While winter doesn’t technically start until December 21st, our friends in the north are already starting to experience cooler temps and snow in some areas. If you haven’t already prepped your commercial plumbing system for winter, now is the time to do it!
Follow this checklist and work with your commercial plumber to prepare your facility for winter.
Wrap Exposed Pipes
If you had any new plumbing work done in the past year, check to see if any exposed pipes need to be insulated. Also, inspect existing exposed pipes and check the condition of the pipe insulation wrap. It’s a cheap fix to replace insulation compared to the cost of repairing a burst pipe and water damage.
It’s also a good idea to disconnect any outdoor hoses or water features, like fountains, and protect spigots with foam covers.
Winterize The Irrigation System
Unless you’re in a warm client, your landscape irrigation system must be winterized to prevent burst lines. Your landscaping company or plumber will blow all of the water out of the lines, drain the backflow or pump, and inspect and repair any damaged components. Plan to remove and store your backflow preventer or secure it with a cage or locking mechanism, as this component of your irrigation system is a target for thieves in the metal market.
Cooler temperatures can exacerbate clogs, especially in restaurants, laundromats, and facilities where more than just water goes down the drains. Schedule a service call to have all of your drains cleaned before it gets really cold.
In any facility (even office buildings with break rooms), remind employees not to pour any grease down the sink — especially in the winter when grease solidifies faster. Restaurants should plan to have their drains cleaned multiple times throughout the season.
Check For Leaks
Leaks are more likely to happen in the winter, especially in pipes that are susceptible to freezing. As frozen water expands, the stress on the pipes and joints can cause tiny leaks that could do undetected all winter.
Have your plumber thoroughly inspect the condition of your pipes before winter and replace any worn components.
If you have an integrated fire prevention system, your plumber should check all of those lines as well — especially since they’ve probably never been used.
Pay attention to water pressure throughout the winter. If it suddenly becomes low, it could indicate a leak or obstruction.
Tighten Taps & Faucets
Even small drips can add up on your monthly water bill!
Service The Boiler System
If you use a boiler to heat your facility, regularly inspecting the pipes is critical for the safety and comfort of the building’s occupants. Remember, a boiler is a high-pressure system that moves steam or boiling water through pipes, so leaks could cause injury.
Inspect The Water Heater
Winter is a good time to have your water heater drained, inspected, and cleaned. Insulate exposed components as even small amounts of heat leakage in the winter can increase energy costs. To save more, lower the temperature on the water heater by 1-2 degrees.
Adjust The Thermostat
Always keep the thermostat above 55 in the winter. While it may be tempting to lower it or turn it off completely when the facility is unoccupied, pipes can quickly freeze as soon as the temperature drops below 32.
Looking For A Reliable Commercial Plumber?
We get it! It’s hard to find a dependable plumber you can count on. Especially if facility maintenance isn’t your primary role at your company, how do you find a good plumber with your company’s best interest in mind? Who can assure you that your facility’s plumbing system is good-to-go for winter?
Let Trillium Facility Solutions take the hassle of vendor management off your plate. We have a nationwide network of dependable service providers that have been thoroughly vetted to ensure they meet our high standards. One call to us is all it takes to free up your time for more productive tasks. Experience a true 1 Vendor | 1 Call | 1 Invoice service model when you partner with Trillium for your facility management needs.