What to Do if Your Office Has a Major Plumbing Problem

Sharing is caring!

Plumbing emergencies aren’t very common. When they occur, the emergency is often caused by a clog or old pipes. Commercial properties that receive a lot of traffic, especially the bathroom, may see plumbing problems if they’re not well-maintained.

It’s important to take swift action if your office experiences an obvious leak, sewer odors, or water temperature issues.

The following are five steps to take if your office has a major plumbing problem.

1.     Move Electronics Away from the Problem Area

When someone at the office realizes that there’s a plumbing problem, move all electronics away from the affected area. Plumbing issues always involve water. Sewage backups can cause electrical problems too.

Shut off all items that require electricity near the impacted area, including heavy machinery.

Plumbing problems aren’t predictable. There may be signs that something’s not functioning as intended, but there’s no way to predict how quickly a drip can become a flood.

The first step is to exercise caution as soon as a plumbing problem is spotted.

2.   Shut Off the Main Water Valve

Next, shut off the main water valve. If the water is leaking slowly, turn off the water to the affected area promptly. The drip may turn into a leak quickly. At the office, it’s best to exercise caution.

When the plumbing problem is already flooding, someone knowledgeable in the office’s plumbing must shut down the water valve with a sense of urgency. Water spreads far and wide. The further it flows out, the more area will require water damage repair.

Office carpets don’t have thick fibers, but they still absorb moisture. To prevent mold and bacteria growth, everything that gets soaked requires professional cleanup.

3.   Shut Off the Water Heater

After shutting off the water, shut off the water heater. If the water is off, but not the heater, it continues to heat what’s left in the tank. Commercial water heaters hold at least 100 gallons of water. Since there’s a leak at the office, the tank is emptying.

If the water heater tank empties, it continues to heat. The heat may not spark a fire, but it will emanate an odor. In the middle of an office plumbing problem, it’s best to keep it at that as opposed to adding more concerns.

Water heaters have evolved. Tankless heaters exist for residences and commercial spaces. The tankless water heater raises the temperature of the water on demand. To be on the safe side, shut it down anyway.

4.   Assess the Plumbing Problem

With the water valve and water heater shut off, you have the freedom to assess the plumbing damage in your office safely.

Keep in mind that most offices do not have plumbing professionals on staff. However, your office building or complex may employ plumbing technicians or retain a plumbing company for emergencies.

The human resources department or the office administrator may receive the responsibility of documenting the plumbing problem and damage. It’s a good idea to note the location of the plumbing issue. In addition, take note of the source.

For example, is the source a toilet that’s obviously clogged?

Is there sewage backing up into the sinks and toilet?

Are the carpets absorbing water and sewage?

All office plumbing problems pose a threat to employee health. As the issue receives an assessment, clear out employees, staff, and other workers from the area. In some cases, they should take their lunch or head home for the day.

If the problem’s source extends beyond plumbing, you could be facing a need for commercial construction to repair the damage. You’ll find more information about commercial construction here.

5.   Call the Professionals

The final step during a major plumbing problem at the office is to call the professionals. Some office parks, complexes, and buildings have on-staff maintenance crews who are knowledgeable in plumbing.

If there isn’t a maintenance member available, call a local plumbing company that answers emergency commercial calls. Taking care of the issue promptly is vital.


The good news is that office plumbing problems don’t occur frequently. Well-maintained commercial plumbing systems won’t clog, backup, or stop operating unless something major occurs. Keeping the contact information of a local plumber who services offices, especially emergency calls, is a solid move, just in case.

Sharing is caring!

Speak Your Mind