Commercial plumbing systems are designed to provide many years of reliable service with few problems. Commercial systems are typically more robust than residential systems. However, over time, even the sturdiest commercial plumbing systems will begin to show signs of wear and will need replacement or an upgrade. The following four signs can help you and your facility's managers determine if your commercial building plumbing is ready to be replaced.
Maintaining Commercial Building Plumbing
Commercial building plumbing will, as a rule, receive more wear and tear than residential plumbing. Even though commercial-grade pipes, fixtures and plumbing components are designed to endure substantial use, they will eventually start showing signs that indicate an upgrade or replacement will be necessary. Commercial plumbing systems can be stressed by factors such as:
- Employee use: A large number of employees using bathroom facilities each day will put substantial stress on a building's plumbing system. Larger multi-story buildings can have hundreds of employees, all of whom need to use restrooms, wash their hands and use kitchenette sinks. Even smaller commercial buildings can have dozens of employees who need the use of a reliable plumbing system every day.
- Public restrooms: Even more than employees, public restrooms can place extreme demands on a commercial plumbing system. It would not be unusual for hundreds or thousands of customers to use the plumbing system of a large retail or commercial establishment every day. These customers will be flushing toilets, running sinks and using drinking fountains constantly. Inconsiderate customers may leave sinks running or may flush objects down the toilet that weren't meant to go into commercial building plumbing.
- Commercial water needs: If your company needs a large and steady supply of water for your commercial activities, your plumbing system will be under constant stress to provide that water. Even systems designed for handling millions of gallons of water per year will eventually need upgrading or replacement.
Physical stress from heavy use is one of the major factors that cause plumbing systems to wear out. Corrosion inside the pipes can also be a cause of problems such as pipe damage and leaks. Seals at connections can break or come loose over time. All of these problems can lead to water leaks, plumbing system malfunctions or sewer leaks.
To help prolong the functional life of your commercial plumbing system, you should have the pipes, fixtures and other components inspected regularly. In many cases, if minor issues are discovered in time, they can be corrected before they become significant problems that may require large-scale repair or replacement of plumbing systems. Contact your local trusted plumbing professional for guidance on plumbing system inspections and preventive maintenance.
Four Signs Indicating an Upgrade
The following four signs can be a reliable indicator of potential problems with your commercial building plumbing. If you have noticed these indicators, contact your plumbing professional for expert help in determining the condition of your plumbing system and for help making upgrades if needed.
- Stains: Water stains on walls and underneath plumbing pipes could indicate leaks that mean pipe replacement will be needed soon.
- Leaks: Obvious leaks and drips are the most reliable signs of plumbing problems that could require pipe or fixture replacements.
- Pipe and tubing damage: Damage or changes in the physical characteristics of plumbing pipes and tubing can signal the need for replacement. Look for dents, dimpling, flaking and discoloration.
- Water color: Discoloration of the water in your plumbing system could be a sign of corrosion inside the pipes. Brown or yellow water is common when pipes are decaying. When water begins to show discoloration, a pipe replacement will most likely be necessary soon.
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