Why You Can’t Ignore Drainage Issues in Your Restaurant

Why You Can’t Ignore Drainage Issues in Your Restaurant

It’s one thing to experience drainage issues at home, when you have a good sense of where the problem may be located and who may have caused it, but if you’re the owner of a restaurant, that often goes straight out the window. There are so many moving parts in a restaurant business —and so many people who work there dine there—that it can be hard sometimes to determine who or what exactly caused the drainage problem.

Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we have seen our fair share of clogs and leaks in restaurants throughout the Denver area, and unfortunately, many of the most severe problems occur because the business owner, or GM, leaves them untended for too long. Put simply, restaurant owners cannot afford to ignore any drainage issues they have in their building, as the long-term impact can be enough to close down your restaurant business for a time while the fixes are underway.

In an ideal world, business owners would be able to identify what’s wrong with their drainage early enough to identify the problem and call a commercial drain cleaner to make sure everything works as it should. There are several things that could go wrong with a restaurant’s drainage, but the following are the most common:

Grease Clogs

The most dangerous of restaurant drainage issues is grease buildup. For places that sell burgers and fried foods, the grease will be worse, but all restaurants can see grease build up in their drains. The worse this gets, the bigger the drainage problems can be throughout the building. If you’re concerned grease is a problem for you, Garvin’s can help.

Sink Clogs

Grease isn’t the only thing that can get washed down a drain. With food prep comes a lot of food debris, and if employees are washing too much of that debris down the sink, they can clog up, too. Frankly, the sinks in customer restrooms can end up with foreign objects in the pipes, too.

Toilet Problems

Another problem that can come courtesy of customers is the toilets. The biggest difference in your home is that you control what goes into your toilets, yet you have no control over that at your restaurant. Customers can be a little absent-minded when it comes to this, so even if you have signs about where certain types of waste goes, you may still end up with overflowing toilets and clogged plumbing.

Sewer System Issues

Sometimes, the problem is under the surface and has to do with the sewer system as a whole. If you are operating in a new suburb, the sewer lines are likely fine, but restaurants in older buildings might see problems that can only be caused by years of use and can only be fixed by professionals like those at Garvin’s Sewer Service.

Contact an Experienced Plumber

Of course, no matter how well you take care of your kitchen and its drainage system, problems are almost sure to arise. When they do, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals at Garvin Sewer Service. We’ll make sure small problems don’t turn into bigger problems so your business can run the way it was intended without any unexpected major expenses or, worse, temporary business shutdowns.

Flushable not flushable

Why Only Flush Toilet Paper?

Like most women, you have been to a bathroom, whether private or public, and a sign has been prominently displayed in the stall that reads: “Please don’t flush anything but toilet paper”. While this seems straightforward, it is still confusing, especially because we are told certain products are “flushable”, including tampon cores, wipes, and paper towel. So, what’s the deal?

If you’ve ever owned a home, you have likely had the unpleasant experience of a sewer line back up. It may have started with a toilet gurgle, or may have just surprised you with a basement puddle of sewage. You likely contacted a sewer cleaning company and had them take care of the problem. Often, but not always, the sewer technician will let you know what caused the problem – tree root overgrowth, tampons, and too much paper tend to be the biggest culprits. Let’s talk more about each so you can understand why just because something says it’s flushable, it doesn’t mean it is wise to do so.

Tree Root Overgrowth

The trees in your yard, or even your neighbor’s yard, can grow into the porous material of your sewer line, especially at sewer line joints. These roots act as a strainer, capturing debris and usually letting water pass. Of course, water won’t be able to flow through once too much debris has collected. This is why what you flush matters – anything that doesn’t quickly and easily break down runs the risk of being grabbed and held onto including…

Toilet Paper

All toilet papers are designed to break down in sewer and septic systems. Plush and ultra types of toilet paper tend to take longer to disintegrate and often absorb water, turning them into globs of paper before they hit the city sewer main. Clumps of this toilet paper don’t pass as easily through your home’s pipes and sit in your line like spit wads on elementary school ceilings. Add sewer roots to the mix and you can see why the wrong toilet paper can be a problem.

Tampons

Tampons, not the applicators (which most women know are not flushable), but the cotton/rayon tampon itself, is not to be flushed. Yes, they are small enough to make it through the waste lines, but don’t dissolve or breakdown like paper products do. Instead, wrap them in toilet paper like you do feminine pads and dispose of them in the trash. Again, if roots are in the line, they will grab the tampons and cause a clog. Without roots, tampons can still sit in the line, catch other debris, and prevent water from passing through.

Other Items

Other items that say they are flushable, but really can cause problems in your sewer include wipes and paper towels. They are both made out of paper, so will dissolve, but they don’t do it quickly. Instead, they are more cloth like, creating large clogs.

Overall, if it can go in the trash, rather than down the drain, it’s better to throw it away. This includes items like dental floss, cotton balls/swabs and similar items.

Bottom Line

Whether or not is says it is flushable, do your best to limit toilet waste to septic friendly paper and human waste. Anything more can result in messy sewer line back-ups and unneeded frustrations. If you experience recurring clogs or back-ups, ask your sewer line technician what steps you can take to reduce them.

Garvin’s Sewer Service has been serving the Greater Denver and Boulder resident’s home and business plumbing drain cleaning needs for over 75 years! Give us a call today if we can help you with your sewer or plumbing needs at 303-571-5114.