4 tips for keeping commercial properties out of hot water this winter
With winter on the way, frozen cooling tower valves and pipe leaks are likely to wreak havoc on commercial property water usage.
“As temperatures dropped below zero last year, we began receiving dozens of calls from property managers about their cooling tower’s solenoid valve freezing in the fill position and water continuously flowing out,” said David Taylor, senior vice president of WaterSignal, an Atlanta-based green technology company focused on water conversation and leak detection.
As Taylor notes, cooling towers can account for up to 60 percent of the total water used in an average building. With an open valve pouring between 4,000 to 4,500 gallons every hour down the drain, along with the chemicals, the impact can be very costly. Taylor estimates the cost to be as high as $3,000 per day if not corrected.
Monitoring services can spot usage spikes immediately and notify property managers and building engineers.
The WaterSignal system, for example, can help reduce a building’s water bill by 14 percent on average. The system is a self-contained, non-intrusive device that listens to the pulse of the water meter.
The system sends real-time data wirelessly to a website portal for managers and owners to view the properties’ water consumption by the month, day or even by hour. If a major leak occurs, much like an energy surge popping a circuit breaker, the device sends an immediate text and/or email that a water spike above the preset limit has occurred.
According to Taylor, it is imperative that property managers and engineers constantly monitor their water usage during the coldest – and warmest – days.
He offers these tips for commercial building maintenance this winter:
1.) Despite the cold, tour the property to inspect the cooling tower and any outside water valve. A quick turn – or warm water to unfreeze the valve – can save thousands of gallons.
2.) Look for ice patches in areas where no other ice is formed. An underground pipe leak may have occurred.
3.) Much like a house, a dripping faucet can prevent pipe bursts as it relieves the excessive pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs.
4.) Consider installing real time water monitoring on your building to instantly detect leaks and receive alerts via SMS text or email.
Topics: Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Energy Saving Products, Exteriors, Great Commercial Buildings, Maintenance, Technology, Water Saving Strategies and Devices