A working plumbing system is important for any commercial building and any business. Commercial plumbing systems are often much more prone to issues than residential plumbing systems since they typically get a lot more use.

Getting any major plumbing issues taken care of promptly is important for protecting your business’ bottom line and avoiding even more expensive repairs. Not all plumbing issues are emergencies, but you should always contact a professional commercial plumbing service immediately if you notice any of these issues.

1. Leaks and Visible Water Damage

A leaky pipe or plumbing fixture is something that requires the immediate attention of a licensed plumber. Even a small leak has the potential to do serious water damage and lead to an expensive repair bill. Water spots on a wall or ceiling are a fairly obvious sign that a pipe is leaking.

In the warm Southern California climate, a plumbing leak will also quickly lead to mold issues if you don’t immediately get the pipe repaired and then start drying everything out. If you suddenly notice an unusual moldy odor or see any mold spots on a wall or ceiling, you should always contact a professional leak detection service immediately. If you don’t take immediate action, the mold can quickly start spreading and force you to spend potentially a fortune on mold remediation.

The worst issue is if black mold starts growing in your commercial building since it is toxic. If black mold starts growing, it will cost you even more in lost productivity since you will typically have to close some or all of the building down until the mold problem is taken care of.

You should also make sure to regularly monitor the water heater in your building, especially if it is a traditional tank-style unit. If you see water on the floor around the water heater tank, you should also immediately call to have a plumber replace your water heater. A leaking water heater tank isn’t fixable, and the tank could potentially rupture and cause a major flood if you don’t get the unit replaced quickly.

2. Water Bill Suddenly and Unexpectedly Spikes

Depending on what type of commercial building you have and what it’s used for, your water bill may fluctuate more from month to month than a residential water bill normally would. There appears to be a sudden increase in your water bill, indicating a possible leak in the building or underground water supply line.

Many commercial buildings are built on top of a concrete slab foundation, which means that many of the water lines are buried underneath the concrete. A leak in one of these underground water lines is known as a slab leak and will always be much more difficult to detect than a pipe inside a wall or ceiling that’s leaking. Slab leaks can do major structural damage, as they can cause the foundation to shift or settle. In many cases, the first sign that the building has a slab leak is when the water usage suddenly increases.

3. No Hot Water

Having no hot water is also a major issue since no one can wash their hands. In a commercial kitchen, you also won’t be able to wash your dishes and would have to shut down until a plumber can fix your water heater. If your commercial building suddenly doesn’t have hot water, your only option is to have a plumber inspect your water heater.

Many issues with commercial water heaters are fairly easy for a plumber to repair, but some issues are fatal. Depending on the age and condition of the unit, there are also many situations where replacing it will still be the better choice even if the issue can be fixed.

4. Sewage Backups

Most commercial buildings have at least one or more floor drains in places like utility closets and bathrooms. If the main sewer line leading away from the building is fully or even partially blocked, it will usually result in sewage backing up and flowing out of these floor drains. If the building has no floor drains, the sewage will instead typically start overflowing out of toilets.

Sewage backups are an extreme biohazard and can also cause lots of water damage. Any time this issue arises, you need to call a plumber for a sewer line inspection immediately. In the meantime, you need to ensure that everyone avoids using any plumbing fixtures, as this will almost always lead to additional sewage coming back out of the floor drains or toilets.

5. Toilets and Urinals Don’t Flush Properly

A toilet that won’t flush means it’s clogged, which is an issue since it will start overflowing if anyone tries to use it. If you can’t clear out the clog with a plunger, you should never use drain cleaner and instead have a plumber clear the clog with a pipe snake. Using drain cleaner can potentially do serious damage to your pipes, so it’s always best to avoid it.

If you suddenly start having issues with some or all of the toilets and urinals flushing slowly, not fully flushing, or suddenly overflowing, it indicates that there is a partial clog somewhere in your sewer system. If the issue is confined to one restroom or one part of the building, it likely means that one of the drain lines inside the building is obstructed.

If none of your toilets and urinals flush properly, it usually indicates that the main sewer line is starting to clog. Another possibility is that the plumbing vent pipe that sticks up through the roof is clogged. These problems are only likely to worsen and eventually lead to a sewage backup. This means you should always be proactive and contact a plumber as soon as possible to prevent the issue from worsening. aaaa

6. Sinks Drain Slowly

A single sink draining slowly or completely clogged likely isn’t an emergency as long as there are other sinks in the building that everyone can use. If all of the sinks in a building start draining slowly or won’t drain, it again likely indicates issues with the vent pipe or that the main sewer line is clogged or broken.

7. Pipes Make Chugging or Gurgling Noises

Another sign that the vent pipe or sewer line is clogged is when all of your sinks make chugging, or gurgling sounds as they drain. Your toilets and urinals will also often make similar noises if they’re not flushing properly. As with the two previous issues we just discussed, this is a situation where you will want to contact a plumber before the problem gets worse and your sewer system starts backing up.

8. Noticeable Sewage Odor Outside the Building

A strong sewage smell outside of your building typically indicates a much more serious plumbing problem. The only time you could ever smell sewage is if the main sewer line is damaged and sewage is leaking into the ground. This is a situation where you need to contact a plumbing company for a sewer line inspection immediately.

With 25+ years of experience, Splash Plumbing is the contractor to trust for all of your commercial plumbing needs. We specialize in leak detection and all plumbing, drain, and sewer repairs, and you can count on us 24/7 for any plumbing emergencies. We also offer a full range of residential plumbing services for residents of Anaheim and throughout Orange County. Whenever any plumbing emergencies arise, give us a call, and we’ll get the issue repaired promptly.

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