If you own or manage a commercial building, you know your facility’s plumbing system sees heavy use on a daily basis. And with all that action, it can often be a challenge to maintain clean, fully functional drains.

At Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning, we understand building owners can’t always control the way employees and customers use their drains. Unfortunately, a lack of user concern over potential drain blockages often leads to either isolated or building-wide plumbing problems, which can put a wrench in daily operations. 

Fortunately, such issues are often easily remedied with simple drain cleaning rather than plumbing repair. Before you attempt a DIY fix or call in the pros, take a minute to read through the following frequently asked questions about commercial drain cleaning.  

1. What’s the Difference Between Commercial and Household Drain Cleaning?

Many professional drain cleaning companies offer both residential and commercial drain cleaning to meet the needs of a variety of customers. Because residential drains see far less use than the average commercial plumbing system, household drain cleaning is often a bit less involved than the commercial variety.

Depending on the severity of the blockage in a commercial drain, a technician will usually rely on a cleaning method known as water jetting. This comprehensive drain cleaning technique is designed to remove any blockage (even tree roots) and all forms of buildup from within a building’s plumbing.

Though water jetting is also highly effective for residential drains, it’s not as frequently applied to household plumbing systems. Because drain clogs within residential plumbing are typically less severe than commercial drain clogs, less intense cleaning methods, such as drain snaking, usually suffice. 

2. Is It Okay To Use Commercial Drain Cleaning Products on Industrial Pipes?

Want the short answer? We don’t recommend it. Regardless of the type of plumbing or the severity of the clog you need to tackle, using commercial drain cleaning products is never your best option.

Commercial drain cleaning solutions — save enzymatic cleaners — contain highly caustic chemicals that are intended to dissolve blockages and buildup within a building’s pipes. But clogs and pipe gunk aren’t the only things chemical products will dissolve. With repeated application, chemical drain cleaners can actually deteriorate your building’s plumbing system.

As a result, you may experience minor to moderate plumbing leaks, or, worse, if you’re unaware of the deterioration, the problem may progress to full-blown burst pipes. This is especially true if you own an older building with a decades-old plumbing system that has already experienced some degree of deterioration. 

3. What Are Some Ways I Can Help Prevent Drain Clogs in My Building?

Because commercial drains see a great deal of use, they require more diligent maintenance than household drains. As such, it’s always a good idea to inform your employees and customers on appropriate drain usage, which you can do by posting notices near heavily used drains. Create easy-to-read signs and post them in highly visible areas. Be sure to detail the following:

●        Items that should never be flushed down toilets

●        Substances that should not be washed down sink drains

●        Substances that do not belong in floor drains

In addition to your posted signs, take the time to educate staff members on appropriate drain maintenance techniques and the frequency with which they should be applied. These include:

●        Cleaning grease traps on a regular schedule

●        Thoroughly flushing kitchen drains with hot water

●        Emptying and inspecting drain traps regularly, if applicable

●        Applying degreaser as necessary, if applicable

4. How Does a Professional Handle Severe Drain Clogs in Commercial Buildings?

When a building has one or more severe drain clogs, including those caused by tree root intrusions — professional drain cleaners tackle the job with commercial water jetting.

Water jetting is a comprehensive drain cleaning procedure designed to completely eliminate drain blockages and any buildup along the interior walls of the affected pipes. Unlike other cleaning methods, water jetting is specifically designed to provide maximum efficacy while keeping your building’s pipes fully intact.

The procedure typically first involves a camera drain inspection to locate the blockage and determine its severity. Once located, the technician will remove the offending clog by inserting an industrial hose into the affected drain and pumping water through the pipe at extremely high pressure.

Depending on the severity of the clog, abrasive (yet non-damaging!) materials may be added to the water to ensure the blockage breaks apart. The high-powered jet naturally flushes all debris through the length of the pipe, so no additional cleaning is required.

5. Will Drain Cleaning Interrupt My Business Operations?

In all honesty, that depends on the nature of your business and the severity of the clog. At Drain Blaster Bill’s, we do our best to make commercial drain cleaning as quick and convenient as possible.

We understand how critical properly functioning drains are for your day-to-day business operations. That’s why we employ the most advanced, effective drain cleaning methods available. When we clean your business’s drains, we’ll do our best to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

6. How Often Should I Schedule Maintenance Drain Cleaning?

That really depends on the volume of waste your building’s drains handle daily and how your staff and customers/clients treat those drains.

High-volume businesses will likely need to schedule commercial sewer cleaning annually to prevent excessive debris buildup and full-blown blockages. Drain cleaning, on the other hand, is a little more variable in terms of frequency since individual drains typically handle a lower volume of waste than main sewer lines.

For more information about sewer and drain cleaning frequency for commercial buildings, check out the following blogs: How Often Is Commercial Drain Cleaning Necessary? and How Often is Commercial Sewer Cleaning Necessary?

7. How Do I Know If I Need a Drain Cleaning Specialist or a Plumber for My Problem?

Determining whether you need to call a drain cleaning technician or a plumber can be a little tough without knowing what’s going on with your drains.

A drain camera inspection is the best way to identify and pinpoint blockages within a drain, which can be cleared out by a drain cleaning specialist. That inspection will also reveal any signs of damage or deterioration within the drain, which are best addressed by a plumber.

Who should you call first when you have a drain problem? Again, that depends on what you suspect the issue entails. If your toilets suddenly refuse to flush, your kitchen sinks won’t drain, or your floor drains are backing up, call a drain cleaning specialist. If, on the other hand, you’ve noticed drain issues accompanied by leaks or odd plumbing noises, call a plumber.

A drain cleaning specialist will only clean your drains, not repair them. Only a plumber is licensed and trained to repair or replace the components of your plumbing system.

8. Can You Clean My Drains if the Plumbing System Is Really Old?

In a best-case scenario, yes. Water jetting, which we commonly use to thoroughly clean commercial drains, is safe even for older plumbing systems. But because the procedure uses a highly pressurized jet of water to flush the drain, it may not be suitable for pipes that have developed serious damage.

Before we clean your building’s drains, we’ll perform a drain camera inspection to both locate the offending blockage and assess the condition of your pipes. If we detect serious damage or deterioration within the affected drain(s), we may refer you to a plumber for repairs.   

9. What’s the Best Way to Handle Tree Roots in My Sewer Line?

If you think your main sewer line has been penetrated by a tree root, call us. We’ll perform a drain camera inspection to verify whether that’s true, and if it is, we’ll use commercial water jetting equipment to blast the tree root apart. Once we’ve cleared the root, the line will function properly again, but you should have any cracks or breaks in the pipe repaired as quickly as possible.

Does Your Building Have Slow Drains? Contact Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning

Whether your commercial drains are completely blocked or they’re operating slower than usual, get in touch with our team at Drain Blaster Bill’s. We specialize in multiple forms of commercial drain cleaning to ensure your building’s plumbing system remains clean and fully functional. If necessary, we can also schedule same-day service for your convenience.

To request a free service estimate or learn more about what we can do for you, call our Stillwater, MN office at 763-913-8719 or contact us today.