restaurant plumbing - kitchen

Restaurant Plumbing Do’s and Don’ts

You may think that restaurant plumbing is similar to the plumbing in a kitchen or bathroom at home, and to some extent, that’s true. But restaurants get a lot more wear and tear, and use a lot more water on a regular basis than pretty much any home. Restaurant plumbing requires specific considerations, and if you own or manage a restaurant, there are a few things you should make sure that everyone on your team knows in order to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape.

Restaurant Kitchen Safety

In most kitchens, there is at least one commercial sized sink for washing dishes and usually another in a vegetable or food prep area. There is probably a drain and a hose in the mop closet, and there are probably floor drains throughout the dish area in the kitchen as well. Not to mention the plumbing that hooks up to any drink dispensers, steam closets, and don’t forget your commercial bathrooms.

Anywhere that there is potential slipping hazard, such as around drains on the floor, your restaurant kitchen should have special textured tiles or rubber mats to help prevent slips. Anywhere that there is extremely hot water or steam used, there should be a thermometer or an easy indication for someone to tell how hot the water is. And in all kitchen setups your water shut off controls should be easy to access and checked regularly to make sure they function easily. If there is ever a flood or leak, you don’t want to then have to deal with a valve that doesn’t work and you can’t stop the water from running.

No. 1 Problem in Restaurant Plumbing: Grease Clogs

Clogged pipes. No doubt about it, the worst problem that commercial plumbers have to deal with in kitchens is pipes that are clogged – specifically by globs of grease.

Always make sure that your employees are aware never to pour grease down the drain.

Grease from fryers, grills, and ovens will congeal and solidify along the interiors of your restaurant plumbing and cause massive backups and potentially dangerous clogs.

kitchen plumbing - clogs in kitchen sinks
What a lovely, clog-free sink.

Most commercial plumbers also recommend against using a drain cleaner to unclog a drain that seems to be stuck. Talk to your plumber about the best quick-fix solution for when you have a clogged drain – because it might depend on the drain and the specific type of clog you suspect. Grease clogs can sometimes be temporarily loosened with a solution of white vinegar or a small snake, however as with most kitchen problems – prevent them instead of cure them. Most commercial plumbers will recommend installing grease traps in your sinks or can discuss different methods of grease disposal that don’t involve pouring them down the drain.

Mop Sink Clogs

Another reason you shouldn’t use drain cleaner is that it will be completely ineffective on certain types of clogs. If your mop sink is clogged because strands from your rope mop have worked themselves down into the drain, there is nothing that will get them out except for the right professional with the right equipment.

No. 2 Problem in Restaurant Plumbing: Bathroom Backups

Most of the plumbing in a commercial bathroom will be similar to the plumbing in a residential bathroom, but it will be much more complicated. Because they’re typically more fixtures. The problem with public bathrooms is that often people will attempt to flush things that shouldn’t be flushed. Now, they don’t do this in their own homes, or they would know that flushing these items causes backup. But for whatever reason, people try to flush feminine hygiene products, personal wipes, and even cell phones(!) down public toilets.

When you’re experiencing a bathroom backup in your restaurant plumbing, it can be a bigger problem than just in the bathroom, as the smell can travel into your kitchen or dining area. Most commercial plumbers recommend that you call right away for bathroom issues, even if it is over the weekend. The longer you wait, the more difficult the problem may be to resolve.

Restaurant bathrooms must be kept in tip-top plumbing shape too.
Restaurant bathrooms must be kept in tip-top plumbing shape too.

Don’t Trust an Amateur

Some guy with a wrench or your friend who apprenticed as a residential plumber – these are not the guys to call with your restaurant plumbing issues. Whether you need preventative maintenance or have an issue that needs to be addressed, calling the professionals is the only way to get the results you and your restaurant deserve.

master plumber industrial pipes

What Does it Take to be a Master Plumber?

Although many people like to call themselves a “master” at their trade or skill set, the designation of “Master Plumber” is a specific and meaningful title. In the plumbing industry, people who are called “master” are only called that because they have met a set of rigorous and important standards. They have passed all the tests and are true craftsmen (and women!) who have mastered all the plumbing skills. Master plumbers deserve the recognition and respect of masters in any other field of study or business – but most people don’t know what hard work goes into their positions.

Education Requirements to be a Master Plumber

To advance to the rank of Master, a plumber must first go through the ranks of Student, Apprentice, and Journeyman. Each of these includes different educational and hands-on practical experience requirements.

There is not an advanced college degree required to become a Master Plumber. After high school, a person can attend a vocational or technical college class to learn the basics of plumbing. At this level, the person is the Student, learning about the math of plumbing, the designs of piping, and the simple aspects that all types of plumbers need to know.

A pre-apprentice program might offer classes on how to read blueprints, building codes, installation methodology, and more. It may take two years to complete these courses. After completing the courses for a Student Plumber, the person then applies for a professional apprenticeship.

A master plumber can read a plumbing blueprint
A master plumber can read a plumbing blueprint.

Professional Requirements to be a Master Plumber

Level 1: Apprentice

Depending on the requirements of your state, you can expect to be an Apprentice Plumber for at least five or six years. And depending on the specifics of the plumbing that you become involved in – such as “green” plumbing techniques, residential plumbing, or commercial and industrial plumbing – you may need to attend different classes hosted by professional plumbing organizations or other Master plumbers. During your time as an apprentice, you will work on a team under the direction of other Journeymen Plumbers and Master Plumbers, who will ensure that you have the practical knowledge to problem-solve and apply solutions to a wide variety of plumbing issues.

Level 2: Journeyman

After completing your Plumbing Apprenticeship, you can continue to build a team of apprentices under you, while developing your skills under the supervision of a Master Plumber. At this mid-level, you are considered a Journeyman Plumber, and you will be pushed to learn more advanced skills and solve more difficult problems. You may take training and educational courses offered by plumbing organizations, in order to advance your technical knowledge. And you also may choose to return to college for business, math, or computer software classes (such as computer aided drafting – or CAD – classes) to advance your knowledge and skill set as technology changes.

At minimum, expect to stay at the Journeyman level for four years. Many people remain in the Journeyman stage for as many as eight or ten years, developing a range and variety of skills or becoming incredibly knowledgeable in a particular industry. Many Journeymen Plumbers are preparing to open their own plumbing businesses when they become Masters, and may stay in this position for longer than it takes to complete the minimum training requirements.

Reaching Master Plumber Level

Finally, after working as an Apprentice and a Journeyman, you will take the certification exam that tests both practical and theoretical knowledge, as well as federal and state building codes and regulations. Once completed, you are a Master Plumber.

A Master Plumber knows how to approach every situation.
A Master Plumber knows how to approach every situation.

By the time you have become a Master Plumber, you can expect that you will have spent at least ten years (two in school, plus at least eight working toward different levels of hands-on experience), dedicated to building this career. Although, many people don’t advance to a Master Plumber level until they have twelve or fifteen years of experience. So don’t be surprised when you meet a very knowledgeable Master Plumber.

Wage for a Master Plumber

Many Masters open their own businesses and take on previous Apprentices as Journeymen or recruit other outstanding plumbers to their service. It can be a good career path to establish a family business or even a franchise. According to recent data, the average Master Plumber in the U.S. makes in the mid-50-thousands every year, which varies by location and specifics of the plumber’s certifications. As a small business owner, becoming a Master Plumber is one way to remain relevant and growing with tomorrow’s cities.

How to Choose the Right Faucet

Choosing the right kind of kitchen faucet can be tricky. There are multiple brands, styles, prices, and materials for you to select from. In today’s post, we’ll look at the top faucet brands – from Moen to Kohler to Delta kitchen faucets. We hope today’s post we’ll help you pick the right kind to choose in your home.

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Is It Time for a New Bathroom?

Ideally, we want a bathroom space that reflects our personal taste and style. At the same time, we want a bathroom that can provide all the comfort we need. Moreover, it’s also essential to find the right bathroom amenities and fixtures that deliver value, function, and attractiveness. Thus, when it comes to bathroom remodeling, picking the proper design with careful planning should be your priority.

If you want to make the bathroom of your dreams a reality, follow the tips we have prepared for you today.

Planning Is Key

Before you even get in touch with a bathroom remodeling company, you should first discuss the would-be changes and renovations with everyone who will be using the bathroom space. Talk with family members and see what their opinions are on certain finishes and fixtures. Most importantly, discuss what your budget is; unexpected problems may occur that will increase the cost, and you want to make sure you will have those covered.

Planning would go a long way when it comes to your bathroom renovation plans, especially as you move along with the renovation project. Once the renovation has begun, expect the project to take anywhere between 30 and 90 days, maybe even more. No matter how long it would take, avoid changing your initial plans and budget stipulations – unless serious issues or financial constraints should arise. Changing your plans during the renovation will have you unwillingly shell out more money and extend the completion date, which would be significant drawbacks.

If you’re having a challenging time planning your bathroom remodel, speak with a professional remodeling contractor and get their expert advice. He or she can handle the scheduling and coordinating for all the vendors and installers involved in the project. A professional can also guide you in setting the right bathroom remodeling vision that will suit your style and needs.

Picking Bathroom Layouts

A typical bathroom comes with a toilet, a sink, and a bathtub. Many have optional extras such as a shower area and a bidet. Double sinks are also getting more popular among homeowners, especially in master bathrooms where the sinks are often used by a couple.

 

 

A customized bathroom is filled with several suite fixtures – similar to a typical bathroom. Customized and standard bathrooms differ in the final, completed design. A customized bathroom’s final design will usually be completed with several built-in cabinets around the room and matching countertop.

Floor Plans

To maximize savings during your bathroom remodeling or demolition project, it’s highly advisable to have the new bathroom plumbing fixtures near the existing plumbing. However, if your bathroom remodeller sees old plumbing or outdated wiring, then it’s their professional discretion to tell you to gut out the old wires and pipes and install new ones. This feat may add to the cost, but your safety is priceless; outdated plumbing and wiring will only mean further damage down the road.

If your remodeling project is limited and you need to keep the existing footprint, try not to worry too much. There are tips and strategies to give the impression of a bigger space. For example, make use of pedestal sinks. These sinks are a popular pick in small bathroom spaces as they can make the area look more spacious. Also, clear glass shower doors are a better pick than shower curtains. The latter blocks natural light coming in, making the space look more dim and enclosed. Likewise, instead of a medicine cabinet mirror, opt for a big mirror. A big mirror will give the illusion of a bigger space.

Lighting and Ventilation

Although elegant water fixtures would add elegance and timelessness to your bathroom, luxurious and sufficient bathroom lighting would definitely elevate your space to new heights. Additionally, a well-designed vanity lighting will help eliminate shadows on your face as you get ready. Combining LED recessed lighting with elegant wall sconces by the bathroom mirror is a great lighting idea. When it gets too bright, you can always opt for dimmer switches. Moreover, overhead and perimeter lightings are very important for the bathroom.

During a bathroom remodeling project, it’s a common mistake to overlook ventilation solutions. What homeowners are not aware of is that adequate ventilation is absolutely vital, especially in ensuring the bathroom renovation project lasts for many years. A bathroom without proper ventilation is a good place for mold and mildew to grow, which could damage the upgrades you installed during the remodel. A high-quality fan will provide good indoor air quality and prevent the growth of mold and mildew, so make sure you include a bathroom fan in your remodeling plans.