An Alternative to Trenching for Commercial Food Service Establishments

Blog 09/20/2022

An Alternative to Trenching for  Commercial Food Service Establishments

Opening a commercial food service establishment can be complicated if you don’t have the necessary resources. You have to think about finding an optimal location, buying proper equipment, and getting everything up to code to operate your business. Additionally, you must ensure your equipment or appliances are running reliably and efficiently.

You will also need to have multiple fixtures running simultaneously to handle a multitude of customers. For example, a bar will need an ice station, a sink area, and a dishwasher system to maintain effective workflow.

Adding additional fixtures for increased efficiency

The dream of a new restaurant or the opportunity of expanding a business or its capabilities presents many challenges. One substantial hurdle is the plumbing for new appliances.

Installing conventional plumbing requires major construction, including trenching, i.e., busting through the floor or concrete to install drain lines. In fact, it will be even more expensive and complicated if your space is in an older building or high-rise, where it's difficult to change the plumbing infrastructure. In some cases, it might even be impossible to break through the concrete to install plumbing. This, in turn, might lead you to reconsider simpler and more cost-efficient options

Luckily, an above-floor drain pump system is an effective, cost-efficient alternative to time-consuming, labor-intensive trenching. The heavy-duty Sanicom 1 and 2 drain pump systems, made by SFA Saniflo, are used to pump gray water away from a variety of fixtures in commercial and residential applications.

Sanicom 2, the latest model (depicted to the right), offers a more powerful companion to its popular predecessor, the Sanicom 1 simplex drain pump. The Sanicom 2 is equipped with two, 2-horsepower, 220-volt motors for handling large volumes of high-temperature water, grease, or chemicals.

The dual pump system of the Sanicom 2, with its ability to handle more fixtures for commercial food establishments with multiple stations, can move up to 140 gallons of fluid per minute. Like the Sanicom 1, the new duplex model can accommodate fluids up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for industrial-scale dishwashers and other commercial and industrial applications requiring wastewater evacuation.

For most commercial applications codes require owners to have a duplex system.  A duplex system minimizes downtime which is an important aspect for restaurateurs because downtime can result in lost profits.  The Sanicom 2, is the only duplex drain pump on the market today and offers a fail-safe activation. Its fail-proof sensing mechanism system detects the water level inside the Sanicom 2, and consists of three pressure switches, each installed in its own internal dip tube. With three different switches, it is nearly impossible for the unit to fail to activate with incoming fluids.

In addition, the Sanicom 2, provides an even stronger power for discharges and chemical drain resistance, while also pumping the waste away up to 32 feet vertically and/or 390 feet horizontally through a 1.5-inch diameter pipe. The drain pump works with a pressure switch instead of a float system, managing soaps, detergents, small food particles, and even acidic chemicals.

Both drain pumps can satisfy the needs of those looking to add additional appliances, remodel their kitchen or bar, and upgrade their drain system for their food-service establishment.

Remodeling Your Kitchen Area for Your Commercial Food Service Establishment

If you operate your commercial food service establishment in a high-rise building or an older structure, you will find out that it is not so simple or easy to bust through the concrete. Besides the expense, the mess and the hassles, breaking into concrete can sometimes affect the integrity of the building.

 In March 2020, Revelstoke Coffee shop owner Alex Stoyle had everything he needed to make his modern-style coffee shop come to life. He had the inspiration, the name, and the space to renovate in downtown Concord, New Hampshire. But he also faced one major, unavoidable problem: plumbing. [Read original case study]

Stoyle was leasing his coffee shop (cafe image attached) in an almost two-hundred-year-old building, and he knew how challenging it would be to install a conventional, below-floor pipeline to drain all his equipment, which includes two espresso machines, a dishwasher, an ice machine, a three-base sink, two prep sinks, and a reverse osmosis water filter.

"To run conventional plumbing, we would've had to ruin the unit below us and drill through the walls of the building," he explains. "It would've been an absolute nightmare."

Fortunately, Stoyle’s plumber recommended, without hesitation, above-floor drain pump technology from Saniflo; specifically, the Sanicom 1 (depicted to the right). Three of these drain pumps were put in place to discharge the gray water from the eight kitchen fixtures, and the installation spanned three days, according to Stoyle.

“Most of it didn’t have anything to do with the pumps, which took one day,” he explains, adding that the most significant challenge was running the discharge pipe to the basement and drilling through the brick walls to vent through the ceiling.

“None of our challenges pertained to the pumps. Once we ran the pipes, we basically just plugged the pumps in.”

For business operators like Stoyle, the Sanicom systems can help create an effective workstation without breaking the bank or the floors. The three Sanicom 1 units have easily handled Revelstoke’s eight appliances with zero complications. Referring again to the one-day installation, Stoyle notes:

“That’s impressive compared with how long it would’ve taken were we to install conventional plumbing — assuming it were even possible!”

So, if you are thinking about opening a commercial food service establishment, or if you are renovating an existing space, depend on Saniflo to solve your drainage problems with lower installation costs and no below-floor construction.

If you do, you will likely agree with Revelstoke’s Alex Stoyle that switching to Saniflo above-floor plumbing systems is a no-brainer:

“The Sanicom 1 units are an excellent solution for commercial-kitchen applications where conventional plumbing just isn’t possible.”