If you run any type of commercial facility that houses a large number of people, like a nursing home, apartment building, or extended-stay hotel, you probably realize that people will—despite whatever warnings you give them—inevitably flush something down the toilet that they shouldn't. Whether it's a handful of baby wipes, feminine products, or dropped Legos, objects that go down the pipes can end up causing a sewer line backup that's messy and expensive to fix. In order to prevent a sewer line disaster, make sure you do these three things.
1.) Install a grinder pump.
Sewage grinders are effective at dealing with waste water and solids, and they can take care of some of the foreign objects that can end up down your drain fairly easily. Perhaps the best feature about a grinder pump is that they can be installed with safety alarms that go off and warn you that there's a blockage in the line, an overflow, or some other operational issue. That gives you the opportunity to call for assistance cleaning out the sewer before the problem gets out of control and causes a major flood in the basement or lets sewage back up in resident's bathrooms.
2.) Used pinned cleanout plugs.
You're probably familiar with the cleanout pipe that allows a plumber to access the line between your building and the main sewer line in order to unclog the system. However, smaller cleanout pipes can be installed at various points throughout your entire network of pipes. If you make use of a special type of pinned cleanout plug on these smaller access points, you can stop items that can lead to serious clogs before they get deeper into the system.
These types of plugs have a permanent stainless steel rod (the pin) that extends down into the pipe and stops large objects from going any further. While they won't set off any alarms, they can be placed at intervals that will keep a block from affecting more than one or two toilets at a time. They also make it much easier for your plumber to locate whatever is causing the blockage and remove it.
3.) Get the right insurance coverage.
Even business owners don't always realize that their insurance doesn't cover sewage backups. If you haven't specifically addressed this issue with your insurance agent, you need to find out exactly what your policy does and does not cover. If it currently only covers your loss of use, including the income you'd lose if there is a major sewer line backup, you need to ask your agent about adding a sewage backup rider.
These three steps can end up saving you a lot of hassle from the day-to-day problems that you can experience from residents who flush the wrong things down the pipes, and they can end up saving your business in the event of a major problem. For more information, contact a sewer cleaning company in your area.