- Senior Director of Facilities »
- Facilities Director »
- ELECTRICIAN »
- DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE FACILITIES »
- Construction engineer, U.S. Dept. of State »
Plumbing System Upgrades
July 15, 2008 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
I’m Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s topic is, plumbing system upgrades
The efficient operation and effective maintenance of plumbing systems do more than just provide a reliable water supply for facility operations. They also are essential for conserving water and minimizing costs tied to repair time and spare parts.
But maintenance only goes so far. At some point, components and entire systems reach the end of their service lives. How can managers determine the best time to stop devoting resources to maintaining existing fixtures and components and upgrade to new fixtures?
The answer lies in a manager’s ability to compile and analyze historical data on maintenance activity.
This does not mean managers have to track issues with individual toilets or minor arteries supporting those fixtures. Instead, they can divide a building into logical sectors, whether based on floors, wings or utility corridors.
They will need to track labor hours, labor costs, and non-labor and contractor costs for all related activities occurring in those sectors. Managers also need to track individual incidences, where some kind of response was required, to be able to track their frequencies and recurrences.
Over time, a manager might notice certain areas suffer a disproportionate amount of failures. Further investigation might identify the causes of those failures.
Are they the result of poor construction or design, or are occupants or maintenance technicians doing or not doing things to cause the failures? The answers to these kinds of questions might trigger changes in behavior, resulting in fewer problems.
The point of the date-gathering effort is to identify and remedy possible causes before investing in a new system, if only to avoid an untimely repeat of the same symptoms.
building automation, controls, system integration, open systems