Winter can be tough on Chicago area buildings. Even insulated pipes can have exposed areas that could have possibly frozen and perhaps caused small leaks in isolated areas. But spring is finally here and here are some tips to check your building plumbing system for leaks.

  • Conduct a Visual Inspection. Of course not all of your building’s plumbing is easily accessible or visible when where it is it is fairly easy to spot leaks. The key is looking at areas that may not have much traffic like in basements and storage areas.
  • Exercise Your Shut-Off and Isolation Valves. This can be a bit time-consuming but is easy to do. These valves should be turned completely off and completely open, looking for leaks as you open and close them. Ideally, these valves should be exercised several times a year but at least do it in the spring. This ensures these valves will perform as designed when needed. It also helps clear any mineral build up in the valves.
  • Check for Leaks in Common Areas. Make sure bathroom tanks are not leaking, and sink traps are clear. If you have a community room with a kitchen, take a look at faucets and make sure drains are draining smoothly. Check ceiling tiles in hallways and other common areas looking for water spots and other signs of leaks.
  • Flush Drains in Parking Garages. Make sure garage drains are flowing. Make sure grates and drain screens are clear of debris. If drains are slow, consider having them jetted to clear out sand, gravel, dirt and other debris that may have accumulated over the winter.
  • Pay Particular Attention to Corrosion . Over time, different piping materials may have been connected or pipes may be hung with metal straps that can created corrosion. These areas are particularly susceptible to leaks, especially where connection have been made. If these areas are not currently leaking, this may be a good time to do a little preventative maintenance.
  • Compare Water Usage. Increasing water bills may be easily dismissed due to higher rates. You should, however, pay attention to total water usage. If usage has increased without an apparent reason, you could have a leak in a hidden area or even underground. This should be addressed promptly.

Spring is also a good time to review your plumbing maintenance and repair expenses over the past few years. If they are steadily rising odds are they may continue to do so. This could be due to aging pipes, years of inadequate or patchwork repairs. This is where a pipe assessment from Nu Flow Midwest can be so valuable. We will thoroughly assess the health of your plumbing system. You will have a much better overall look at your system, and where potential problem areas exists. If problems are significant, we can show you are less invasive, less expensive alternative to pipe replacement. Learn about our innovative epoxy pipe relining system at Nu Flow Midwest.