Top 5 Reasons for High Water Meter Usage

Top 5 Reasons for High Water Meter Usage

1. Dripping faucets

2. Leaking flappers in toilet tank

3. Leaking trap seal primers

4. Outside taps dripping

5. Hot water tank relief valve leaking

How to Test for High Water Meter Readings

1. Turn off all faucets

2. Shut off the main valve and wait 5 minutes

3. Turn main valve on and see if the water meter dial moves.

4. If the dial does move, this normally indicates that a leak is present

How to Spot Check an Issue

Dripping Faucets
If you suspect that faucets are dripping when off, simply turn the faucet off and look for any drips.

Leaking Toilets
Flush the toilet when the flapper drops and the toilet will start to fill. Add a few drops of food coloring to the tank water and repeat in each toilet. Go back to the first toilet and  and lift the toilet seat and see if the water color has changed. If so, the flapper may need replacing. Observe the other toilets to see if the water color has changed.

Trap Seal Primer
Look in floor drains to see if there is a small tube entering the side of the pipe. When some taps are running, a small amount of water will flow from the tap into a p-trap (floor drain), when the faucet is turned off the flow should stop. These tube connections are normally hooked up to L-tub faucets or a device called a trap seal primer.

Outside Taps/ Hose Bibb
Many people will leave garden hoses left on which could have a leaking spray nozzle. The leaking/dripping causes water to be wasted and a will lead to a high water bill.

Hot Water Tank Relief Valve
Some hot water tanks have their relief valves piped into a drain, check to see if the pipe is dripping. If so, the relief valve will need to be replaced.

If you suspect that one of your fixtures is wasting water, resulting in a high water bill at the end of the month and you are unsure on how to correct the issue, Call Vanmech Plumbing & Heating to repair/replace and resolve your issue.


3 Common Commercial Plumbing Problems

Commercial plumbing isn’t like residential plumbing. When an issue comes up, it can have major consequences if not addressed appropriately and quickly. That’s because buildings and businesses are usually up to code that can result in a lawsuit or an issue with the permits if the plumbing isn’t fixed according to local standards.

That being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for the next commercial plumbing problem to arise. They might not happen at the most convenient moments but they don’t have to cause as much panic in you and your staff as they usually do. That’s why we’re going to go over some of the most common commercial plumbing problems that our customers have experienced, and we’ll talk a little bit about how they form and what you can do.

Overall, commercial plumbing in Vancouver, BC is best left to the professionals. If you notice anything on our list of common problems, don’t hesitate to give our team of experts a call.

Drain Clogs

More often than not the most common problem in commercial facilities, whether in an office building or a restaurant, are drain clogs. Just based on the sheer number of people that might use your facility’s bathrooms or kitchens, drain clogs are bound to happen and there’s not much you can do to stop them. At least when it comes to residential drain clogs, there are fewer people using each drain and they can be more proactive at how clean they keep their appliances, but with commercial plumbing that all changes.

Clogged drains can often not only be an inconvenience but can harm the presentation of your company and your building. Restaurants that have clogged drains can have trouble functioning up to health and safety standards because fewer employees might be washing their hands or correctly washing produce if they’re having trouble operating faucets and drains.

Basically, a clogged drain should be fixed by a professional plumber as soon as possible.

Faucet Leaks

As we mentioned earlier, these problems aren’t just inconveniences but can signal to customers or clients that your building isn’t up to code. A faucet leaking in a bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere else can be a signal that you’re wasting water. Faucet leaks are pretty hard to predict and there are multiple reasons for why they might exist. Whether it’s just a loose valve or a problem in your main water line, you’re going to need a professional plumber to fix the issue.

Low Water Pressure

This problem is the opposite of a faucet leak since you’re turning on the sink and not receiving the amount of water you’d like. This can be especially bad for buildings in the food industry, since washing produce, cleaning hands, and keeping stations clean are paramount to health and safety. Without the correct amount of water pressure, the kitchen staff will take longer to clean their stations and your business will not be up to snuff.

If your company works with chemicals or any other type of material, you might have eyewashes and showers that need the correct amount of water pressure as well. These are tedious systems, and they need to be repaired almost immediately for them to remain up to safety standards.


Causes of Sewer Odors in Your Commercial Building

The hygiene of a commercial facility is essential for its operation. When sewer odors appear in your facility, it can indicate serious problems. But even smaller issues must be resolved quickly, and it requires professional commercial plumbers to track down the source of the problem so it can be remedy promptly and correctly.

There are several potential causes for the odor of sewage to enter a commercial building. Below we’ve listed a few of the most common.

Dried p-traps in unused or abandoned areas

Large facilities may have sections that are no longer used or have been sealed off. If there are drains in these areas still connected to the main sewage system, sewer gas can escape up through the drains and waft into the space. The p-traps in these drains (the curved section directly underneath the drain) will have dried out and removed a barrier from the movement of sewer gas. We recommend having plumbers seal up the pipes with cement.

Leaking sewer vents or inadequately installed vents

Sewer vents allow the build-up of sewer gas in the drainage system to rise and escape through the roof, balancing the pressure. If leaks develop along the sewer vent pipes, it will allow the sewer gas to enter rooms through the walls. It requires plumbers using leak detection methods to find the precise location of the leaks so they can be accessed and sealed or repiped.

If the drain vents were not installed correctly (the wrong pipe diameter, for example), poor venting will result in sewer gas rising up from drains. Plumbers will need to replace the sewer vents with the properly sized pipes.

Clogged plumbing vents

Damage to the vents, animal nests, or storm damage may clog the vent openings. This will push the sewer gas back down into the drainpipes and up through drains. (You may notice a gurgling sound coming from drains; this indicates sewer gas percolating through the water barrier in the p-traps.) Please don’t try to go to the roof of your facility if you think this is the trouble! Leave all this work to the commercial specialists.

Sewer line, septic line clogging or leaks

The sewer line (or septic line if your facility uses a septic tank) may become clogged with debris or tree root infiltration, leading to a backup in the line that will affect the whole building. Odors are often the first warning sign of a major issue like this. Professional sewer line cleaning or repair is necessary to fix the issue. In extreme cases, the sewer line may need to be replaced.

For commercial sewer line repair and commercial drain cleaning in Burnaby, or any other commercial plumbing service your business needs to keep running, you can depend on our team.


Preventative Plumbing Maintenance

While it’s easy to overlook plumbing until something goes wrong, smart homeowners will establish basic plumbing maintenance habits to make sure they spot and resolve small issues before they become major problems. Here are four things you can do stay on top of things!

Inspect for Leaks

It’s a good idea to occasionally walk around your property and inspect any visible water supply lines – such as under sinks, behind appliances, or in the basement. Some warning signs include oozing around pipe joints, dripping along the line, and damp spots or discoloration on the surrounding wall or floor.

Check Your Appliances

Dishwashers and washing machines are two common culprits for plumbing issues. Make sure that hoses are securely fastened to the both the machine and the hot and cold water faucets. Test the hose flexibility — if it feels stiff or you notice any cracking replace it immediately. Also make sure the machine is draining properly.

Examine the Water Heater

Look for any signs of water or sediment underneath the tank — this can be a sign of internal corrosion. Also check around the temperature/pressure relief valve for drips, rust, or build up of any kind. You should also make note of the water temperature and water pressure. Too much pressure can put undue stress on your pipes and appliances and decrease their lifespan.

Fix Small Issues Early

Take the time to complete weekend projects like replacing leaky faucets or descaling your water heater. Taking care of small problems in a timely manner can really add up to big savings in terms of preventing costly repairs down the line.

The experts at Vanmech Plumbing are always available if you have questions or need assistance with any plumbing maintenance. Contact us today for an inspection in your home. You can also find great instructions and tricks of the trade on our blog.