There are things you can do to keep your restaurant less susceptible to plumbing issues
If you open a restaurant, you're bound to run into some plumbing problems later down the line. A restaurant plumbing problem can rank from minor to catastrophic. The worst-case scenario is your restaurant closing down temporarily due to food poisoning. Back-flowing drains, or flood water will bring bacteria everywhere. Plus, tripping and falling will also happen around the kitchen with too much water. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent future plumbing issues in your restaurant. Take a look at these techniques below.
1. Be preventive
It's better to check when you last had a proper plumbing checkup. If you don't have a record of that, you can just inspect the whole system from top to bottom. Try and look for signs that can indicate plumbing errors, such as:
Malfunctioned grease traps
Rusty, old, or even inappropriately-sized pipes.
Obsolete water heater.
Backed up or slowing draining sinks or toilets.
Discolored water (this could be a result of backflow).
If you're unsure about doing this, you can always find a professional to review the plumbing. Should you happen to be in San Jose, please give us a call.
2. Grease cannot be overlooked
Grease can sometimes be sticky and stuck to your pipes, hence the persistent clogs in your plumbing network. Restaurants have these containers (or grease traps) to hold the grease in, and they get filled up very quickly. Grease is also flammable; a drop of cigarette ash or a spark from your cooking wares would light up your restaurant like fireworks.
With that in mind, you should have your grease containers cleaned frequently. Even the National Fire Protection Association and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommend this.
Employee coaching on grease management is also useful in this scenario. Several things you can train your employee on are as follow:
Categorizing foods to better dispose of them into different locations (trash cans, garbage disposal, etc.)
Things that don't belong in the drains should not be down there (E.g., straws, napkins, and other greasy and solid objects).
Cleaning grease stains properly.
Drains that tolerate grease and those that don't.
3. Keep your toilet functional
A malfunctioned restroom is one of the leading causes of restaurant plumbing issues. People making it in and out of your toilets will subject your restrooms to wear and tear rapidly. Thus, your restaurant's plumbing is affected.
To combat this, there are a few things you can do, such as:
Equip your restrooms with hand dryers. That means fewer paper towels are thrown into the toilet.
Trash cans are a must-have for people to dispose of papers, especially women's hygiene items.
Create a set of rules for the customers on how to proceed with your toilets.
Have your restrooms checked out every one to two hours for any potential problems? If there is, you can deal with it as soon as possible. Assign your employees efficiently and have them sign on a sheet hanging in the toilet entry.
4. Clogs, clogs, and clogs
When you go through the entire plumbing of your restaurant, pay close attention to any clogged drains or sinks. Clogged sinks will make it hard for your crew to wash the amenities, and blocked drains cause wastewater to flow upward into your kitchen. That will spread all kinds of bacteria to your food, other facilities, and even the customer's area. To avoid such a scenario, be mindful of these issues:
Built-up grease in your plumbing.
Any slow-draining sinks or stuck drains. There can be a clog leading to those situations.
Check the restroom to see if there's any toilet with foreign objects inside.
Food chunks slammed into the sinks.
Dry products or food that is soaked by water leakage. This can create a breeding ground for roaches and many types of insects, which will be seen by food safety inspectors.
One more thing, when you face a clogged drain, avoid using chemical cleaners as much as you can. They will further the damage your plumbing has already sustained. Plus, the aroma can cause unforeseen effects when inhaled. Even the food being prepared nearby will also be affected.
If you could use a strong water gun to wash your pipes, it would be a much better solution. A drain snake can also work as well. Remember to hire a well-trained plumber if you cannot DIY.
5. Don't use water tanks
Restaurants utilize hot water for all kinds of demands, from cleaning to washing dishes and other amenities. Thus, they usually have 500 to 5000 gallons of water on standby in a tank. Then, the water will be heated up by a water heater. If that heater breaks or malfunctions, the restaurants can be forced to stop until the problem is addressed.
If you don't want such a nuisance to happen, don't use water tanks. Instead, go with a heater that contains a high-powered burner. When you switch on the water valve, the heater will start to heat the water upon sensing the flow of water. It will continue to burn the water until the valve is shut.
Two advantages come with this. One, you'll have a non-stop provision of hot water each operating day. And two, you can save some expenses regarding tank replacement and water heating bills.
6. Those fryers of yours
Fryers are not immune to stains and grease. You should try and clean them every day before closing your restaurant down. Spotless fryers mean better food in most cases.
All jokes aside, there is one thing you should also pay attention to. More often than not, the gas pipe can be loosened every time you pull the fryers out to clean. And we believe you do know what will happen when there's a gas leakage in your restaurant kitchen.
You can train your fryer handler how to proceed with due care and make sure they check the gas pipe when they wash your fryers.
7. Mind the bar
This might sound like a trivial thing to do, but if you have a bar, keep your eyes on it. Bartenders can sweep various materials from the bar counter and shove them right down the drain. Too many objects inside can cause the drain to back up.
It is best to train your bartenders to put waste in the trash can. If you don't have the time, put a removable wire mesh over the drain and have your bartender remove it after work.
Those are the 7 ways to prevent future plumbing issues in your restaurant. Most of them are easy to apply in a short time. Maintain these practices, and your restaurant plumbing will run just fine for a long time.
If you run into difficulties concerning restaurant plumbing in San Jose, give us a call, and we'll be right over to support you.