There are many reasons why a building is shut down for weeks, months, or even years. Common reasons range from COVID-19 related lockdowns to school holidays. Whatever the reason you should perform a safety check before allowing people back in. That means checking the electrical wiring, plumbing, and the water.
Reasons To Check The Water
The water that arrives at your property is cleaned and tested at the water treatment facility. They ensure it reaches current water safety standards.
However, between the treatment station and your property, the water can pick up contaminants. A test will tell you if this is an issue.
After the property has been left absent the water in the property will be stagnant and sat in the pipes and water heater. Stagnant water attracts a variety of bacteria, some of which can be detrimental to your health.
Perhaps one of the most concerning is Legionella which causes Legionnaires Disease
Contaminants can also leach into your water from the pipes and the tanks it is stored in. The most common contaminants from pipes and tanks are lead, mold, and copper. These all stem from corroding plumbing and this is a common issue when water is left dormant in the pipes.
Many of the contaminants will make you seriously ill, that’s why you need to check your water and your plumbing systems.
How To Inspect Plumbing Systems
The simplest approach to water is to purchase a testing kit and see what it tells you. If you wish for a more detailed report then it’s a good idea to let the professionals test your water for you. Alongside this, you can flush the systems. This will help to remove any contaminants and is very simple to do.
However, flushing should be done as well as testing, not instead of. You need to know if there are any issues.
Alongside this, you should purchase a drain camera and run it through your waste pipes. When a building is left for a prolonged period it is highly likely that creatures will find their way into the pipes and potentially create nests. These can effectively block the pipes when you start using the water system again.
That will quickly lead to overflowing toilets and sinks which is not something you want!
If any issue is detected you’ll need to investigate further. Flushing may not be enough to eliminate the issue completely and you don’t want to risk the health of anyone in the property. You’ll find it best to let the professionals assess your systems, clean them, replace parts where necessary, and retest them.
It’s important that you get a clean bill of health for your plumbing system before you start using the water again.
Preventing The issue
Shutting the water off and draining everything creates its own set of issues. If you have to leave a building unattended the best approach is to visit once a week and blast a little water through all the systems in use. This makes it much more difficult for contaminants to build up and cause issues.