Author Archives: Karen Toscano

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At Toscano Plumbing we understand that as a Facility Manager or Building Maintenance Manager your time is limited, and your list of responsibilities is long. After all, it’s no short order to keep the running of the entire physical infrastructure of a business in check. That’s why we’ve put together a brief guide to make your life that bit easier when it comes to facility management challenges, in particular, plumbing concerns. Plumbing may be just one aspect of building maintenance, but it isn’t a small one. Now, to those challenges:

1. Keeping all of your responsibilities under control

Facility management challenges come in many forms. From the day-to-day operations to emergency repairs (like burst pipes), the role often comes down to a neverending list of things to do. Not only do you have to keep everything under your domain operating correctly, but you also have to ensure it is done within safety and compliance regulations, issues are resolved in a timely manner and cost-effectively.

Having such a combination of short and long-term goals in one position can make it very difficult to prioritise and ensure something critical doesn’t fall by the wayside. Facility management software can provide you with a solution to keep you and all of the many hats you wear, organised. It can help you maintain a regular preventative maintenance schedule, track the issues that have arisen in each area of maintenance, for example, plumbing, and even be used to issue work orders.

There’ll be no more waking up in the middle of the night remembering something you had forgotten - facility management software can help you keep it all in check.

2. Implementing preventative and proactive maintenance

Plumbing operation tends to go unnoticed by most. Until operations are unexpectedly interrupted, that is. In the Facilities Management industry, you would experience this more than anyone. After all, it’s you they turn to when normal usage ceases! Preventative maintenance is much more important in a commercial or even multi-residential setting, than in a general residential situation. After all, the fallout is more significant, with the potential for many more occupants or businesses to be affected.

That’s why regular plumbing inspections are so vital and can save you many hours of difficulty down the track when an aspect of the plumbing system unexpectedly fails. A qualified, licenced plumbing partner should conduct a check by following a checklist that is tailored to the specifics of the facility you manage. They will report on anything of concern and provide options to remedy it now, before it worsens, giving you the chance to get ahead and minimise costs, not to mention the fallout to the business. It also assesses whether any aging inventory will need to be updated in the near future, keeping you apprised of any potential facility management challenges before they happen.

3. Achieving sustainable utility usage

A building or facility uses a considerable amount of utilities like energy, gas and water. In today’s climate, it’s more important than ever to lower the costs of these, while also becoming more sustainable. When you know your options, it makes it easier to move in the right direction.

Although there are standards in place for individual plumbing fixtures to be water efficient (known as the WELS rating), there are other aspects of plumbing maintenance to be considered too. For instance, even a small leak can have a surprisingly significant impact on water usage, and therefore cost and environment. Part of a preventative maintenance plan includes inspecting for leaks, but if you suspect a leak, it’s best to practice proactive maintenance and have acoustic leak detection services resolve your concerns.

You could also ask your plumbing expert whether a rainwater capture and use system would be an option for the building. Consider multiple solutions to make water efficiency work for you.

4. Meeting regulatory and compliance standards

Perhaps the most critical of facility management challenges is to stay on top of all regulatory and compliance standards. Failing to comply can mean hefty fines and won’t put you in favour with your employer. But, more importantly, it can cause safety concerns to arise.

The primary focus for Facility Managers and Building Maintenance Managers here is to be informed by staying ahead of changes to the building codes and regulations. You can do this in several ways:

  • Read high-quality industry blogs
  • Continue necessary training
  • Attend seminars or relevant workshops
  • Consider obtaining online certifications

But, aside from staying informed yourself, you also need to ensure you’re only using qualified and licenced trades to conduct work on the building. It also helps to use trades that are experienced in the commercial sector. For example, you could hire any fully licenced plumber to carry out work. However, to be confident you are receiving work that abides by the latest regulations, it’s advisable to use a licenced plumbing business with a history of commercial plumbing expertise.

5. Managing costs and improving efficiency

When it comes to controlling costs, this becomes a considerable facility management challenge. With so many moving parts, staying under budget requires no small effort.

Increasing the lifespan of existing equipment like water heaters and HVAC systems can be possible with the right attention invested in the equipment - like regular inspections and the necessary preventative maintenance to keep them functioning at optimum levels. This saves you money in two ways. Of course, the longer the lifespan, the longer you can avoid an entirely new installation. But also, older, poorly-maintained equipment tends to be very inefficient, which is costly when it comes to energy and water consumption.

According to Infraspeak, another way to ensure money is being spent where it should, it to hire “the best teams to carry out the projects”. Engaging those who have proven experience in the industry, can provide testimonials and referrals from other clients and importantly, do not subcontract out the work gives you confidence in receiving quality work. It also gives you the opportunity to establish a long-term partnership. When your contractors are intimately familiar with the facility you manage, it makes the job easier for them to get it right, which means fewer headaches for you.

Final thoughts on facility management challenges

Facility management challenges will always be in the nature of the job. But by being organised, having an excellent preventative maintenance program and perhaps most importantly, having licenced and trusted partners to carry out the work will significantly ease the burden.

Need a commercial plumbing partner you can rely on for preventative and proactive facility maintenance?  Call Toscano Plumbing for a no-obligation call on 1300 867 226 or visit www.toscanoplumbing.com.au

CCTV Drain Camera Benefits:

CCTV Drain Camera offers real time results, eliminates the cost of unnecessary excavation and is cost effective.

 

Because drainage systems are located beneath the ground it's impossible for the human naked eye to detect where the blockage is located and it's cause.

While drain blockages and odours can be a major problem, they generally don't just happen overnight.  Instead, they develop over time when waste products start to accumulate or when tree roots grow in the pipes and cause blockages and breakages.

Rather than spending thousands of dollars and hours digging we now have the ability to accurately diagnose the problem using a CCTV drain camera.

Unlike the electric cabling procedure, a CCTV drain camera can be fed into plumbing systems and flexed around corners with ease.  Providing an inside view of your pipes in real time, showing the exact location and severity of blockages, leaks and other problems.

 

Why just clearing a blockage is not always the answer?

If you have a blockage that has become an issue and you decide to use a high-pressure hose or electric cabling to clear the blockage you may find that the problem reoccurs.  This is why using a CCTV drain camera is important in conjunction with clearing the drain as it helps you view the internal damage and it's cause.

Benefit of using a CCTV drain camera.

With a CCTV drain camera, you can ensure that the blockage is found without any guesswork or intensive digging that could cause further stress or damage to your pipes.  By using a CCTV drain camera, not only is the location of the blockage revealed, but also the depth under the ground where the blockage is based.  It also shows the degree of damage that's resulted from the blockage and if any of the pipes that were damaged need to be removed or replaced.

How is an inspection undertaken using a CCTV drain camera?

In order to undertake an inspection using a CCTV drain camera, a plumber first has to clear the blockage before being able to send the camera down the pipe.  This allows the plumber to see the inside of the drain and determine what is causing the blockage.

Once the inspection is complete the plumber can then decide on the most effective course of action.  This may involve removing and replacing a section of pipe because it's been blocked by tree roots and arranging for the tree to be cut back to avoid the same issue happening again.  Or it may be as straightforward as flushing loose debris out of the drain.

CCTV drain camera

Specialising in residential and commercial plumbing and drain clearing, the expert plumbers at Toscano Plumbing are here to assist you.  Could you use an inspection of your pipes?

Reach out to Toscano Plumbing on 1300 867 226.

Preventative plumbing maintenance is done while a system is still functioning to ensure that it's working to full capacity and that there are no issues that could cause an unexpected breakdown.

The cost savings of taking part in a preventative plumbing maintenance program significantly outweigh the costs you incur when the equipment fails.  In the short term, the expense of component replacement that is old or no longer working, as it should, is considerably lower than the charges you would see when emergency repairs are needed. A schedule based on your availability is also much more convenient than waiting for a repairman when an unexpected failure arises.

The long term savings are even more beneficial as the life of your entire plumbing system can be extended by making sure that the infrastructure is working at its full potential.  Heading off issues before problems occur also plays a big part in safety and risk management. As an example; regularly venting a hot water cylinder relief valve can prevent the unit from bursting which will not only result in flooding but also lead to potential water in and around electrical panels.

 

 

The benefits of scheduling preventative plumbing maintenance appointments include:

  • Reduction of unexpected breakdowns and service interruptions by finding where your potential risks lie and assessing possible risks to your system.
  • Discovering leaks, clogged pipes/drains and keeping sewer lines flowing as they should.
  • Reducing water consumption by identifying leaking faucets and toilets.
  • Avoiding un-expected costs of roof repair or replacement due to unresolved issues.
  • Developing a relationship with our service team which in turn allows them to become familiar with your site. This makes for much easier troubleshooting when problems do occur.
  • Assist facility managers in achieving budget stability.

By using the following checklist you can greatly increase the chances that your plumbing is in optimal working order:

Checked List Checklist Pen Pencil
Check Marker Checked List Checklist Pen Pencil
  • Annually inspect plumbing and look for leaks and investigate unusual noises. Water boosters and circulation pumps also require annual testing faulty couplings and leaks.
  • Replace as needed, sump and sewage ejection pumps as well as annually lubricate exposed pumps.
  • Public restroom fixtures withstand a higher level of heavy use and abuse. They should be checked on a regular basis for leaks, as well as to replace internal workings based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • One single dripping tap can waste 30-200 litres of water per day.  By performing regular inspections and replacing tap washers, o-rings and jumper valves can save you a considerable amount of money.
  • Toilets & Urinals require regular servicing to operate effectively. This assures a clean, odour free and hygienic facility. It is critical to service urinals regularly to avoid drainage and pooling issues.
  • Water quality can be greatly improved by regularly changing water filters. This improves not only taste but reduces sediment in your system.
  • One of the biggest culprits causing sewer line clogs is improperly flushed or dumped objects such as baby diapers, oil, grease and paint. Tree roots can also cause havoc on sewer lines as can ground movement and general old age. A yearly high pressure jet treatment and CCTV camera inspection can remove/identify blockages and keep the pipes flowing smoothly.
  • Hot water systems need routine inspections. This ensures longevity and efficiency from your system. An inspection involves a general checkup of the unit for leaks and damage, safety checks of valves, pipes and parts and temperature/thermostat adjustment if needed. A hot water system can many times be set at and unnecessarily high temperature which not only costs you more for the heating process but can also cause burns to skin.
  • Businesses can prevent plumbing disasters from obstructing their operations with regular maintenance from a commercial plumbing team.

See our vast range of plumbing services or give us a call to chat about your Preventative Plumbing Maintenance program on 1300 867 226.

As anyone who manages or owns a building knows roof maintenance is crucial.  

However, many owners neglect their roof maintenance believing they are saving time and money. But industry-standard roof maintenance requires more than just clearing the leaves out of the gutter. To ensure the continued safety and support your roof provides, your roof needs to be inspected and maintained regularly. Many roof problems, like gaps in the roof’s flashing, can slowly grow and appear over time – making it difficult to be detected by non-professional roofing inspectors. Undetected problems in your roof can cause substantial damage to property, and even people, if left undetected.

The warning signs

A roof might look simple from the outside, but it's more important to a building than many people realise. Your roof is integral to providing comfort and protection to your interior, which means it is most vulnerable when damaged. This means even problems that seem trivial, such as a rusting sheet or loose flashing, can be a sign of worse things to come.

That's why an experienced plumbing professional ensures your roof is checked regularly. A few of the warning signs to look out for are:

  • Ponding (the build-up of stagnant water on your rooftop): this causes leaks, mould, and can even weaken support beams.
  • Rust spots on your roof system: though most modern roofing materials prevent these, if untreated they can lead to leaks and wind damage.

           Rust on a box gutter                                                                                 Rust on roof sheets
  • Gaps in the flashing: weakens the protection and cover of your roof, especially during heavy rainfall and strong winds. Gaps can build up slowly and appear over time, so it’s important to have your roof inspected regularly by a professional.

Dangers of neglected roofs

Unlike other building fixtures, your roof is constantly exposed to weather conditions that can weaken the integrity of your roof’s protection, including rain, wind and even sunlight.

Roof maintenance - The importance of regular roof maintenance

Here are the most common problems caused by neglected roof maintenance:

Leaks - That little drip in your ceiling might seem fairly innocuous, though slightly annoying, but a leaking roof should be a serious concern for any business. Leaks do not plug themselves, if left untreated the size of the leak will grow and allow more water into your celling.

Mould - Wet insulation and clogged gutters will grow mould, which can be very expensive to remove once set. Certain types of mould can be hazardous to people, and pose an enormous health risk if left untreated.

Animals and pests - If your roofs are neglected and poorly maintained, insects can enter the building through holes in your roofing system. If the holes are large enough, you could even end up housing rodents such as possums, mice, and rats in your organisation’s ceiling.

Maintaining your roof to provide the safe and secure protection they were built for isn’t difficult. By hiring a reliable, professional plumber to inspect your roof yearly, problems can be detected and resolved early on, keeping you safe and your building protected.

See our vast range of plumbing services, or give us a call on 1300 867 226.