3 Reasons to Replace Your Business’s Plumbing

Water and buildings have a great relationship as long as pipes are intact and water pressure is regulated. When a building’s plumbing is out-of-date or neglected, water can become both an enemy of the structure and a missing necessity for your tenants or workers.

Most plumbing problems in commercial buildings are solved with simple, low-cost adjustments. These issues are often found during routine plumbing inspections. Other issues require upgrades or replacement of your commercial facility’s plumbing. Here are three reasons to hire professionals to replace your building’s plumbing.

  1. Corrosion Is Eating Your Pipes

Corrosion erodes metal water pipes over time. The leaks caused by the erosion of pipes are often the first indication that there are problems with pipe corrosion. Low water pressure in some areas of your building is also a sign of corroded water-delivery pipes. Discolored, strange-smelling, and off-tasting water are also symptoms of corroded pipes.

If left unchecked, corroded pipes can eventually burst and flood your building. You must then replace flooded appliances, wiring, office equipment, flooring, walls, and ceilings on top of replacing your building’s plumbing. If you suspect your water pipes are corroded, contact your commercial plumbing crew immediately to avoid a soggy, expensive disaster.

Corrosion is caused by chemical reactions between substances in water and the metal in plumbing pipes. Micro-organisms and particulate matter in water can attach to plumbing in areas where water sits still for long periods.

Often, a building’s own water treatment equipment is the source of bacteria-laden, non-flowing water. Sluggish, oversized facility water-treatment equipment should be replaced with an appropriately sized design that only holds a minimum amount of water for a short period.

Before having corroded pipes replaced, both water and metallurgical analysis should be performed to determine why pipes corroded. Pipe damage may vary depending on whether pipes are copper or galvanized, which can affect your future pipe choices.

Micro-organisms and other particulates can be treated or filtered out of water before they can affect your new pipes when you know the corrosion culprits. After analysis of your source water, your plumbing professionals will recommend the proper treatment or filtration systems to protect your pipes from future corrosion.

  1. Booster Pumps Are Out of Date

If your building relies on pumps to boost pressure throughout your building, you may need an update. Pumps made prior to 2000 don’t offer the performance and energy-efficiency of modern pumping systems.

Your building’s pumping system may be a:

  • Vertical-turbine pump
  • End-suction pump
  • Split-case pump

These three types of boost pumps are still in use today, but contemporary versions operate with variable frequency drives (VFDs) that respond to real-time building demands. An older pump uses a lot of energy staying on-the-ready for older water-guzzling fixtures. A new pump with VFC technology runs only when necessary to supply water to modern, water-efficient fixtures.

Commercial plumbing experts will assess your building’s water needs and capacity before choosing the best new pump for your structure. A smaller or larger booster pump can solve many issues with water-pressure fluctuation and high water-related energy costs.

When you have your building’s booster pump replaced, you can also have a hydropneumatic tank installed to reduce the pump’s workload during low-flow situations. Consider the additional step of installing generators for emergency power to your pump during storms and other power outages.

  1. Pipes Need Resizing and Rerouting

Have your structure’s operations and facilities changed over the years as your company has grown? Have your building’s pipes remained the same? If so, resolve the inefficient arrangement of pipes with resizing, rerouting, extra valves, or new pipes.

In some cases, extra shut-off valves and a few new pipes will have your building running smoothly. You won’t have water standing in unused piping or unavailable to spaces that need water. Adding shut-off valves and short runs of new pipe are quick plumbing enhancements.

In other cases, you need to have long stretches of pipes replaced or rerouted to prevent issues with water hammer, frozen pipes, and insufficient water allocation. Older pipes may also need to be replaced with larger or smaller diameter sizes to conform to modern plumbing fixtures or commercial water needs.

Pipe sizes may also need to change to create proper water pressure in your building. With the addition of pressure regulator valves (PRVs) and other remedies, your plumbing can overcome issues with fluctuating municipal water supplies and seasonal changes in water pressure. However, you may need to reduce or increase the sizes of pipes in order for the PRVs and other remedies to function correctly.

Contact the commercial and industrial plumbing experts at Ragan Mechanical to schedule an inspection and update of your commercial plumbing system in the Quad Cities region. We have the experience and team to upgrade and innovate your commercial pipes and pumps for maximum commercial efficiency.

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