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If you do not constantly turn on your plumbing, the water inside can remain stagnant. If the water remains stagnant for quite some time, you could expose yourself to a plethora of bacteria and fungi that have contaminated the water. It’s also easy for many different insects and bugs to make their homes or to breed where their stagnant water is. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for these little pests to get into your plumbing. In particular, you really need to be worried about mosquitos, as they’ll happily lay eggs in stagnant water.
Before you turn on the plumbing or rely on the plumbing system to do the laundry, to wash the dishes, or even to wash your hands, you should get everything inspected by a plumber in Arlington, TX. A plumbing service will have all of the knowledge needed to make an informed decision on the condition of the plumbing. They’ll be able to determine whether there is anything that you need to repair or change.
What’s Considered a Prolonged Period of Time?
One of the main problems is that property owners have is that they’re unsure where the border between a prolonged period of time and an acceptable period of time lies. After all, if you leave your house for only a week, do you need to call an Arlington, TX plumber to check everything out? Or, is everything considered fine? If you leave the property alone for a month, does not necessarily mean that there was be something wrong or that the water quality will be poor?
This is a really difficult question to answer because it relies on many different factors. It depends heavily on the type of problems that you were concerned with, as well as the type of plumbing that you have installed.
Let’s take a look at some of the examples below.
Bacteria and Diseases
When it comes to bacterias and diseases, a prolonged period of time is usually considered to be something like weeks or months. It really depends on the disinfectant residuals that are in the plumbing supply, the water usage patterns, the water heater temperature set points, as well as whether there was any pre-existing bacteria or virus in the water supply.
If you have previously dealt with bacterial contamination, you’ll need to be really careful because some trace amounts may still be lingering within the plumbing. Before you leave, have a plumber come in to inspect the plumbing. A plumber can take preventative measures to prevent bacteria from growing in your plumbing system. For example, they may flush it with some type of disinfectant.
One of the main problems that plumbers have noticed in today’s times is that some businesses will reopen and be faced with water that’s contaminated with Legionella bacteria growth. Exposure to this bacteria will increase one’s risk for Legionnaires’ disease, which is a deadly respiratory infection. It often comes with severe pneumonia-like symptoms.
Legionella can thrive in scale, sediment, and biofilm even if the water supply is chlorinated. The bacteria surrounds itself with some type of biofilm or within certain amoeba and will reproduce exponentially like that.
Getting rid of this bacteria can be incredibly difficult. Merely flushing the plumbing system itself won’t be a solution because the bacteria can easily hide and survive in biofilm. Your plumber will need to treat the water supply extensively to get rid of this bacteria.
If mold is your primary concern, then a prolonged period can be days, weeks, or even months. It really depends on the building, like the humidity levels within it and its overall construction. Season and weather variables also play a really huge part.
Once again, if mold previously was found in the stagnant water, you should ask a plumber to come in and take a look. They might be able to make some preventative measures that can help. More importantly, you definitely need to get a plumber to come to inspect the water once you return.
Insects and Vermin
Since your plumbing is in a closed system, this isn’t something that you really need to worry about most of the time. However, if there is a leak or a crack somewhere, stagnant water inside your plumbing can attract insects and vermin. In particular, you need to be worried about mosquitoes. They love laying eggs in the stagnant water, and the last thing that you want to do is accidentally expose yourself to those eggs.
If the leak a crack in your plumbing is large enough, it can also attract vermin. They are always looking for a new water source. This will be a problem that not only affects your plumbing but also your home as a whole. It’s possible for their feces to make their way into your water supply.
Depending on how long you were gone, the vermin may even be able to make use of a small crack and transform it into a huge hole. If this happens, you also need to be worried about leaks when you come home. This is also another reason why it’s really important to get a plumber to come to inspect your entire system.
Lead and Copper Contamination
This last issue will vary depending on the type of plumbing material that you have installed in your home. If you’re not too sure, have a plumber come inspect the situation first. They’ll be able to provide you with more insight on what you need to worry about and what types of problems you might come home to or back to your store to.
Lead and copper contamination can take only hours at times although it can also take days, weeks, or months. It really depends on both plumbing and water-specific factors, like the amount of time that the water has remained stagnant and whether there are any protective coatings inside the pipes. If lead and copper contamination is a huge problem, our plumbers may even recommend that you opt for a whole-house re-piping job. Although this can be a bit costly, it’s definitely worth it. You’ll be faced with fewer problems in the future.
Tips and Tricks to Implement for Stores
Store owners need to be particularly careful before they reopen. It’s always a good idea to get a plumber to come to take a look at the situation first before you do, as you can be held responsible for anything that happens in your store. If there is water contamination, it can not only impact your clients and customers, but it can also greatly damage your store’s reputation; thus, causing clients and customers to avoid you like the plague! It could also harm your employees if they get exposed to contaminated water.
Here are some tips and tricks that you can implement before reopening. If you have any further questions, you can always contact a plumber in Arlington, TX. The plumber should be able to provide you with more information on what you can do to prevent any catastrophes from occurring.
Develop a Comprehensive Water Management Program (WMP)
This can be very difficult to do by yourself. Fortunately, there are a lot of different resources online. For example, the Water Management Program Toolkit can help! You’ll answer a bunch of yes and no questions, and the toolkit will help you develop a plan that can prevent bacterial contamination, especially Legionella.
Check the Water Heater
This includes making sure that the heater is properly maintained and there is nothing that needs to be addressed. In particular, confirm that the temperature is set to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures can prevent bacterial contamination, but it can lead to an increased risk of scalding. You also need to check with the manufacturer to see whether they recommend draining the water heater after a certain period of time.
Flush the Entire Water System
If you don’t know how to do this, you should call an Arlington, TX plumber. They can flush both hot and cold water through all points of use. This includes all plumbing appliances, like showers and sinks faucets. They’ll then look at the water pressure and make sure that there are no sediments within the water supply. Some devices and appliances may require additional cleaning based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions.
It’s important to note that this entire process will take a different amount of time for each store depending on the size of the building, as well as the size of the storefront. There are a lot of different things that need to be taken into consideration, so you should definitely hire a professional to do the job for you. They’ll be able to ensure that everything is flushed and ready to go. Working with a professional will also remove some liability for you should anything be missed.
Clean Fire Sprinkler Systems, Safety Showers, and Eye Wash Stations
For some reason, the fire sprinkler systems, eyewash stations, and safety showers are often overlooked. However, they are some of the most important systems that need to be maintained. After all, you’ll heavily rely on them in the event of accidents and emergencies.
Once again, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations. If you do not have a good idea of what you really need to do, you should always call a professional instead. This will also help ensure that everything is functioning properly in the event of an emergency or accident. It’s important to note that these stations are often left untouched. As a result, you should flush and clean them even if you have not left the building unoccupied for some time.
What About Outdoor Water Sources?
Last but not least, don’t be concerned with only a plumbing system. You also need to be worried about whether there is any stagnant water outside your home. These water sources are more likely to become contaminated because they are exposed to the elements. They are also easily accessible. Some of the things that you can do include:
- Turning any empty containers and buckets that are outside your property upside down. This prevents them from collecting rainwater, which can attract mold, bacteria, and other problems.
- Ensuring that your lawn has proper drainage. You can also call a plumber to check this out!
- Maintaining your pool and draining it. This, in particular, affects residential property owners. If you have a pool, get it drained before you leave. It can become contaminated with microorganisms rather quickly, as it is a large body of water.
If you plan on leaving a commercial or residential property for some time, you should definitely get a plumber to come to check everything out before you leave. The plumber will be able to provide you with more information as to where the vulnerabilities are in your home or store. They also are able to recommend different types of plans that can prevent major headaches from appearing in the future.
Give Us a Call!
Are you thinking of reopening a commercial building that has been closed for some time? There’s a good chance that the water inside has remained stagnant for a bit too long. Or, are you moving back to a vacation home that you haven’t visited in some time? The same type of problem can occur. Before you turn on the plumbing and drink any of the tap water or even use it to shower or do the laundry, you should contact a plumber in Arlington, TX for more information about your water quality and contamination levels.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth serves the Arlington, TX area. Our technicians are able to offer a wide range of plumbing services and are more than knowledgeable about the problems surrounding stagnant water in your plumbing. We can help you test your water quality to determine whether there is any cause of concern, and we can also inspect the inside of the plumbing to make sure that everything checks out!
Get more information about what we can do or request a quote by calling 817-983-7876. One of our skilled and licensed technicians can come and inspect your property for a more thorough analysis.