As a business owner, a clogged drain can entirely interrupt your day, costing you and your employees lost work time, water damage, and even extensive plumbing repair bills. There are several steps you can take to avoid or handle a clogged drain in your restaurant, business or dental office plumbing system.
Avoid Clog Causing Inputs
First of all, your employees need to be educated about what will negatively affect your commercial drains and cause backups. Always avoid draining cooking oils, butter, margarine, or any sort of grease your business may be working with. These congeal in cooler temperatures and clog up your pipes at every opportunity. If your business is in food service or a type of restaurant, your employees must also avoid washing down rice, coffee grounds, flour, and pasta. Each of these foods can expand or stick to other particles in your commercial drains and cause backups.
Loosen or Break Up the Clog
Serious or total clogs in your drainage system will require professional attention from a commercial plumbing contractor. If the problem is not that serious, here are a couple ways in which you could work on the clog yourself.
- Use a Plunger. A standard toilet plunger can be used to break up drain clogs in any drain, not just toilets. As long as you have a good seal with your plunger, you can use it in the toilet, in a sink, or even a floor drain. Work the plunger up and down repeatedly to create pressure and break loose the blockage.
- A Drain Auger or “Snake.” Make sure to read the manufacturers instructions and warnings before attempting this method. A drain auger is a long flexible metal tube with a wire head that is effective at breaking up debris caught in your drain pipes. Drain augers for home and non-professional commercial use can be anywhere from a few feet to 50 feet long. While this can be extremely effective, many business owners would rather hire a commercial plumbing contractor than purchase a drain auger.
- Using Air Pressure. Some drain-cleaning systems use the same process as a plunger but with much higher, concentrated air pressure to physically dislodge the clog. Pressurized drain openers are usually available in retail stores.
Use a Liquid Drain Cleaner
Many retail stores or commercial suppliers sell liquid drain cleaners. Each of the many brands carries specific instructions that must be followed since many cleaners contain abrasive chemicals designed to eat away at the clog. Alternatively, you could choose to use a more environmental plumbing solution that uses an enzymatic drain cleaner that applies clog-eating microorganisms to the blockage in your drain.
The best way for you to handle clogs is to prevent them from happening in the first place. All your commercial drains should have a strainer cover that stops large pieces of debris or food from washing down the pipes. And as mentioned before, employee education eliminates most action that causes drain blockage.
Our Grand Rapids commercial plumbing contractors provide a full range of commercial plumbing services for your industrial or commercial building. To schedule an appointment with one of our local plumbers, call K&S Plumbing at (616) 698-6790.
Our Caledonia emergency plumbers are dedicated to keeping customers safe. We offer a full range of commercial plumbing services. To request your quote for gas line repair, call K&S Plumbing Co. at (616) 698-6790.