Published onApril 26th, 2023
The Benefits of Regular Drain Maintenance
If you are the owner or manager of a property in New York City, regular drain maintenance is a must. In this post, we discuss the reasons why you must be proactive about drain care, how to know if a blocked drain is about to be a problem for you, and how you can avoid the negative outcomes of poor drain maintenance in your building.
Why Regular Drain Maintenance Is Essential
Protecting your property from unnecessary damage
Without proper drain maintenance, your property could experience stopped sinks, blocked pipes, and other problems that cause a long list of headaches for staff and occupants. An untreated blockage that builds to the point where water cannot flow has multiple negative consequences:
- Unusable sinks, toilets, dishwashers, and clothes washing machines
- Damaged plumbing parts
- Water damage from flooding
- Growth of mold and mildew
- Unpleasant odors
- Attracting insects and vermin
Signs of Potential Drain Clogs
Watch for these warnings
You don’t want to wait until you have a major water disaster on your hands or tenants are banging on your door at all hours to take action. There are signs that a blocked drain is imminent, which you can watch for. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to call the experts at Sanitary Plumbing before you have to deal with overflowing toilets, clogged sinks, or backed-up clothes washers:
- Slow running drains in sinks and/or tubs
- Gurgling sounds when fixtures drain
- Toilets that need frequent plunging
- Toilet water level has risen in the bowl
- Sewage ejector pumps (aka sewage grinder pumps) backing up
- Smell of sewage or waste inside (usually emanating from a drain)
- Dishes not getting clean in the dishwasher
- Water or food remains accumulating in the bottom of a dishwasher after a cycle is complete
- Clothes looking dingy or smelling bad after washing
- Flooding or water ponding on the outside of the property near drain pipes
- Multiple units experiencing the signs listed above
The problem with clogged drains in New York City condominium and co-operative buildings is that there are so many places where a blockage can occur. While an individual under-sink trap may be clogged, you can also have blockages further downstream, such as in lateral lines that run from units into the main sewer line for the entire building. The closer to the sewer line that a blockage occurs, the more multiple units are likely to be affected by it.
Another issue common to many New York City properties is the age of the plumbing systems. With buildings dating back to the 1700s in some cases, original plumbing can be not up to today’s standards. And you don’t have to have an 18th-century building to experience clogged drains. Even buildings with galvanized metal pipes installed 70 years ago or so can run into trouble if old pipes haven’t been replaced. They can become narrower over time due to the buildup of sediment, mineral scale, and other elements.
How You Can Keep Drains Clear
Tips for DIY drain maintenance
The best way to keep your building’s drains in good working order is to protect them from potential clogs in the first place. Some of the actions you can take include:
- Educate tenants about what should and should not be put in any drains. Common mistakes include not scraping dishes properly before putting them in the dishwasher, allowing food refuse down the drain, and dumping cooking oil and grease in the sink. Also, paper towels, wipes, and feminine hygiene products should only go in the trash, never in the toilet. Likewise, cat litter should not be flushed. Even some face and body scrubs containing inorganic material (like little plastic beads) can clog a shower drain.
- Use a perforated drain shield in kitchen sinks and showers, in the latter to prevent hair clogs.
- Replace old galvanized piping.
Consider a Monthly or Quarterly Drain Maintenance Package
Professional service from Sanitary Plumbing
There’s only so much you can do, however, to maintain drains in a large multi-unit building. Plunging and snaking won’t get the job done when a clog is further downstream and causing problems for many units.
That’s why we recommend regular drain maintenance from professional plumbers. We have the expertise and equipment to fix partially blocked drains and prevent problems that could result in costly insurance claims and disruptions to your building’s occupants. Our team can even use cameras to visualize what’s happening with your pipes, so we know exactly where a problem is occurring.
We’ve been working on large New York City condos and co-ops for generations. We know how to work with complicated plumbing anatomy, such as multiple lateral lines and components from different plumbing renovations in the same structure. Some of the services we offer include maintenance for:
- House drain and sewers
- Bathtub stoppages
- Kitchen sink stoppages
- Wash basin stoppages
- Toilet stoppages
- Roof drain clearing
- Grease trap cleaning
- Separation pit cleaning
To make it easier for you, Sanitary Plumbing offers monthly and quarterly drain maintenance packages. You can be sure your drains are kept clear to prevent more expensive problems in the future. And you can lock in a price for routine drain work, which lets you budget accurately for the year.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment for drain maintenance, call Sanitary Plumbing today at 212-734-5000.