Top 7 Ways Commercial Plumbers Avoid Water Damage When Working on Pipes

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Drain Down King
October 13, 2023
Steel Pipe Lines with Pressure Gauge

In the realm of commercial plumbing, undertaking any project requires navigating a labyrinth of risks and challenges. Of these, the possibility of water damage during the process of cutting into live water pipes is a prominent concern. This article sheds light on the pivotal steps and tactics that seasoned plumbers employ to mitigate flood damage, ensuring the smooth and safe completion of their plumbing tasks.

1a. Initiating a Water Supply Shutdown: A Crucial Safety Protocol

One of the cardinal safety measures before delving into any water pipe is to cease the water supply. Experienced commercial plumbers typically achieve this by accessing the building's primary shut-off valve, or when accessible, a local shut-off valve situated closer to the workspace.

1b. Use the Drain Down Pro to confirm the water is 100% OFF

The Drain Down Pro is the only risk free method to confirm the water is 100% OFF before cutting into a pipe and doing your work.

2a. System Drainage: A Vital Stage in Curbing Water Damage

Once the water supply has been turned off, plumbers shift their focus towards draining the system. This is accomplished by opening various faucets and bleed valves located at the system's uppermost and lowest points. This pivotal stage ensures the effective elimination of residual water within the pipes, reducing the risk of inadvertent water leaks during the cutting process.

2b. System Drainage: Use the Drain Down Pro tool

When commercial plumbers cannot isolate the piping system and drain it by opening various faucets, using the DDP is the best option. Many plumbers run into this scenario when doing routine plumbing work like service and TI work. It is also critical to use the DDP in sensitive environments like data centers, hospitals, labs, and many more areas where you do not want to risk causing water damage on the customers property.

3. The Utility of Pipe Freezing Kits in Commercial Plumbing

In certain circumstances, discontinuing the water supply might not be feasible or convenient. During such instances, commercial plumbers often resort to the use of pipe freezing kits. These useful tools can generate a temporary ice plug within the pipe, acting as an interim shut-off point. This allows the plumber to carry out necessary work without the looming threat of flooding.

4. Immediate Capping or Plugging Post Cutting

Once the pipe has been cut, it's of utmost importance to promptly cap or plug the open ends. This action is critical in preventing the escape of any remaining water, thus warding off potential water damage.

5. Deploying Specialized Water Control Devices

To manage water flow during operations, commercial plumbing experts frequently employ specialized water control devices. Tools such as pipe clamps and inflatable pipe stoppers have proven invaluable in mitigating unexpected water leaks.

6. Preemptive Area Preparation: A Precautionary Measure Against Water Damage

Prior to initiating any plumbing work, it's standard practice to prepare the work area with water-absorbent materials, buckets, or even a wet vacuum kept on standby. This preemptive measure ensures that any water that might escape during the plumbing work can be quickly contained and cleaned, minimizing potential water damage.

7. The Value of a Well-Formulated Plumbing Strategy

Seasoned commercial plumbers appreciate the importance of a detailed strategy before making any cuts in the plumbing system. This preparation minimizes the duration for which pipes remain open and potentially leaking, thus further reducing the likelihood of flood damage.

In conclusion, professional commercial plumbers employ a suite of key strategies to prevent water damage when working on pipes. These encompass the shutdown of the water supply, structured draining, the utilization of pipe freezing kits, rapid capping of pipes, the use of specialized equipment, thorough area preparation, and strategic planning. By adhering to these measures, they ensure the successful and safe execution of commercial plumbing projects, staving off potential flood damage and the associated financial implications.

Please note that these are the best practices as of the last update in September 2021. Any recent advancements or modifications in the field should also be taken into account. For any dealings with commercial plumbing systems, it's always best to consult with a seasoned professional.

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Drain Down King
Founder, Pipe Drainer