Investment Advice

Best Plumbing Tips for your Building

Potential Problems with Re-piping your Building

Plumbing maintenance is big expense and unfortunately is often overlooked, especially in apartment buildings. The typical life for original galvanized piping is approximately 40 – 60 years, meaning plumbing in buildings built before 1970 is suspect (Copper water supply piping in California was started in the early 1960's and by 1970 was being used exclusively). Re-piping can elevate plumbing maintenance cost, yet there are things to consider about re-piping, especially partial re-piping:

  1. Where ever you connect old pipes to new pipes is a weak link and is usually the place where future problems occur.
  2. With partial re-piping, such as just those pipes under the building, will still leave piping in the building that is old and can cause leaks at any time. When only some of the pipes are replaced there are forces exerted on the old, un-replaced piping that can cause issues such as sudden added flow that dislodges debris in the old pipes. The added flow can also cause leaks in areas that had no problems before.
  3. Most companies that do reputable work will warranty only the work they do, which means with partial re-piping, when the rest of the original piping is replaced, the company that does that work will only warranty the work they do. If there is a problem, who do you call? The company that did the first partial replacement or the most recent?

Best Piping Practices

  1. Have a plumbing expert give you a full quote for repiping your entire building to avoid potential problems with different piping installed throughout the building with different material and different ages.
  2. Have a plumbing expert look at the condition of your properties current piping and give you recommendations on how best to move forward. 
  3. Water damage is one of the most costly repairs to a commercial property. If you can make small long term repairs now, they will save you money and headaches in the future. 

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