Months of cold temperatures and increased precipitation take a heavy toll on facilities’ piping. Here are a few items that your workforce should be watching for as they perform their spring maintenance inspections. It’s a good idea to make these checks a permanent part of your preventive maintenance schedule, as they could save you substantial costs down the road by identifying problems early.
Key Facility Maintenance Pipe Checks
Frozen pipes are the facilities-equivalent of the seasonal flu. Unfortunately, there’s nothing as simple as a shot to prevent pipes from freezing, but there are some straightforward measures that can be taken to prevent the problem from occurring in the future. Spring is a good time to fit exposed pipes with insulating sleeves that can prevent their temperature from falling below freezing. Areas where pipes are directly exposed to cold air should be patched and sealed over.
For pipes that cause recurring problems, spring is the time to consider doing a full overhaul and rerouting them into warmer, less exposed parts of the facility. These projects are time-consuming and costly, but may be worth the trouble as they will reduce emergencies caused by burst pipes.
Sprinkler systems should be inspected as soon as spring arrives. These systems can accumulate problems during winter months and can cause flooding if there are major leaks. Implementing a preventive maintenance routine with a maintenance management software is an easy way to ensure that these inspections are being done properly and identifying problems when they are small.
A feature-rich CMMS system can drastically ease implementation of inspections and maintenance on pipes by streamlining workflow and ensuring that needed parts are in stock.
For facilities that rely heavily on large piping systems, pipe fatigue can be a major, overlooked problem. Vibration, erosion, and deterioration take a toll on pipe systems over time, causing costly leaks and endangering employee safety. A thorough preventive maintenance program, implemented with the aid of new technologies that can simulate the stressors that piping systems will experience in the field, can help mitigate problems, increase uptime, and maximize the useful life of your piping systems.
Businesses that rely heavily on pipes may also consider installing sensors to gain enhanced insight, including real-time monitoring, into the performance of their piping networks. Sensors can pose their own challenges, however, and will likely require additional maintenance to be optimally effective, so it’s important to do some number crunching in order to determine whether incorporating them into your pipes will be a net value-add.
Whatever solution you choose, the key is to maintain a consistent schedule of inspections and maintenance so that your pipes don’t develop serious problems. Check back here for more spring maintenance tips and other useful news, tips and insights.