5 Common Problems With Commercial Building Floor Drains

Floor drains are common in warehouse areas, shop floors, commercial kitchens and public restrooms. Although they make it easy to clean up and manage wet messes, they can also be prone to problems. Fortunately, a commercial plumber can help with the most common issues.

1. Back Ups

Backed-up water from a floor drain is most often grey or black water, which means it isn't clean water and can pose a hazard. A common cause is a dry trap within the drain. Traps hold a bubble of water that prevents sewage from backing up, and if it goes dry then the drain must be cleaned and the trap filled. Clogs in nearby plumbing fixtures will also sometimes lead to floor drain backups.

2. Internal Clogs

Floor drains are equipped to handle debris flowing down into them. In bathrooms or on shop floors, it's important to sweep up debris before rinsing the floors with water. This prevents debris from getting into the drain. If there's a blockage, water will pool up instead of draining, which means the drain must be cleaned out.

3. Blocked Screen

Every floor drain should be equipped with a screen that helps to keep debris from getting into the drain. Sometimes water will pool up on the floor even though there is no clog inside the drain. The culprit will be a blocked screen. Switching to a screen that is easy to sweep, clean and that has a design that doesn't trap debris is a good solution.

4. Bad Odours

Foul odours from a floor drain can range from the sulphur smell of raw sewage to the fragrance of rot.  A dry trap is the most likely culprit for odours along with blockages, so pouring water down the drain can eliminate the smell sometimes. If odours persist, the drain may need cleaning or there could be damage inside that is trapping debris. Fixing the damage and flushing the drain will help.

5. Leaking Pipes

Water damage on the ceiling below a floor drain or water leakages anywhere near the location of the drain can indicate damage to the drain pipe or the seal around the floor grate. Your commercial plumber will check all seals and replace them if needed, or they will make repairs to the damaged pipe. Leaks need to be addressed immediately so that more severe damage doesn't occur. 

Contact a commercial plumbing service, such as CRS Plumbing, if your building has floor drains in need of maintenance.