New Case Study – McDonald’s

The Problem

A franchisee contacted us with repeated blockages and flooding coming from a pipe leading from a drinks machine in their restaurant. Staff had attempted to clear the blockage repeatedly however the problems continued.

Site Visit

The next morning we arranged a site visit and gained access to the pipe via a crawl space the owner had been unaware was even there. We identified the pipe and completed a CCTV survey of it where we found the blockage was caused by a combination of a build up of scale (likely sugar syrup from the drinks machine) and a brush stuck inside it. This was
probably the result of one of the attempts by staff to clear the blockage themselves.

No Standard Solutions

We reviewed the evidence and looked at what we could do to help. The normal solution would be to use high pressure water jetting to attempt to clear the blockage, however given the small diameter of the pipe and the brush being lodged firmly at a change to an even smaller diameter pipe made this impossible.

Our Solution

We advised our client that the best way forward would be to use a specialist piece of cutting equipment. This would be powerful enough to strip away the scale of hard set syrup and break the brush free from where it was lodged.

We used the cutter to strip the scale from the sides of the pipe, increasing its diameter and helping to prevent further blockages, we then were able to dislodge the brush from the pipe with the cutter and pull it out using retrieval rods.

Before and after removing scale and blockage

Lessons Learnt

It’s tempting to attempt to fix drainage problems yourself, that if there are blockages you can simply dislodge them yourself. Sometimes this might work, but when it doesn’t you can often make the problem much worse. What happened here was an attempt to clean the pipe by using a brush and ended up blocking the pipe almost completely. Your first action should be to
contact professionals with the right equipment and get the job done properly.