Commercial Building Plumbing Leaks That Could Cause Expensive Repairs
Commercial facilities commonly use a significant amount of water, either through their business processes or simply because there are numerous people using bathroom or kitchen facilities over the course of a day. Water leaks in the plumbing system can substantially increase the company’s monthly bills while wasting hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water. Some of the following types of commercial building plumbing leaks could eventually cause expensive repairs. However, if the leaks are caught and fixed early enough, the repairs could be more moderate and less water will be wasted.
Toilets in commercial facilities, especially those with public restrooms, get a substantial amount of use. Even toilets in office facilities that serve only employees will usually be used more than a comparable residential toilet. For this reason, it’s vital that toilets be kept in good condition and that leaks are repaired as quickly as possible. If leaks are neglected, they could eventually lead to the need to replace the toilet. The most common source of toilet leaks is a flapper or tank ball that doesn’t seat correctly or a faulty fill valve or ballcock. If the flapper doesn’t seal properly, water can leak from the toilet drain. A fill valve that doesn’t shut off when the toilet tank is refilled will continue to send water into the tank. This water will be wasted down the drain.
Replacing these parts is generally not too expensive, but neglecting the problem can lead to substantial long-term water loss. Faucet Leaks Faucet leaks are also relatively common and are usually the result of a worn or damaged component such as a sealing washer or seat assembly. Rubber washers are used to create a watertight seal in the faucet to prevent leaks. If these washers wear out, or if they are incorrectly sized, the seal will fail and the faucet will leak.
Replacing washers is inexpensive, but over time the wear could increase and affect other components, requiring replacement of the entire faucet fixture. Hidden Leaks Hidden leaks in your commercial facility have the potential to create a nightmare scenario of unexpected flooding or long-term water damage that is only discovered after it’s too late. Once hidden leaks are discovered, repair may require removing walls, floors, ceilings, equipment or other material to get access to the leak.
Repairing damage caused by the leak can be expensive, as could mold remediation or other procedures to decrease long-term problems from the leak. To help locate hidden leaks, look for signs such as:
- Unexpected or unexplainable increases in your water bills.
- Signs of water damage or water staining along walls, floorboards or other locations.
- Wet floors, carpets, walls or other structures.
Leaks in underground water supply pipes, sewer drains or other buried piping systems could lead to expensive repairs. In many cases, these types of leaks will require a visual inspection by remote video camera or other device to pinpoint the location of the leak. When the leak is found, the pipes will have to be dug up and repaired and the displaced soil will have to be replaced. In worse cases, exploratory digging will be required to locate the source of the leak.
Watch for these signs of underground plumbing leaks to help resolve this problem before it becomes a source of expensive repairs:
Again, unexpected spikes in your water bills could indicate an underground water leak.
Look for areas of wet soil, which could indicate an underground plumbing leak.
Check for areas where grass or other vegetation is growing faster than the surrounding areas. This could mean an underground leak underneath the faster-growing plants.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information on how to locate and repair common commercial plumbing leaks and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!