Restaurant Drain Cleaning & Maintenance — What You’ll Need
If you own a restaurant, you’ve probably dealt with your share of backed-up drains. Most of the time, drain issues are minor annoyances. Simply clear the clog and get back to work. But sometimes, clogged drains lead to flooded kitchens. Customers have to wait while it’s cleaned up and employees risk slipping and injuring themselves on wet floors. Even worse than that, sometimes drain problems can cause a stink so bad that it will drive customers away.
How to Unclog Restaurant Sink Drains and Floor Drains
Backups in commercial kitchen drains are usually due to what is referred to as FOG—Fat, Oil, and Grease that make their way down the drain. As they cool, the liquids solidify, clogging the drain. These clogs need to be addressed as soon as possible, so your employees can get back to work and also prevent major damages to the pipes.
First, attempt to remove the blockage with a plunger. If that doesn’t work, try a plumbing snake, sometimes called a drain snake, a small, flexible tool used to break up clogs that won’t respond to a plunger. Sometimes, running hot water is enough to dissolve the grease clogging the drain. Or you can try pouring baking soda down the drain, followed by vinegar.
Plumbing professionals advise against using drain cleaning solutions, even well-known brands. These chemicals may be effective in the short run, but if you are not careful they can damage your pipes, requiring costly repairs. Also, never try to clean a drain with bleach. While it may kill germs and get rid of odors, bleach will not dissolve clogs. And any bleach that is left behind in the pipes could turn into a hazardous gas if mixed with another chemical, like ammonia.
How to Prevent Problems
The best restaurant drain cleaning strategy is to take preventative measures to prevent the clogs in the first place.
• Never put food scraps, grease, or oil down the drain.
It’s only a matter of time before they build up in the drain and cause a clog.
• Use drain covers.
Drain covers are a simple way to prevent large pieces of food and debris from accidentally washing down the drain.
• Use grease traps.
Grease traps prevent FOGs from accumulating in a restaurant’s pipes. They’re designed to give greasy water that’s poured down the drain a chance to cool. Then, the oils solidify and float to the surface while the water continues down the pipes to the sewer system.
What Makes a Restaurant Smell Like Sewage?
If grease traps aren’t cleaned regularly, they’ll give off the odor of rotten eggs. That smell is hydrogen sulfide gas, produced by bacteria growing in the traps. Not only will the smell drive away your customers, the gas is flammable, so it also poses a hazard to your kitchen staff.
Letting “P-traps” get dried out is another thing that may cause a restaurant to smell like sewage. A P-trap is a U-shaped pipe under a sink. When there is water in it, that water keeps sewer gases from backing up. When the pandemic started and the number of people eating out dropped dramatically, many restaurants experienced this problem. Their sinks were getting much less use, so the P-traps dried out, letting the sewage smells back up the drain. If that ever happens in your restaurant, experts recommend running hot water down the drain to fill the P-trap and eliminate the smell.
Regular restaurant drain cleaning done by professionals can help prevent problems like these. Many restaurants rely on Enviro-Master’s weekly Foaming Drain Line Service to keep their drains functioning properly. Our technicians inject a bio-active foam into all drains and down drain lines. The foam covers the entire circumference of the interior of the drain system, allowing the bio-active enzyme to digest the food source and clear the drain backup. This is a completely organic way to unclog drains without using harsh chemicals that can damage the pipes. It eliminates both unpleasant odors and costly repairs.
Contact Enviro-Master Today
As a restaurant owner, you have enough on your plate. Let Enviro-Master worry about your drains, so you can focus on serving your customers. Contact us today to find out more about restaurant drain cleaning, as well as the other services we offer.