There are things you can do to stay on top of commercial plumbing issues
Commercial plumbing is complex, which causes any process of fixing it to be as equally challenging. Plus, the expense of patching up your plumbing network is costly. If you’re into saving unnecessary payments, there are ways to help you achieve that. Here are the practices to keep your commercial plumbing highly functional.
1. Better be safe than sorry – Preventive is key
Checking out and finding potential errors in your plumbing system is the right move to prevent any further damage later on. Especially with all the facilities sitting around during the pandemic, you might want to make sure they won’t break in the next few months.
Always have your facilities checked out after a period of time
It would be best if you considered having your plumbing network examined after using it for several months. It will save you a good deal of expense later on.
2. Scout around for error indications
If you’re taking on a commercial plumbing job, take your time and observe the surroundings. Try to inspect every aspect of the building to spot any leaks or dripping outlets. Any small leaks will turn into a complete disaster. Unlike residential plumbing, you need to pay attention to minor dripping points in the system. Read more about the differences between the two types of plumbing here.
You should look for common issues in the building’s plumbing system, such as:
a. Pipe, faucet, and other types of leaks
People usually look past dripping and leaking fixtures because they don’t think those are going to cause any damage. However, those small leaks can waste 3000 gallons of water yearly. Look for a worn-out O-shaped ring on any pipe as a sign of a potential leak. Factor the leaks in and you can figure out a way to improve the plumbing network overall.
b. Clogged drains and toilets
Due to the nature of commercial plumbing, a small clog can cause severe consequences to the network, affecting many people. Water damage is inevitable if clogs are left unchecked. A small clog in the system can cause the draining to slow down exponentially. The worst-case scenario would be overflowing.
If you notice slow draining in your water system, it can be the result of a clogged drain.
c. Quiet leaks
Leaks that make no sound is more difficult to find. You won’t notice any signs until the leak happens, wasting thousands of dollars of water bills. The trick to this is to have every toilet tested to prevent this type of leakage.
d. Issues related to water temperature
If you spot the water not being in the desired temperature (too hot or too cold, perhaps), check the water heater. A problem is probably at play if you don’t see the heater leaking as expected. Make sure you’ve inspected the heater thoroughly for any blocked-off pipes or valves.
Should you be aware that the water heater has been used for a long time, schedule a maintenance or replacement if you can.
3. Periodic Maintenance
Speaking of maintenance, this is one of the important practices to keep your commercial plumbing highly functional. Scheduling maintenance sessions every 2 to 3 months should be the ideal thing to execute. Following the preventive method stated above, you will prevent catastrophic complications from happening to your own or your client’s systems.
The period between each session depends on the facilities and fixtures. However, certain factors should be included:
Carefully check for silent leaks.
Inspect the water heater thoroughly.
Take some time to spot signs of overflowing.
Read the water pressure monitor to make sure the level is correct.
If you have to use chemical drain cleaners, steer clear of those containing bleach.
Oily or greasy substances cannot go near sinks or drains.
Have freeze protection around pipe joins and water outlets in case of cold weather.
Suggest using the sink and drain strainers to keep clogs and foreign objects away from the pipes.
Look out for any minor issues regarding commercial plumbing within your clients’ buildings.
Manage personnel using software to assign tasks and keep track of the progress appropriately.
Leaves no shut-off valves falsely open.
4. Repair the trap
Traps beneath the bathrooms usually break when you try to pull them up for repair. Fixing them helps your working space much cleaner and keeps you from backtracking due to minor errors.
5. Using heat to loosen stuck pipes
Old, stuck, rusted, swollen pipes are hard to open using brute force or two opposing wrenches. In that case, a blow torch might come in handy. After several minutes of reheating the connection, you can separate the two pipes more easily.
6. Protect the pipes against cold weather
During winters or freezing weather, pipes can make creaking sounds. This happens because they shrink during cold weather and expand in the heat, thus making them scratch the walls and hangar brackets.
You can easily counter this by wrapping protection on the pipes where they usually scratch other objects. This will prevent the sounds from happening when the pipes are cool and heated.
7. How to handle thread tape and pipe dope
Pipe dope and thread tape are the two most common items any professional plumber should have. Both of them are used to minimize or prevent leaks from your pipes.
Tapes are really useful when you work in places with lots of carpets since your workplace will be much cleaner. However, thread tape is only for thread connections. Therefore, the best application should be wrapping the tape clockwise. As you screw the pipes together, the tape will also be wrapped in place.
As for pipe dopes, they are more efficient when it comes to almost every plumbing application, as they can help you seal loose pipes or connections. With such utilities, you can use them to reinforce or secure ground and compression fittings. If you have dopes that are safe to use for plastic, you can use them with rubber seals. That will make repairing things much easier later on.
8. Not everything needs to be metal
Metal is a great material for a plumbing system. However, it doesn’t need to be in every part of the network. Plastic components like pipes can rid you of rust or corrosion issues and keep your expenses down.
Therefore, when you have to replace any part of the plumbing system, whether it’s for your client or yourself, consider plastic components since you can swap them out effortlessly in the future.
Those are the eight practices to keep your commercial plumbing highly functional. Most of them require proficient plumbing skills. If you can take your time and master all of them, any upcoming tasks won’t be as much of an issue. If you don’t have time to take care of those commercial plumbing problems, give us a call. We’re based in San Jose and can handle any of your plumbing problems with due care.