Posts in High Rise Plumbing/Mechanical Services

What Does Backflow Prevention Mean for Your Condo Community? The Risks to Your Residents and How to Avoid Them

March 24, 2015 Blog, High Rise Plumbing/Mechanical Services

-+*When you use your faucet or shower, or turn on an appliance that is connected to your plumbing system, your

When you use your faucet or shower, or turn on an appliance that is connected to your plumbing system, your expectation is that the water flowing into your home will be clean. In most instances, you would be right: the water provided by the City of Toronto comes from its very own water supply system, and is potable, meaning safe to handle and to consume.

However, there are times when the water you are accessing could become contaminated, and it could be happening without you even realizing it. This is a result of a lack of backflow prevention, and it is a dangerous condition for your community to live with.

What is Backflow?

CPL Tech the experts in Pinhole Leaks, High Rise plumbing and mechanical servicesBackflow is fairly simple to understand: it is a reversal of proper water flow, causing used, dirty, contaminated, or otherwise undesirable water to move in the opposite direction of where it should go.

This reversed flow has the potential to cause contaminated water to mingle with water that is supposed to be potable, meaning you could be exposed to harmful materials when you use your water.

What Causes Backflow?

There are a number of potential causes for backflow, making preventing backflow in Toronto a top priority for residents and commercial entities.

  • Water main breaks are a top cause of backflow.  The resulting sudden loss of water pressure causes undesirable materials to be drawn into your pipes. Toronto experiences an average of 1100 water main breaks per year.In 2014, water main breaks peaked at nearly 1400 total. Many of these occur during the winter, when changing temperatures cause expansion of soil that can put additional pressure on the watermain.
  • Another cause is back pressure, which happens when the water pressure in a private system is greater than the pressure of the public water system.
  • Maintaining the water system in order to prevent backflow is a monumental task: the Toronto water system is made up of enough pipe to reach from Toronto to Glasgow in Scotland; the infrastructure itself is worth $28 billion.

How the City of Toronto is Addressing Backflow Issues

With watermain breaks being increasingly common as the city’s infrastructure starts to age, there is a growing concern with backflow prevention in Toronto.

On January 1, 2008, Municipal Code Chapter 851 went into effect, which is a bylaw concerning the water supply. Per this bylaw, certain facilities are required to install backflow devices in order to reduce the risk of contaminating the City’s water supply.

The bylaw required different manufacturing, commercial, and industrial facilities to install backflow devices by certain deadlines ranging from December of 2008 to December of 2009. It also applies to residential buildings of more than five units, including high rise condos, where there is definitely a need to address backflow due to the increased risk of contaminating the water supply.

Responsibility for Backflow Prevention

If you operate or manage any type of building, structure, or property as described above – i.e. multi-unit residences, and industrial, commercial, or manufacturing facilities – then it is your responsibility to ensure that you have taken adequate measures to prevent backflow at each water service connection on the property.

The bylaws specifically state that it is the property owner who bears the responsibility for ensuring such measures are taken.

What You Can Do To Avoid Contaminated Water

The key way to prevent backflow is to do what is known as premises isolation. This means that the private water system within a particular property, such as an individual building or structure, is isolated from the City water supply. There are devices that allow for such isolation, and they should be installed by a highly qualified technician as detailed in the Water Supply Bylaw.

This is where CPL Tech can help. We can conduct a thorough evaluation of your system to determine what risks you have for potential backflow, and what measures you can take to prevent it in your building. Have you had your system evaluated? Contact Canada Pipelining Technology directly to schedule an evaluation and receive a full assessment.

CPL Tech is able to test backflow, and to see if your system is currently operating as it should. We offer only licensed plumbers and testers who know exactly what to do and how to check your systems. If there are any deficiencies, we can provide you with a full report, as well as recommendations for rectifying them.

Our services ensure that you, your family, your business, and your community are protected.

What to do if you Need Backflow Prevention

backflowIf your structure or property ends up needing a backflow device in Toronto, then you have some potential options in Toronto.

Reduced Pressure Principle Assembly (RP). This simple but effective device uses check valves, which open when water flows in the right direction. However, it is loaded with a spring, which causes the valves to close when water tries to flow in the opposite direction.

Double Check Valve Assembly. Appropriate for non-health hazards, this type of assembly has two spring-loaded check valves which act independently, and also has a shutoff valve at each end.

CPL Tech can recommend which assembly is most appropriate for your needs, and can test existing assemblies to ensure they are operating properly. It is essential that proper backflow prevention be observed in Toronto, as residents consume almost 1 billion liters of water per day.

Keeping the water system in good condition is important not just for health reasons, but for cost reasons as well, to avoid unnecessary maintenance problems that can consume resources. In 2014, Toronto saw water costs go up by 9%. By ensuring proper backflow protocols are observed, businesses and condo owners can do their part to keep water systems in good shape, keeping this vital resource affordable to all.

If you need backflow prevention services, contact CPL Tech today. We can evaluate your system and determine which solutions will work best for you.

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Why Kitchen Stack Cleaning is Essential for Your Condo Building: Proper Maintenance Can Save You Thousands of Dollars in Repairs

March 24, 2015 Blog, High Rise Plumbing/Mechanical Services

-+*The kitchen has the potential to be one of the messiest places in your entire condo. It is where you

The kitchen has the potential to be one of the messiest places in your entire condo. It is where you cook and dispose of food, where you eat, and where you are most likely to experience spills, splatters, and crumbs. However, there’s another aspect to general kitchen grime that you may not be aware of: your kitchen drain. This aspect also has the potential to become a very expensive problem when left unattended.

The pipes that run along the inside of a building from one kitchen to another is known as the kitchen drain stack – referring to the “stack” of kitchens that runs from the top of the building to the bottom. This interconnectivity can be highly efficient, but can also lead to significant issues when residents are not careful.

CPL Tech the experts in Kitchen Stack Cleaning, High Rise plumbing and mechanical services As residents use their kitchen drains, buildup can result. This happens due to accumulations of food, fat, grease, and other materials that get poured down the drain, congealing and eventually causing full or partial blockages. This leads to the need for kitchen stack cleaning.

These blockages can cause drains to operate inefficiently; either drains become sluggish, not carrying away waste water fast enough, or stop working altogether, resulting in standing water in the sink. Furthermore, bacteria can accumulate in these moist, oily clogs, eating through iron pipes and causing breakages.

CPL Tech the experts in Kitchen Stack Cleaning, High Rise plumbing and mechanical servicesWhen clogs and breakages occur, it is time to call the plumber. The average cost of doing so tends to run between $360 to $498 for individuals; when the problem is not with one person, but with an entire kitchen stack, that number can increase exponentially. Kitchen stack cleaning can get highly expensive depending on how extensive the damage is.

If the problem escalates from a clog to an outright breakage, then you can expect to pay an average minimum of $739 for replacing damaged pipes; often, especially when the damage is extensive, this cost is significantly more, costing several thousands of dollars.

Getting Proactive About Your Kitchen Stack

If you want to avoid these kinds of hefty costs, then it is time to start evaluating your kitchen drains in a different way. This means a two-pronged approach:

Educating residents about the hazards posed by fats, oils, and greases when poured down the drain;
Investing in lower maintenance costs now to avoid significant repair costs in the future.
Residents should receive regular notifications explaining the steps they can take to reduce the possibility of needing drain stack rehabilitation. These steps include disposing of all cooking oil and grease in trash cans instead of pouring liquid grease down the drain.

As for maintenance costs, having regular kitchen stack cleaning performed on an annual basis can prevent the need for complete rehabilitation in the future, saving you thousands on re-piping.

Unit owners, property managers, and board members can all benefit from learning more about the maintenance solutions that companies like CPL Tech can provide. We invite you to contact us directly to learn more about what we can do to clean and prolong the life of your kitchen drain stack.

How CPL Tech Can Help with Problematic Kitchen Drain Stacks

If your building is already experiencing the sluggish drainage and clogged pipes associated with grease build up, then it is time to look at additional options. Canada Pipelining Technology provides structural drain restoration for high rise kitchen stacks, and we can help you eliminate grease blockages through thorough cleaning of all grease build up.

kitchenNot only can we clean and remove these blockages, we can also help you prevent them from occurring again. CPL Tech is experienced in all types of pipe lining technologies. We use this technology to line the pipes in the stack with a smooth, seamless finish.

This is done with a special epoxy; CPL uses the ONLY epoxy that has been approved by the national plumbing code. It is 100% safe and durable, restores 100% efficiency to your drain stack, and prolongs the life of the stack by 50 years.

With this lining in place, you should still have high pressure cleaning conducted on the stack on a regular basis. However, this cleaning can take place every 2 to 3 years, versus every year, resulting in significant savings over time.

In addition to using best-in-class pipe lining technologies to rehabilitate your drain stack, we can also perform cleanout installation, giving easy access points to your drain stack so that it is easier to remove clogs and examine the pipes moving forward, helping to pinpoint areas where repairs need to be made.

The CPL Difference

CPL follows a thorough, step-by-step process for doing kitchen stack cleaning in high rise condos and even commercial facilities. This ensures that the stack is restored to 100% functionality.

We start by locating the cleanouts along the drain stack, which will be used for power flushing.
We establish the designated work stations throughout the building, taking the necessary precautions to prevent leaks and water damage.
We then power flush all of the kitchen stacks, using the existing cleanouts, which typically are at the bottom of the stack, and may also be placed as high as the 5th or 6th
After the power flushing, we test the stack to ensure the water is flowing evenly.
We then clean up our work areas and leave the site in better condition than when we arrive.
If follow-up is needed, we contact the client to make additional recommendations about rehabilitation and additional cleanout installations.

Conclusion

Toronto is a busy city; it is also an aging one, celebrating its 180th year in 2014. As the city grows, prospers, and ages, older infrastructures, such as pipes and plumbing, need special attention to keep operating smoothly.

If you live in an aging condo building, or simply want to know more about how you can make your new condo’s plumbing last longer, contact CPL Tech today (647) 559-4719. Our licensed professionals can help you find the solutions for your lifestyle and your residents.

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Why Pinhole Leak Repair is Essential for Your Building’s Domestic Hot Water Risers: Ensuring the Health and Safety of Residents

March 24, 2015 Blog, High Rise Plumbing/Mechanical Services

-+*You probably don’t think much about the pipes in your condo building. After all, most high rise plumbing is out

You probably don’t think much about the pipes in your condo building. After all, most high rise plumbing is out of your line of vision, tucked safely behind the drywall. These pipes deliver water to you right when you need it, and carry it away as soon as you are finished using it.

CPL Tech the experts in Pinhole Leak Repair, High Rise plumbing and mechanical servicesUnfortunately, the only time most people really tend to think about the average Toronto condo domestic hot water riser is when something goes wrong. Whether it’s an abrupt stop in the flow of water, or the creeping symptoms of a pinhole leak, these types of issues tend to get our immediate attention.

If you are starting to notice symptoms of leaking in your building, you may be wondering what to do and how to fix it. Here, we are going to discuss common problems with domestic hot water risers, and how the pipe lining technology that CPL provides may be the solution you have been seeking.

The Problem: Subtle Damage

Water use throughout Toronto is persistent and of an exceptionally high volume.

  • On average, residents of Toronto use almost 1 billion liters of water each day.
  • Water usage in Toronto in 2014 peaked on June 17, when Torontonians used nearly 1.3 billion liters of water.
  • That is enough water to fill over 40,000 swimming pools.

When you factor in that 23% of the population of Toronto lives in condo buildings, it is easy to start understanding the level of wear and tear that these systems undergo simply from daily use.

Other issues also lead to the need for pinhole leak repair: the use of soft copper plumbing materials, poor system design, and the common chemicals found in municipal water supplies all lead to an eventual wearing on the pipes that serve these buildings throughout Toronto.

This wearing begins with pinpoints of corrosion that eventually wear all the way through the copper, causing tiny leaks. These leaks can quickly lead to more damage to the pipes, as well as to surrounding systems like insulation and drywall, eventually causing mold and other hazardous conditions. It also drives up water costs for the entire building as more and more water is wasted from the inefficiencies caused by the pinhole leak.

How to Rehabilitate Your Plumbing System

Condo boards and residents looking to rehabilitate their plumbing systems typically believe they only have one option: the expensive and inconvenient process of a complete re-pipe.

What does this mean?

  • Workers would first need to conduct any needed demolition or excavation; this means the removal of cabinets, walls, and appliances, as well as the removal of any paving or landscaping if the repair needs to encompass any exterior piping as well.
  • Then, the re-piping begins: old pipes are removed and replaced with new copper pipes. This would be done via the demolition sites, which typically need to occur on at least every other floor along the entire stack, if not every unit.
  • Once the new system is installed, the units need to be restored: drywall patched, cabinets and appliances put back in place, and any other repairs completed to make the units whole again.
  • If only a partial replacement takes place, you could be doing this again sooner than you expect: new pipes will cause the strain to be relocated to the older pipes still in the stack, meaning you will need to do the rest of the system that much faster.

This process can take months, can mean significant inconvenience to your residents, and is also exceedingly expensive, especially when factoring in the costs of demolition and repair to external structures, like walls and cabinets. Have you ever dealt with a re-piping project before? What were the costs involved, and how long did it take?

Another Viable Option

While this may seem like an arduous process, you have an alternative. CPL’s non-invasive pipe lining technology can make pinhole leak repair more convenient and affordable for your entire building. Our system can extend the lifespan of your pipes, ensuring your domestic hot water system keeps functioning worry-free for years to come.

Our system is safe, and it works. To see an actual case where pipe lining saved CPL’s customers time and money, we invite you to download this PDF of an actual case study, detailing the problems we faced and the solution we provided. In the end, the customer saved thousands of dollars in costs, and completed a valuable renovation to the building in about 6 weeks, with minimal disruptions to the residents throughout the process.

Here are just a few advantages to the non-invasive pipe lining solution that we offer:

  • The epoxy that CPL uses in the pipe lining process is the ONLY epoxy that is approved under the national plumbing code.This means it is safe: safe for you, for your residents, and their family members.
  • Our pipe lining process is thorough: we begin with a careful inspection of your pipes, including the use of high tech cameras to get a look at the system itself and pinpoint where your problem areas are located.
  • We start every pipe lining project with a thorough cleaning of the entire piping system, sandblasting and scouring the interior of the pipes to ensure there is minimal debris that can disrupt the integrity of the epoxy coating.
  • The approved epoxy coating is then pumped throughout the plumbing system, coating the pipes from carefully selected access points throughout the building. These access points cause minimal damage, and need nothing more than simple patching once the process is finished.

CPL has restored more than 1 million feet of domestic hot water risers, using our nationally approved epoxy coating to save our customers hundreds of thousands of dollars. On average, we can save customers between 15% and 30% on a potential re-piping project by using innovative pipe lining technology instead.

It is essential to be proactive in the elimination of a pinhole leak in your high rise domestic hot water risers. Damage from these types of leaks spreads quickly; in fact, it takes as little as 1 to 2 days for mold to start forming after moisture seeps into drywall and surrounding structures.

When you are ready to learn more about pipe lining and how it can help you deal with a pinhole leak, we invite you to contact CPL directly at (647) 559-4719. We can provide you with all of the information you need to make the right decision about your condo building’s plumbing rehabilitation needs

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