The plumbing in your new restaurant will be mostly out of sight once the facility is complete. Yet your hidden plumbing system is a key part of your very existence as a food service business. Water is necessary for everything from safe food preparation to adequate tableware-washing. Without it, you can’t keep your guests and the local health inspector happy.
When designing your new restaurant, designate a plumbing specialist from the very start of the project. This is especially important when you want to run a sustainable restaurant. Ask yourself the following questions as you plan your restaurant plumbing layout.
Is There Enough Water for Worst-Case Scenarios?
A finite amount of water flows into your business from the main water source. In a restaurant, the water must be delivered at a strong enough pressure to accommodate water needs at your:
- Food preparation areas
- Ice makers
- Bar sinks
- Dishwashers and pot sinks
- Mop sinks
- Water heaters
- Fire sprinkler systems
- Restroom sinks and toilets
- Steamers and beverage machines
Radiant heating systems and boilers also require water to operate. If you have seafood tanks or other specialty water needs, you need even more pipes.
All of these areas of your restaurant must receive enough water pressure to allow for adequate flow for equipment and task needs. If you use an abnormal amount of water to prepare for a large catering event, will there be enough water in the system to run the sprinklers if there’s a fire? When someone flushes the toilet in a guest restroom, will the pressure decrease in the prep-room sink?
A qualified plumber designs your kitchen water system so there is ample water supply and pressure for all of your food service needs. The plumbing expert helps you prioritize your water needs as you design your restaurant so you don’t have issues after you open for business.
Can Your Plumbing Be Contained in a Core?
One of the most efficient commercial and residential plumbing layouts is the “core” plan. Instead of installing plumbing fixtures wherever you like, you concentrate the fixtures and pipes so they’re contained in a smaller space.
For example, in one restaurant design, you would place your dishwasher and pot sinks on one side of a wall, and have the restroom sinks and toilets installed on the other side of the wall. The pipes running from the water supply and to waste lines are shorter, since the plumbing fixtures are contained along one wall. This means less cooling of long hot water lines, too.
If you have a two-story facility, you can stack plumbing fixtures above those on the lower floor to reduce pipe length. When you build using less plumbing pipe, you’re engaged in a sustainable practice. The shorter pipe lengths can also help ensure good water pressure.
It’s not always feasible to design a building with a core plumbing system. There may be other layout or aesthetic concerns that won’t allow for this type of plan. But it’s wise to try to consolidate your fixtures as much as possible to reduce pipe volume and increase the accessibility of your pipes.
Have You Checked Out Commercial Low Flow Products?
The goal of any green business is lower water usage. As a restaurant owner, you know this is a huge challenge in a kitchen. Fortunately, there are many new Energy Star-labeled food service products available for commercial plumbing systems.
Dishwashers and water heaters come in commercial models that are highly energy efficient. You’ll save on utility costs when you invest in these appliances.
A pre-rinse sprayer is one of the most important items for your dishwashing crew. Traditional sprayers use three to six gallons per minute to operate. New, low-flow sprayers only need two gallons per minute to get the job done.
One cost-savings calculator determined that a low-flow pre-rinse sprayer that’s used only one hour per day saves $200 a year in water costs compared to a traditional sprayer. Multiply that amount times the hours your sprayer is actually in use each day and the water-conserving sprayer becomes a very valuable investment.
On-demand hot water heaters are another option to save energy in your restaurant. However, not all tankless water heaters are up to the heavy demands of a working restaurant. Consult with a plumber first before deciding on your water heater types. A professional plumber helps you calculate how much hot water you need from a water heater and helps you source the tank-style or tankless appliances that are best for your specific food service operation.
You need a plumber for other restaurant water considerations, including your waste water system. If you plan to have a grease trap installed, you’ll need a separate system for that feature. A qualified commercial plumber will help you plan for all of your drainage needs..
Contact Rakeman Plumbing today to start designing your new restaurant plumbing system. We have nearly 60 years of experience in commercial and residential plumbing installation and repair. We’ll help you refurbish or install a brand new system in your Las Vegas food service business.