Investing in your first commercial property is an exciting time, but it's also sometimes nerve wracking. There are so many little things to think about, and commercial properties are different from residential ones. The plumbing systems, for example, are more complex and see heavier demand than a residential property. If you're not familiar with the warning signs of sewer drain problems, you may find yourself facing a disaster unexpectedly. Here's a look at what you need to know.
Watch for Slow-Flowing Drains
Slow drains are more than just a nuisance. They can be an indication of a serious plumbing problem. When your drains start slowing down, it may be an indication that there's grease or other waste in the drain line that's narrowing the drain pipe. These problems are usually easily remedied with a line flush or something similar.
It may also mean that there's an accumulation of limescale inside the pipe, which is a more complex issue to deal with. Particularly if you're dealing with limescale that's been building for quite some time, it can be quite hard, making it very difficult for you to remove it. In fact, hardened limescale can actually be very challenging to remove without causing damage to the pipe itself.
Don't make any assumptions on your own about the cause of the drain slow-down. Have your plumber come in and do a full inspection to find out so that you don't inadvertently cause more problems to the plumbing system trying to fix it on your own.
Listen for Any Unusual Noises
One of the things that many people overlook is the unusual noises that the plumbing system can make. If you're hearing any gurgling, bubbling, or similar noises from your plumbing fixtures, that may be an indication that there's a blockage in the drain line. The sound is the direct result of air pockets being trapped in the pipe as a result of whatever is blocking the line. The air gets forced back up through the system, causing the gurgling sounds that you're hearing. You may notice noises like this around the toilets, sinks, and even the floor drains.
Be Attentive to Your Drain Backups
If you're noticing more frequent backups in your toilets and other plumbing fixtures, that's a common indication that there's waste buildup in your sewer drain pipe that's growing larger and hindering all of the flow as well as the vacuum necessary for things to flow properly. As the blockage gets larger, the backups will grow increasingly more frequent. Sometimes, it can be an indication that there's a pipe shifted out of position, which can interrupt the proper flow and cause a bottleneck in the pipe system. The best thing to do if you're seeing backups often is to call your commercial plumber for a thorough inspection of the pipe system.
Don't Dismiss Wetness and Odor on the Property
When you bought the building, you should have also been given some information about where the plumbing lines run. If you're seeing any excess moisture in the grass on the property, the first thing you need to consider is if it's coming from somewhere that has plumbing lines beneath. This most often occurs when you have some kind of rupture, crack, or other separation in the pipe system. Whether it's a pipe joint that's disconnected or an actual break in the pipe itself, it's a serious problem.
If that moisture has a foul odor, that's also cause for concern. That means it's the sewer pipe that's leaking and your property is actually soaked with wastewater that's contaminated. This is a health concern and one that needs to be dealt with right away. Your commercial plumber can help you trace the location of the damage and replace the necessary lines.
For more information, contact a business such as Tierra Environmental & Industrial Services.