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Common Commercial Plumbing Problems

Common plumbing issues include clogged drains, toilets, leaky faucets, pipes, water heater malfunctions, low water pressure, and running toilets. Each problem has its own distinct causes, as outlined below.

The importance of seamless plumbing becomes apparent when problems arise. From a dripping faucet to a sluggish drain, as your commercial building ages, plumbing issues are inevitable. 

Some are DIY-able, requiring minimal effort, while others pose potential risks and are best addressed by professionals. Familiarizing yourself with common plumbing problems and causes helps determine when to tackle issues independently and when to seek the expertise of a plumber.

Water Heater Issues

Most water heater problems are simple to identify. You walk into that lovely warm shower, only to be drenched by icy cold water! Dripping water, puddles of water, discoloured water, and noises coming from the water heater unit are other signs of a problem. While you can solve the problems on your own in certain situations, the complexity and risk involved in many water heater repairs necessitate expert assistance.

What causes this issue?

  • Leakage: Corrosion or cracks in the tank can lead to water leaks.
  • Sediment Buildup: The accumulation of sediment affects heating efficiency.
  • Faulty Thermostat: Incorrect temperature settings impact water warmth.
  • Corrosion: Internal rust weakens the tank structure over time.
  • Pressure Problems: Fluctuations in water pressure can strain the heater.
  • Mineral Deposits: Hard water causes mineral deposits, hindering heating elements.

Clogged Drains And Toilets

When you notice water backing up while emptying a sink or taking a shower, you may have clogged drains. Often, the signs of a clogged toilet are easier to spot. 

The water in the toilet bowl overflows and backs up instead of flushing normally. Your toilets or drains can usually be restored to normal after the obstruction is cleared, either by yourself or by hiring a plumber.

What causes this issue?

  • Foreign Objects: Items like hair, soap filth, and small objects can obstruct drains.
  • Grease and Fat: Pouring grease down drains leads to buildup, causing clogs.
  • Toilet Paper: Excessive toilet paper usage or flushing non-flushable items can block toilets.
  • Tree Roots: Intruding tree roots seek water sources, infiltrating and blocking sewer lines.
  • Mineral Buildup: Hard water deposits can accumulate in pipes, restricting water flow and causing issues.
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Leaky Faucets And Pipes

Plumbing issues with leaking faucets and pipes are frequent in homes and apartments. When a faucet is in the off position, water physically drips out of it, making leaks easy to find. 

Usually, even if you are not in the room, you can still hear the drips. If the issue with leaking pipes is not addressed right away, it may result in significant damage.

What causes this issue?

  • Wear and Tear: Ageing faucets and pipes degrade over time, leading to leaks.
  • Corrosion: Exposure to water and minerals causes corrosion, weakening the structure.
  • High Water Pressure: Excessive water pressure strains plumbing, resulting in leaks.
  • Improper Installation: Poorly installed fixtures and pipes may develop leaks.
  • Freezing Temperatures: Water freezing in pipes expands, causing cracks and leaks.

Sewer Smells

The foul stench of sewage can be a sign of a serious plumbing issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Waste that contains ammonia or hydrogen sulphide releases foul odours. Prolonged exposure to these gases can eventually become harmful.

What causes this issue?

  • Blocked Drains: Accumulated debris obstructs proper drainage, leading to unpleasant odours.
  • Dry P-Traps: Evaporation in unused drains allows sewer gases to enter the space.
  • Cracked Sewer Pipes: Structural damage permits sewage leaks, causing foul smells.
  • Sewer Line Issues: Breaks or blockages in the main sewer line contribute to odour problems.
  • Inadequate Ventilation: Poor air circulation in the plumbing system results in lingering sewer smells.

Running Toilet

Plumbing issues with toilets can take many different forms, but one of the most annoying is a running toilet. The toilet is still functional, but it runs nonstop, wasting water and making a loud noise.

What causes this issue?

  • Worn-out Flapper: A deteriorated or misaligned flapper can lead to constant water leakage.
  • Faulty Fill Valve: A malfunctioning fill valve may result in inadequate tank refilling, causing the toilet to run continuously.
  • Loose Flush Handle: A loose or stuck flush handle can prevent the flapper from sealing properly after flushing.
  • Mineral Buildup: The accumulation of minerals in the tank can affect the flushing mechanism, causing constant running.

Poor Water Pressure

Although low water pressure might not seem like a big deal, it could be a sign of a leak in the pipes. There will be much less pressure if water is leaking out before it gets to the faucet. Low water pressure can affect your productivity, depending on your business type.

What causes this issue?

  • Pipe Obstructions: The buildup of sediment, debris, or mineral deposits can restrict water flow.
  • Corroded Pipes: Ageing or corroded pipes can reduce water pressure.
  • Leaky Pipes: Water leaks contribute to pressure loss in the plumbing system.
  • Malfunctioning Pressure Regulator: Faulty regulators fail to maintain consistent water pressure.
  • Municipal Supply Issues: Problems with the city’s water infrastructure can impact pressure.
  • Closed Valves: Partially or fully closed valves impede water flow, causing pressure issues.

When Should You Call A Plumber?

Call a plumber promptly if your commercial property experiences plumbing issues such as clogged drains, leaks, faulty water heaters, low water pressure, or running toilets. 

Timely intervention is crucial to prevent further damage, water wastage, and operational disruptions. Whether it’s professional drain cleaning, leak repairs, water heater maintenance, addressing water pressure concerns, or fixing running toilets, a plumber’s expertise ensures efficient solutions. 

Don’t wait; act swiftly to safeguard your property, maintain functionality, and save on potential long-term repair costs.

Key Takeaway

The plumbing issues mentioned above can arise unexpectedly at your commercial properties. As a prudent business owner, it is essential to take simple measures to prevent these common problems from escalating into major disasters. 

Regular inspections and maintenance play a crucial role in ensuring the optimal functioning of your commercial property’s plumbing system. This proactive approach not only saves money in the long term but also enhances the safety of your tenants or customers.

If you are located in the Sunshine Coast or anywhere near, don’t hesitate to reach out to MARIO’S PLUMBING & DRAINAGE for comprehensive inspection and maintenance services for your commercial property’s plumbing system. With our diverse range of plumbing services, from sewer line repair to water heater installation, we are geared towards keeping your commercial property operational and efficient.

Get in touch with us today to secure the plumbing health of your commercial property!

Factors That Influence Lifespan

Factors That Influence Lifespan

Corrosion: High mineral content in water can lead to corrosion of the heating elements and tank, reducing the lifespan of the system.

Sediment buildup: The accumulation of sediment in the tank can decrease efficiency and cause overheating, affecting its overall longevity.

Hard water effects: Hard water can lead to scale buildup, reducing heating efficiency, and potentially causing damage to components.

Maintenance Practices and Their Role in Extending Lifespan

Regular flushing: Flushing the tank to remove sediment prevents buildup, maintaining optimal efficiency.

Anode rod replacement: Periodic replacement of the anode rod helps prevent corrosion of the tank, extending the system’s life.

Temperature control: Setting the appropriate water temperature prevents excessive wear on the heating elements and prolongs the system’s lifespan.

Installation Quality and Its Long-Term Effects

Reputation: Choosing a reputable brand known for reliability and durability enhances the likelihood of a longer lifespan.

Energy efficiency: Models with higher energy efficiency may experience less strain, leading to a longer operational life.

Warranty coverage: A robust warranty can be indicative of the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s durability and may provide added protection for the consumer.

Brand and Model Considerations

Proper sizing: Ensuring the system is appropriately sized for the household’s hot water needs prevents overworking and extends its lifespan.

Professional installation: Quality installation by experienced technicians reduces the risk of issues and ensures optimal performance.

Location considerations: Proper placement, ventilation, and insulation contribute to the system’s efficiency and longevity.

Average Lifespan of Electric Hot Water Systems

✔ Electric hot water systems, especially the traditional tank-style units, are designed to provide reliable hot water for an extended period of time. However, their lifespan can vary based on several factors:

✔ Material Quality: The material used in constructing the tank plays a crucial role. Tanks made of high-quality materials such as stainless steel or glass-lined steel tend to last longer.

✔ Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential to prolonging the life of a traditional tank system. Flushing the tank, checking for sediment buildup, and inspecting the anode rod are crucial maintenance tasks.

✔ Water Quality: The mineral content and acidity of the water can impact the tank’s lifespan. Hard water with high mineral concentrations may lead to sediment buildup, affecting the efficiency and longevity of the system.

✔ Usage Habits: The frequency and intensity of usage also influence the wear and tear on the tank. Systems in households with high hot water demands may experience more strain and have a shorter lifespan.

✔ Installation Quality: Proper installation by qualified professionals ensures optimal performance and can contribute to a longer lifespan. Poor installation may lead to issues such as leaks and corrosion.

1. On average, traditional tank-style electric hot water systems can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, with diligent maintenance and favourable conditions, some units may exceed these expectations.

2. Tankless electric hot water systems typically have a lifespan of 20 years or more. The absence of a storage tank eliminates the risk of tank corrosion and allows these systems to operate efficiently for an extended period.


Signs That Indicate the System May Be Reaching the End of Its Life

Regardless of the type of electric hot water system, certain signs may indicate that the unit is approaching the end of its lifespan:

✔ Inconsistent Heating: Fluctuations in water temperature or an inability to maintain consistent hot water are signs of a failing system.

✔ Leaks: Visible leaks around the tank or connections can signal internal corrosion, indicating that the system may be compromised.

✔ Unusual Noises: Popping, banging, or rumbling noises during operation can suggest sediment buildup, reducing efficiency and potentially damaging the system.

✔ Rust or Corrosion: Visible signs of rust or corrosion on the tank or components are indicators of deterioration.

If the system is approaching or has surpassed its average lifespan, it may be more cost-effective to consider replacement rather than investing in repairs.

Recognizing these signs and addressing them promptly through repairs or replacement can help homeowners avoid sudden failures and disruptions in their hot water supply. Regular inspections and professional assessments can aid in assessing the system’s health and making informed decisions about its future.

When Should You Replace Your Electric Hot Water System?

Factors to consider when deciding between repair and replacement

Deciding when to replace your electric hot water system involves careful consideration of various factors. Firstly, assess the extent of the issues; if the system is experiencing frequent breakdowns, has exceeded its expected lifespan, or repairs are becoming costly, replacement might be more economical in the long run.

Modern technologies and features in newer systems

Modern technologies and features in newer electric hot water systems offer compelling reasons for an upgrade. Energy-efficient models can significantly reduce utility bills, while advanced heating elements ensure faster and more consistent hot water delivery. Consider the environmental impact as well, with newer systems often designed to be more eco-friendly.

Cost considerations and energy efficiency benefits

Cost considerations play a pivotal role. Evaluate the cost of repairs against the investment in a new system. While a repair might offer a temporary fix, an ageing unit may continue to pose issues. In contrast, a new system may come with warranties and enhanced durability, providing peace of mind for years to come.

Need Help?

MARIO’S PLUMBING & DRAINAGE can assist you if you are looking for a new hot water system for your house or suggestions on how to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

If you have any questions, our team of experts can help you with purchases, installations, plumbing services, repairs, and maintenance to guarantee your hot water system is operating effectively and safely.

Contact us today for a quote and to set up a service appointment so that you can enjoy consistent hot water in your home for many years to come.

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