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Preparing Your Plumbing for the Long Haul of Winter

Winter is a tough time for plumbing systems of any shape and size. Cold water flowing through pipes, freezing air making the pipes themselves cold, and increased dependence on things like water heaters or other appliances all make this season a tough one for plumbing. However, winter is also a busy season for many businesses, and with the holidays coming up quickly the last thing you want to deal with is a slowdown caused by a plumbing problem. No matter what industry you’re in, what size your business might be, or how complex your plumbing system can get, you absolutely depend on it working flawlessly each and every day.

If you want to keep your plumbing system working all season long, preventative maintenance can help you do just that. In this blog, we’ll go over what’s included in a commercial plumbing maintenance service and offer you some valuable tips you can follow to help your business avoid a costly plumbing problem in the middle of the busy holiday season.

Insulate Exposed Plumbing Lines

Different businesses have their own different plumbing needs, but every business has something in common: if you have exposed plumbing lines somewhere on your property, the frigid winter temperatures that are common in Cleveland and around Ohio could freeze the water in them. A frozen plumbing line creates a ton of pressure in your pipes. As water freezes, it expands, and when it expands, it needs somewhere to expand into. If there’s no room for it to expand, it puts tremendous pressure on the container it’s in. If the container can’t handle the pressure, it cracks, breaks, or even shatters.

At best, a frozen plumbing line is an inconvenience which stops your water from working until the line thaws out. At worst, the exposed line could develop a severe leak or even burst. A burst line spills water all over your property, resulting in flooding and possibly catastrophic damage. It also requires an extensive repair that you more than likely want to avoid at all costs. Therefore, if you have any exposed plumbing lines, the best preventative measure you could take is to insulate your exposed lines. This includes covering taps or spigots, covering pipelines, and filling in holes that may expose in-wall lines to cold temperatures as well.

Check Your Water Pressure

The water pressure in your building should be no higher than 80 PSI and no lower than 40 PSI. Water pressure that’s too low will result in slow water flow or even uneven pressure as different water-using devices turn on and off around your facility. Water pressure that’s too high can cause all sorts of additional problems. Too much pressure can ruin seals and gaskets and create leaks. It can also cause excessive damage to things like toilets or faucets. It can even ruin expensive equipment, appliances, and anything else connected to it.

Water pressure is often under-considered when it comes to potential causes for plumbing problems, and we encourage everyone to have their pressure checked—you may solve the source of your problem without ever realizing it was impacting you. When you have your plumbing maintained, be sure to ask to have your water pressure checked. If you need to have your water pressure regulator replaced, have it done as soon as possible—your plumbing will thank you.

Have Your Backflow Tested

All commercial outfits are required by law to have their backflow systems checked periodically, usually once per year. However, winter is a great time to make sure that you have your system checked for function and durability. Nobody wants to deal with a sudden backflow problem, and having a working device that’s in good condition may be the best thing you can do to protect your business and the community as well. Do yourself a favor and get this system checked in advance. Doing so could save you a tremendous amount of headache and hassle.

Check Your Drains

Every drain in your building should be tested for flow rate. If a drain is flowing smoothly, you’re in good shape. However, clogs can accumulate over time. While you may not see a clog forming in day to day usage, a flow test can identify any drains which are moving slower than usual—a sign that they may be impacted by a clog. A clogged drain can be cleaned by jetting, power-rodding, snaking, or other drain cleaning methods, ensuring your business remains safe and moving smoothly. Even a small clog can put a lot of stress on your business and cause a slowdown that impacts productivity.

Check Your Water Heater

Almost all businesses depend on a water heater in some way. Whether it’s a simple water heater for the bathrooms in the office or an industrial-size water heater for restaurants, hotels, or medical facilities, going without hot water for even a small amount of time can be devastating. Do yourself a favor and avoid a water heater problem by having yours checked ahead of time. An inspection can help spot issues like dying heating elements, gas connection issues, and so much more. You’ll be thankful you did when your heater is able to withstand the extra use that’s common with water heaters all winter long.

Schedule a preventative maintenance service for your plumbing by calling Cleveland’s commercial plumbing experts, Neptune Plumbing & Heating Co. at (216) 600-0415 today.