Preventing Plumbing Problems:
Efficient plumbing systems are essential for smooth facility operation, but all too often they are overlooked until a problem arises.
One strategy for developing a preventive or predictive maintenance program for plumbing systems is to focus on locations in plumbing systems that traditionally cause problems. By commissioning Boilers Repaired and Plumbing to carry out a survey; our engineers can sometimes identify potential problems early enough to take preventative measures to remove the potential for serious problems at a later date.
Traditional trouble spots
Water and gas lines suffer varying pressure and consequently become common trouble spots, even though in the case of drainage trouble can also occur in drain and sewer lines that are under very little pressure. The pipe systems carrying both hot and cold water are usually made of copper. Therefore the piping itself is not usually a major problem (unless it is very old, in which case leaks usually occur first at the joints and then in pipe walls) this is normally due to the thinning of the wall from corrosion or erosion.
Problems most often occur in the fittings - water valves, pipe elbows, tees, unions etc. Since valves contain moving parts, rubber O-rings and packing, the main problems stem from normal wear and tear.
Early warning signs
Visible leaks usually are the first signs of trouble with plumbing fixtures and piping. Sometimes, however, the only indication is discoloration at the source of the leak. A rust stain on steel pipe or a blue-green copper oxide corrosion stain on a copper pipe might be the only indication if the leak is very small. This situation is especially true with seldom-used valves. Since no water flows around the seat or moving parts, minerals keep building up on them, creating a permanent seal, then once the valve is operated the minerals are disturbed and the valve begins to leak.
A gas leak is another early warning sign of general plumbing problems. The first step in case of a gas leak is isolating the gas supply by turning off the shut off valve attached to your gas meter. If the service entrance line on the supplier's side of the meter is the source of the problem, the gas supplier will fix it. If it is on the facility side of the meter, the engineer will isolate the supply if you have not already done so and we will be happy to arrange for one of our Gas Safe registered engineers to attend and repair it.
If unsure, contact Boilers Repaired and Plumbing Technical Services Department to determine responsibility for the drainage system.