services offered, but the two main categories are Residential and Commercial. Residential is pretty self-explanatory, but there are various sub-categories of commercial plumbers. From light to heavy industrial, and from building to general commercial, the demands and regulations on the commercial plumbing industry are expansive. A company specializing in industrial plumbing, for example, offers different expertise than one focused on new building construction or general commercial plumbing service. Therefore, finding the right service for your needs will take some time.

If your business is a bar or restaurant, hotel, or an apartment building, then you’re definitely a commercial property. Finding a commercial plumber that specializes in your specific building demands is a worthy task. Once you’ve found a service you’re happy with, you’ll need to develop a working relationship.

The best way to do this is to develop a regular maintenance schedule.

Regularly Scheduled Plumbing Maintenance

The proactive way to stay on top of your plumbing needs is to develop and implement a regular maintenance schedule with your plumbing service. They will routinely perform assessments on your entire plumbing system, giving you an accurate and current understanding of your building’s specific needs. Being pro-active has budget advantages too: you’ll be able to plan maintenance schedules in advance and in line with your budget.

Your plumber will not only help maintain your systems, but they’ll also be able to provide you with options for upgrading to more energy- and water-efficient units. Upgrading will extend the life of your various plumbing systems, and will save you in overall costs as well. More money is always a good thing!

Most Common Plumbing Problems

Nearly all your plumbing problems are due to wear-and-tear, which is why functioning plumbing requires regular maintenance. Other plumbing problems arise from building-related issues, such as building age, foundation settling/shifting, and outdated, poorly performing construction materials used during a certain time period. Below are the most common plumbing problems that your commercial building will encounter.

Faucet and Fixture Leaks

man working on sink doing plumbing maintenanceA leaky faucet costs you money with every drip. Wasting up to 3,000 gallons of water each year, these leaks are almost always caused by worn out gaskets and O-rings (round rubber washers), and other sealing mechanism failure. Water damage is another issue you must consider—a leaky fixture can not only destroy the area surrounding it, but left unattended, can cause structural damage as well.

Water Temperature Problems

Too hot to wash your hands? Too cold? Don’t have enough hot water when you need it? These are generally signs your water heater might need an adjustment. If your water heater is leaking, it’s probably failing. (But not all leaks are created equal—NEVER mess with a leaky water heater or block off leaks or valves. Your water heater could explode.)

Commercial water heaters need maintenance and replacing just like everything else. It’s important to hire a trained water heater technician—don’t trust just any plumber to fix your commercial water heating equipment!

Clogged Toilets & Drains

We’ve all had these types of problems. Yuck! Slow draining is usually the first indication of a drain problem. Watch for toilets that require constant plunging. Backups are not something you ever want to deal with. Clogged drains can mean overflowing, which ultimately means water damage.

Silent Leaks

Toilets can leak silently 24/7 and you’d never know. So can pipes and fixtures. Wasting thousands of gallons of water a year, a quietly leaking toilet or pipe can be an astronomical burn on your cash flow – and cause major sticker shock when you open your water bill. Get your toilet tested and always leave the repairs to your professional plumber. And keep an eye on your water bill for unexplained and/or significant increases – this could be a sign of a silent leak lurking in your building.

Other Plumbing Concerns

Other common plumbing issues and concerns are typically within the realm of expertise of your professional plumbing service. From handicapped plumbing needs, crawl space plumbing, unit updating, upgrading to energy-efficient equipment, garbage disposals and more, an experienced local plumber can help with your plumbing problems.

Remember: To keep a healthy plumbing system, your first line of defense is getting routine check-ups via a regular maintenance schedule with a plumber you trust.

Image “Pipes” courtesy of Flickr user Bob5D licensed under CC by 2.0.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr user bradleypjohnson. Post image courtesy of Flickr user Eli Duke. Images licensed under CC by 2.0.

25 Responses to Proactive Plumbing Maintenance Tips To Prevent Common Commercial Plumbing Issues
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  4. The blog has provided a very useful break down on the most common plumbing leaks in home as well as commercial establishments. I reside in NJ, and few days back called up a local plumber by the name of A-General to help me out with my commercial plumbing repair in Monmouth county. These guys were great, helpful and pure professionals, and followed all the steps mentioned in your article. Thanks!!

  5. I agree that one of the best ways to maintain and prevent commercial plumbing issues is to develop a scheduled routine maintenance check. By doing so, issues that may arise are found before than can become large enough to notice them by themselves. This can be especially true of plumbing. Leaks and other problems can go unnoticed until they become flood-like and much harder to fix. With such a large properties like commercial ones, finding problems can be hard, but checking routinely and maintaining routinely can make a significant difference.

  6. A very helpful and knowledgeable post. These problems are genuine and i have also faced some of these in my house. I agree with all your points specially the commercial plumber selection which is very important and must be done very carefully.
    While most plumbing problems in the home produce noticeable problems, some can go undetected for several years.
    These problems can create an environmental hazard, endanger a families health and fitness.

  7. We just moved into a new house and our water pressure is very low. Could this be the result of a bigger problem, like a leaking pipe, or is it something that a water booster would be able to fix? I think we’ll follow your suggestion and start having regular maintenance done so we can avoid future problems. Thanks for the information!

    • It’s difficult to say without more info, but yes that could be a sign of trouble. Is the low water pressure consistent everywhere in the house, or only in select locations like the bathrooms? It could be as simple as the previous owners installed some low-flow fixtures to conserve water usage. Does the pressure level fluctuate at all if you have multiple fixtures on? (Does the shower pressure decrease further if the sink faucet is on?) You can check with your municipality to find out if the pressure level is correct on their end. If they say all looks okay, check with your neighbors to see how their water pressure level compares to your house. If all signs point to your house specifically has a low flow problem, then you’ll probably want to have a professional come in to check your piping for clogs or leaks that could be causing the problem. Good luck & let us know how it works out! -RWS

  8. Maintenance is so important to prevent potential future problems. I agree with you that regularly scheduled plumbing inspections can help with this. Your section on common problems was also very interesting. I will be sure to keep all these tips in mind. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I had no idea that silent leaks could occur and waste so much water. I’m thinking of renting a new commercial building that’s a bit older. I’ll make sure to have a plumber check on everything before anything else to see if there are any problems that should be corrected.

  10. The blog has provided the useful information regarding the plumbing! The great thing is that you have given the up to date information. The life of the pipes!for how much time they can be useful for us.
    so thank You so much for providing this valuable information yo us.
    Keep Posting!

  11. I’ve never thought about the fact that commercial locations have plumbing just like every other building. It makes sense that they would want to have preventative maintenance done! That way they don’t have to worry about an incident occurring that could slow down business.

    • Thanks much for the feedback, and for reading; glad you found it informative. And cheers to a fellow water heater enthusiast!

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  13. The great thing is that you have given the up to date information.These guys were great, helpful and pure professionals. Thanks a lot for sharing this knowledge.

  14. You make a good point that you should get your toilets tested and not mess with them yourselves. This is especially important for commercial buildings. People care less about public restrooms and may not report problems that they find or cause for fear of embarrassment. That’s why it would be important to have a good commercial plumber that your business could trust.

  15. Real issue of commercial and residential plumbing are high lighted in detail. Well done. When my team go for setting of commercial heaters in offices then we see so basic issues that we feel like who guided them first hand. Hope client reads blogs like yours before calling us.

  16. I noticed that you pointed out that you can get silent leaks in your toilet. So, it is good to know that I should get a professional to check my toilet for leaks every now and then. That is good for me to know as a new homeowner.


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