Winter Check - be prepared for winter and snow on street

Contributed by Waterless Co.

Many parks and recreation facilities and schools will be closing soon due to the holidays and as colder weather approaches. 

Whether for a short or long period, managers must winterize the fixtures in these facilities before closing.

Here's why:

·     Winterizing fixtures helps prevent plumbing leaks and breaks. When water freezes, it expands, producing enough pressure to cause damage to fixtures.

·     Winterizing helps prevent “P” traps and drains from drying out. When they do, sewer odors filled with hydrogen sulfide can be released into the facility. So can methane gas, which can cause serious health risks.

Aware of this, Klaus Reichardt, founder and CEO of Waterless Co., manufacturers of no-water urinals and other restroom products, provides the following winterizing tips “to prevent nasty surprises when these facilities reopen.”

Among his suggestions are the following before facility closing:

1.   Create a plumbing fixture checklist. Include drain valves, taps, and all water-using kitchen and restroom fixtures throughout the facility. Mark off the following steps as they are completed.

2.   Shut off the main water valve to the facility (if allowed), turn off the water pump, and water heater.

3.   Open all drain valves, taps, faucets, and showers. These should remain open during the winter months, as long as the facility is closed.

4.   Drain the water heater and any hot water storage tanks. This will protect heating elements in the tanks from being damaged.

5.   Flush all toilets and water using urinals. If water remains in the bowel, add antifreeze to prevent pipes from cracking.

6.   Waterless urinals need no special winterizing steps unless they use water on a scheduled frequency.

7.   Pour liquid “ever prime” into all drains. This helps prevent the P traps mentioned earlier from drying and releasing foul odors. Two or three ounces per drain should do.

“Also, be sure and maintain a heating source in the facility,” adds Reichardt. “Setting the thermostat at 40 to 50 degrees (F) helps protect pipes from the cold.”