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Summer Plumbing Tips for Commercial Buildings

Picture - Summer Plumbing Tips for Commercial Buildings

From office buildings to industrial facilities and everything in between, commercial plumbing systems manage large volumes of water and waste effectively and efficiently. While proper maintenance throughout the year is important, the warmer months bring their own set of challenges. If you’re looking for guidance, these 10 summer plumbing tips for commercial buildings will help you make sure everything stays safe and sanitary for as long as possible.

Note: Some of the tasks mentioned in this guide will need to be completed by a licensed plumber or authorized technician.

Watch for Leaks

Although the effects of cold weather on pipes are well known, many people aren’t aware of how summer heat affects plumbing. High temperatures can cause the metal to expand, leading to cracks where leaks develop. Intense sunlight can damage pipes as well, so it’s a good idea to cover outdoor pipes to reduce heat absorption and UV exposure during the hottest months.

Maintain the Sprinkler System

Making sure your outdoor irrigation system is working properly is one of the most important summer plumbing tips for commercial buildings. If you have a spray system, make sure the sprinklers aren’t clogged with debris or blocked by plants. For a drip line, ensure it has good coverage and isn’t damaged. Correcting these inefficiencies will reduce water waste, resulting in long-term cost savings.

Clear Storm Sewers

Hot weather often brings strong storms with heavy downpours. If this water doesn’t flow out of the property quickly, it can flood parking lots and landscaped areas, as well as back up through the sewer line into basements and lower levels. Considering the health risk and structural damage flood waters can cause, don’t forget to clear storm sewers of brush, garbage and debris so that runoff can drain away easily. 

Clean Gutters & Downspouts

Cleaning gutters and downspouts of blockages is critical for preventing water damage to the walls and roof, so be sure to check for tree leaves and bird nests in the drainage system. If you want to be proactive, Ohio-based roofing company Exterior Alliance suggests installing gutter guards for your commercial property to keep leaves, twigs, animals and debris from entering gutters and downspouts in the first place.

Check Water Pressure

Increased demand with outdoor watering and decreased supply from infrequent rainfall can lead to lower municipal water pressure in the summer. In order to minimize the impact on your commercial building, repair any leaks and remove mineral buildup in the plumbing so that water can flow as freely and easily as possible. If your building is multiple stories high, consider installing a booster pump so that the upper floors have consistent water pressure.

Inspect the Water Heater

From checking for leaks to flushing out sediment, commercial water heater maintenance should take place in the summer so that you can solve issues before the cold weather comes. It’s also a good time to check for corrosion, as well as consider upgrading to a larger or more efficient unit if the current one isn’t sufficient.

Educate Staff Members

While training employees is important year round, summer is the perfect time to teach them basic plumbing skills, such as how to spot leaks before they get worse or shut off water valves in emergencies. You can also take this opportunity to reiterate the importance of prevention, including commercial kitchen plumbing tips like not pouring grease down the drain, so that you can keep issues from developing in the first place.

Install Efficient Fixtures

As explained in a AAAPlumbers.com article, efficient plumbing fixtures like low-flow toilets and faucet aerators can help commercial buildings reduce their water usage by up to 30%. Limiting water use can be especially important in areas where summer droughts and water restrictions are common, so plan to make these upgrades before the hot weather arrives.

Prepare for Winter

From insulating outdoor pipes to sealing gaps in walls, many winter commercial plumbing maintenance tasks should be completed during the summer. And since meltwater from snow and ice means that good drainage is just as important in the winter, be sure to unblock storm sewers and clear roof gutters both at the beginning and end of summer.

Integrate with HVAC

Whether it’s rooftop unit condensate draining through the sewer line or furnace-heated air keeping water pipes from bursting, a commercial building’s plumbing and HVAC systems work hand in hand. If you schedule maintenance with a licensed plumber, arrange an inspection with an authorized HVAC technician as well: you’ll be surprised how much an efficient heating and cooling system can benefit your plumbing network.