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Plumbing System Efficiency: Repair Or Replace?


The push for water conservation in restrooms in institutional and commercial facilities is creating pressure to address problems related to plumbing components and systems. One key decision maintenance and engineering managers face is whether to repair existing plumbing fixtures in an attempt to address water-conservation demands or to replace plumbing systems to achieve this goal.

By understanding the organization’s goals and reviewing issues related to the specification of key plumbing-system components, managers will be better able to identify the key decision points in determining whether repair or replacement is the most appropriate option.

Understanding Goals

To determine whether repairing or retrofitting a plumbing system is the most appropriate decision, managers first will have to determine the organization’s sustainability goals. Some building owners only want code-minimum facilities, while others set a goal of earning certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. And some take an aggressive approach and want as many water-efficient fixtures as possible in their facilities.

By understanding the key characteristics of specific plumbing and restroom fixtures, managers can deliver restroom facilities and plumbing systems that help the organization strike a balance between maintainability and sustainability.

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