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The prevention of a blocked drain may seem like a low priority in business terms, but when this invisible facility present problems, the issue suddenly rises in importance. As business premises usually have multiple basins and sinks with a variety of people using them for different purposes, the likelihood of plumbing concerns rises dramatically, together with the accompanying unplanned costs which impact your bottom line.

What to do when you discover a blocked drain

We all like to have a DIY solution for unexpected complications in this tight economy. So consider these two options first:

1. Use a chemical drain cleaner to flush down the affected pipe eg basin, sink or external drain opening. Follow the instructions carefully on the container!

2. If you don’t wish to resort to chemicals, get out that seldom-used plunger which has been sitting somewhere on a shelf in the warehouse or at the back of the stationery cupboard. If you don’t have one, it’s a worthwhile purchase you’ll probably only make once. Place the plunger on top of the plug hole, push down and then pull the plunger up off the surface. You’ll find that any loose obstructions will be brought up. You may need to do this once or twice.

What happens if a DIY solution doesn’t work?

There’s no getting around it – your blocked drain could be more serious than you thought and you are probably not going to be able to do something yourself.
Remember, if another company has occupied your premises before, you won’t be able to account for their habits. The trouble could come from years of abuse.
If you have recently moved into a new office, then there may be some rubble left behind after the building process.

Take action while the blockage is fresh. You certainly don’t want bacteria increasing nor foul-smelling odours permeating your office or reception areas! Talk to the experts who can be there in a jiffy and sort out your woes.

What are some of the reasons a drain could be blocked?

1. FOOD

You’d be surprised at how careless we can all become when rinsing off plates or just pulling the plug in the sink after washing up the dishes. Rice is one of the most common foods to be found in drains, because we just ignore that little clump of grains that you’re sure won’t do any damage.

We don’t live in the United States where kitchen sinks have “garbage disposals” which are made especially for food waste.
Grease or fatty substances, like old fried chip oil or dirty water filled with floor-cleaning aids, washed down the sink will stick to the sides of the pipes and eventually build up to a point where water has difficulty going down. Train your staff and cleaners not be lazy and flush left over food or other unsuitable products down the drain. You’ll benefit in the long run.

2. BROKEN PIPES

It’s great having a welcoming frontage to your offices, but be aware that roots from bushes and trees or general wear and tear can cause water pipes to break. Whilst a complete break may not occur, a fracture could be caused and that’s when a blockage could occur due to this weakness. Most times we can’t see the damage and if those water pipes are in a difficult place to reach, the situation becomes more problematic.

If you suspect that there may be something wrong with underground pipes, we recommend that you call in a professional who will be able to diagnose the problem using leak detection equipment. If the pipes come from inside and continue through to the outside, you may find that leaks occur in your premises or even stain the ceiling. Switch off your water mains as soon as possible and call in your local plumber to take corrective action on your blocked drains.

3. HEAVY RAINS AND STORMS

Gauteng is well-known for its great weather. But we also experience thunderstorms during the summer season. Throughout this time, drains experience sudden floods of water due to the heavy rainfall. As drains weren’t originally designed to take the full impact of this flow, there can be water build-up that you are not aware of. Urban densification with office parks springing up exacerbates the problem. When there is excess rainwater in gutters and downpipes, you can bet that blockages will form which need to cleared out.

In most instances, a quick call to the landlord should do the trick, but in cases where you own your office building, the onus is on you to do maintenance.

During summer and autumn ensure the gutters are cleaned out to prevent a build-up of leaves and keep an eye on stagnant water in the drains which signify a blockage along the line. As soon as you spot this, contact your local plumber to help unclog and assist with any waste water removal. You’ll be secured from potential flooding in parking areas and even prevent the incidence of mosquito larvae growing in accessible places.

Savvy Plumbing is part of the Boksburg-based Savvy Holdings Group, which has been around since 2012. Our experienced management and staff have collectively been in this industry for over twenty-five years, so you can be assured of knowledge, professionalism and technical know-how. Call us today on 087 806 6262 or email info@savvyplumbing.co.za or send us a message for help.