FAQ – Commercial Plumbing

Backflow Testing

What Is Backflow Testing ?

It is a process of monitoring the healthy condition and safety mechanisms that are in place to protect the purity of water supply against the risk of water flowing backwards due to the reduced pressure in the plumbing system.

How Does Backflow Occur ?

In simple terms, backflow can happen when the potable water goes towards the opposite direction because of a suction effect resulting in the dirty water being pulled into the clean water supply line. The suction is the result of the loss of water pressure in the system allowing the contaminants in the dirty water to pollute the clean supply.

Backflow can occur anytime a cross-connection between clean and dirty water happens. This is why backflow prevention assemblies are installed at the cross-connections of residential, commercial, or industrial water supply systems.

What Is A Backflow Prevention Assembly

This is a type of device that is designed to protect the integrity of the potable or clean water supply from contamination resulting from a backflow. It prevents the water coming from the soil, storage, or any similar sources from being sucked into the clean water system when a reduction of pressure occurs.

How Often Must A Backflow Prevention Assembly Be Tested?

Upon installation, testing of backflow prevention assemblies must be done at least a year thereafter to ensure its proper condition and operation.

Who Can Test Backflow Preventers?

Testing of backflow preventers can be done by any licensed plumber who has been certified by the State Environmental Protection Agency as a capable Cross Connection Device (CCD) Inspector.

What If My Backflow Prevention Assembly Fails The Test?

Once a backflow prevention assembly fails during testing, it should either be repaired (if possible) or replaced. Replacement must be done by a qualified plumbing expert after securing a permit from the pertinent bureau of the city.

What is a Cross-Connection

Cross-connections are the links between the clean public water system and the non-drinkable source of water or other fluids that are contaminated. These cross-connections exists and when not controlled properly allow contaminants to travel towards the portable water supply lines creating a backflow condition.

These contaminants carry risks, which is why installation and proper maintenance of backflow prevention assemblies is required by authorities. Cross-connections can occur between the drinking water system and lawn sprinkler systems or the outdoor pool supply in residential settings for example. While in commercial settings, these are commonly found in laundry equipment and fire suppression systems.

Backflow Testing Cost

On the average, backflow testing can cost you anywhere from $20 to $75 annually depending on the area where you reside in.

 

Sewer Video Inspection

Should I Do Sewer Inspection For Home Purchase ?

Anyone can buy a sewer inspection camera. However, as to the question of whether should you buy one? You need to take a closer look what you are going to use it for. Are you capable of doing a video inspection on your own?

Aside from considering whether to get a water- or chemical-proof model, you also have to weigh in whether it would be more cost-effective to hire a professional plumbing company to do the job for you.

Homeowner type video inspection cameras have shorter reach and usually do not have auto-focusing or self-righting capabilities. This fails in comparison to the video inspection cameras used by professional plumbing companies that have powerful lights, self-righting (where the picture is always upright), has high resolution, and allow for recording. These professional cameras are also equipped with transmitters to accurately pinpoint blocked points. Such an equipment is roughly priced at $15,000.

If I Buy, What Features and Capabilities Should I Be Looking For ?

Should you decide to continue with your purchase of a sewer inspection camera, here are the things that are important to consider:

  • Length of the Probe – to allow it to travel from one manhole to another, it should be anywhere from 20 to 120 meters. Anything longer requires a reel with a stand for comfort and proper probing.
  • Type of Material – normally simple PVC protected probes have proven to be tough enough for majority of probing works, but it can easily wear out and get damaged when used in heavy duty inspections. Professional probes are protected with Kevlar braid, which is five times stronger than steel.
  • Pressure – regardless whether it is chemical- or water-proof, the camera must be capable of withstanding up to six bar pressure to ensure that the device lasts longer.
  • Illumination – the camera should be equipped with better lighting to make it easier to explore dark and hard-to-see spaces. This will adjustable and bright LED lights allows for better images.
  • Housing – the camera housing should be stainless steel at the very least with the camera being water-proof to ensure durability.
  • Type of Head – it should be self-leveling and pan/tilt capable to allow you to see the sides of the pipes, go behind walls, and around corners, while maintaining a clear picture.
  • Screen – a good screen resolution allows for better and clearer picture quality. Professional models have Daylight Readable Monitor features.
  • Image Capturing and Saving – the sewer inspection camera must be able to capture images that can be saved in various file formats and resolution. Recording directly to computers is also preferred to allow easier review and playback to gather the necessary information.
  • Additional Features – other non-standard features like keyboards are helpful so you can input information as the inspection is in progress.
  • Weight and Handle – due to the possibility of using the sewer inspection camera for long periods, it should be lightweight and have comfortable grip.
  • Radio Transmitter – this is another non-standard feature that is positioned behind the camera and operates at the 512Hz frequency mode. This helps in locating blockages and tracing accurately the position of the camera.

What Is The Purpose Of Sewer Line Inspection Camera ?

Designed mostly for trained plumbers, engineers, home inspectors, contractors, municipal workers, and other similar professionals, it is used to inspect areas where visual inspections is impossible.

How Does A Sewer Line Inspection Camera Work ?

This device works by being inserted directly into the sewer. The fiber optic camera positioned at the end of a long flexible metal cable. The camera-end is fed first similar to a rooting machine or a plumber’s snake. The camera is controlled remotely with small motors positioned along the cable. As the cable unspools, the camera is pushed further forward into the sewer.

A trained technician operates and monitors the camera movement in real-time through the wirings in the cable connected to the closed-circuit display. The powerful lights near the camera helps in viewing the dark sewer for more accurate display. This helps in identifying the actual problem in the pipes.

What Problems Can Be Identified Using A Sewer Line Camera?

Sewer inspection cameras can help prevent intrusive plumbing repair methods through accurate identification of the problems and the actual condition of the plumbing pipes. This results in better recommendation of repair procedures that must be done.

Trained technicians use the camera to visually identify the presence of breaks, fractures, root damage, and even corrosion in the pipes. This makes it easier for them to identify the next step to take in the repair process. For example, if clogs are caused by corrosion, tree roots, or other types of blockage, rooting or hydrojetting machines are normally used to blast away the blockage.

For sealing fractures and leaks, Cured-In-Place-Pipe is used, while bursting technology may be applied to bigger breaks in the pipe. Whatever the condition is, the sewer inspection camera allows for accurate identification and shows the options on how to proceed.

When Should My Pipes Undergo An Inspection Using A Sewer Line Inspection Camera?

There are a couple of things to consider before requesting for a sewer line camera inspection. First is the age of your residential property. If it is at least a decade old and has never been inspected, then it is time to have it done by a professional.

Normally, it is better to have a sewer line camera inspection done in your residential property at least every six to 12 months for properties that are at least 10 years old. If inspection has never been done regardless of the age of your property, then you must have one immediately.

What Is A Fiber-Optic Pipeline Video Inspection?

When we say fiber-optic pipeline video inspection, we are describing a diagnostic process where a high-resolution fiber-optic video camera is used. It is inserted into the pipe to return an accurate of what is inside the pipe. This eliminates any guesswork in the diagnosis of ongoing plumbing pipe problems by pinpointing the exact location of the problem and what is causing it. These types of cameras must be operated by qualified technicians to retain the efficiency of the results.

How Much It Cost

The cost of having a sewer camera inspection done in your home can be anywhere from $100 to $800 on the average. This cost can vary substantially by $250 to $500 depending on factors like the local rates, length of the pipe to be inspected, and if the inspection will be carried out together with other plumbing works scheduled in your home. The option to send images to the monitor or have it recorded for review later on will also have an impact on the final cost.

 

Commercial Plumbing Maintenance

At What Temperature Should I Set My Water Heater?

For commercial plumbing, the temperature setting of the water heater once it is installed would be the same as that of residential plumbing, which is 120 degrees. This is the recommended temperature for efficiency and safety because at this temperature, you will be able to save energy while protecting yourself from scalding. The temperature however may be adjusted upwards or downwards depending on the particular situation in your commercial property.

Who Is Eligible For Commercial Plumbing System Preventative Maintenance?

The truth is that commercial plumbing systems are not always provided the maintenance that it needs. This is commonly the result of inefficient building services or at times even caused by end users who are not aware of the potential problem developing allowing for faster preventive or repair measures. In this instance, maintenance work is required immediately.

In essence, all commercial plumbing systems are eligible for preventive maintenance because it helps in water and energy conservation. It also prevents costly repair or replacement procedures because leaks and other plumbing issues are promptly detected. In the context of commercial plumbing, the smallest leaks can get out of hand fast so it is best to act quickly.

Plumbing Preventive Maintenance Checklist

In order to have a proactive approach to commercial plumbing maintenance, it is wise to maintain a checklist so as not to overlook anything. Here are some of the things to include in your checklist.

  1. Leaks –all signs of leaks should never be dismissed. This includes moisture, spots, puddles, and most especially the presence of mold or mildew. When unrepaired immediately, such leaks can result to thousands of gallons of wasted water and high bills.
  2. Corrosion –any signs of corrosion must be taken seriously during the inspection. Check the visible pipes as well as the showerheads and water faucets for lime scales. Any significant presence or signs of corrosion means that replacement of the pipes may be needed so have a professional plumber check it immediately.
  3. Water Pressure –part of the preventive measure checklist it to make sure that there is proper water pressure running through the pipes. This means that the water pressure should not be less than 40 psi, but no more than 80 psi. For commercial properties that have multiple stories, testing of water pressure normally reveals higher pressure at the lower levels and gradually decreases as you go higher. Water pressure that is too high can damage plumbing pipes.
  4. Valves – these safety devices are not designed to last forever. When not used frequently, it may breakdown without you noticing it. All the safety and shutoff valves in your property must be tested regularly to ensure that it is operating properly. All broken valves should be immediately replaced so that water can be turned off at certain points of the building instead of cutting off the water supply completely when there is a plumbing problem.
  5. Water Heater – preventive maintenance must also look into the condition of the water heater. Aside from looking for obvious signs of leaks, the safety and overflow valves should be tested. The thermostat should also be set at the proper temperature. Any problems should be repaired at once.
  6. Drains –check all the drains in the commercial property for flow rate. Clogged or slow moving drains must be treated immediately in order to restore its proper function. Camera inspection of the drain lines must not be ruled out immediately, especially that it helps to provide a more accurate assessment of the condition of the plumbing pipes.
  7. Backflow Testing – as part of the preventive maintenance checklist, you must make sure that the potable or clean water supply must remain as that. For commercial and multi-story buildings, the installation of backflow prevention assemblies is a requirement. These assemblies must be tested regularly to make sure that it is doing what it is designed to, which is to prevent substances and chemicals from contaminating the clean water supply.

 

Additional Questions

When To Know The Time For Repiping?

Only a licensed and professional plumber can determine whether it is time to do repiping. But, as a property owner, you must know when it is time to call one. Here are some signs that should make you call a professional plumber for repiping.

  • Poor Taste or Smell – when you notice this in your water, it can be a sign of pipe deterioration. If the smell gets worse, this means that the problem is getting bigger, so it’s time for repiping.
  • Noisy Pipes –when you hear banging or creaking noises coming from your pipes, this means that it is getting older and needs replacement. These are usually noises that are beyond the ambient noise you have in your property.
  • Temperature – if the water temperature is difficult to change or becomes disproportionate, it is an indication that the pipes are going bad and have to be checked for replacement.
  • Corrosion–visually inspect the condition of the pipes and if there are noticeable signs of rust, act swiftly to replace it.
  • Leaks – leaking pipes can often be repaired, but, if the leaks occur in more than just one segment of the plumbing, then you will have to consider repiping.
  • Discoloration – when this happens to the water supply, it is an indication that there is something wrong with the pipes. If the water starts discolored and eventually becomes clear, the pipe is damaged either on the outside or from the inside so it is time for a replacement to be put in place.
  • Water Pressure – issues with water pressure like sudden drop should never be taken lightly. This can be an indication of a problem with the plumbing pipes. The best way to make sure is to call a professional for a plumbing inspection and have the pipes replaced if necessary.

How Can I Tell If I Have A Slab Leak?

When it comes to slab leaks, early detection is extremely important. However, since the leak is not visible, you need to be on the lookout for the common signs like:

  1. Unexplained and sudden increase in water bills.
  2. Pooling of water where it should not be.
  3. Warped hard floors or damp carpets.
  4. Presence of mold or mildew.
  5. Decrease in water pressure.
  6. Constantly running hot water.
  7. Hot spots on the floor area.

What is high pressure pipe jetting?

Hydrojetting is a type of high-pressure pipe cleaning that is considered extremely efficient. It can be used to wash away debris and clogs in plumbing pipes including those in the drainage system from within the pipes. It relies on the combination of flexible hoses and pumps that propel the pressurized water into the sewer lines.

Install Grease Traps For Commercial Kitchens?

Grease traps or grease interceptors are devices designed to separate the fats, oils, and grease from the generated wastewater to prevent its entry into the sewer system. This means that it is a must for all commercial kitchens that deal with all of these waste to have one installed. It is important to know that grease traps are required by law not only to be installed, but properly maintained as well.

Can I Install An Environmentally Friendly Commercial Plumbing System?

Environmentally friendly plumbing systems can be installed in commercial properties by using eco-friendly plumbing fixtures like:

  • Showerheads – these are designed to slow the water pressure to create savings in water usage and utility bills. Switching to these types of showerheads also provide wider shower area without noticeable drop in water pressure.
  • Faucets –almost 15% of water usage in most households can be traced to faucets. Using restricted flow faucets can make your commercial plumbing systems more eco-friendly allowing you to save as much as 700 gallons of water annually. Water pressure drops by about 30%, but without affecting the quality.
  • Toilets – older toilets use as much as two gallons of water more compared to newer models. Dual-flush toilets can make your plumbing more environmentally friendly because one flush is dedicated to liquid waste while the more powerful one is for solid waste. This accounts for more efficient flushing action.

 

About Us

Is The Plumber Certified, Licensed, Experienced And Insured?

Yes, all plumbers are locally licensed, bonded, and insured for the peace of mind of all customers.

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As part of its commitment to deliver the highest quality service, all estimates are done for free.

Are Rates Hourly Or Does The Plumber Charge A Flat Rate Fee?

The rates depend mostly on the type and scope of work that will be done. The best way to determine the cost is to request a quote, which is free of charge.

How Long Has The Plumbing Company Been In Business?

Although established in 2018 only, its founder began in the plumbing industry since he was 17 years old. With 13 years of extensive plumbing experience, the company was founded and continuous to deliver high quality plumbing service 24/7.

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