Does your facility utilize hydronic systems for your space heating and cooling? Many times facilities focus on the equipment in hydronic systems such as chillers, boilers, pumps and cooling towers. Have you thought about your piping lately?  Think of your piping systems like a road. The pipes in your hydronic systems are just like the roads that you use to get from one place to another.

Don’t you hate potholes? I know that I do. Just like a pothole is a sign of a failing road, you can have leaks, degradation of pipe walls, failed valves, etc. that should be addressed to have a proper functioning hydronic system.  For this project profile, Expand Consulting Group was commissioned to investigate the condition of hydronic piping systems at a hotel. 

Earlier this year a hotel property had a critical piping failure that led to the loss of cooling for a group of occupied hotel rooms on the property.  How do you think customers feel about not being able to cool their room when it’s 115 degrees outside? I’ll let your imagination think that one through.  

Since the failure, the hotel wanted to be proactive in determining what is the true condition of the piping on the property.  Should they be worried about a random failure at 2AM or can they run the property with confidence the piping is in good condition. That’s what we went to the field to determine.

Working with one of the properties preferred contractors, the insulation was removed around the piping so the condition could be visually inspected.  After the inspection, the piping was to be re-insulated.  In this case, we had about forty year old piping that had some strong signs of corrosion. Take a look.

an old pipe that shows a lot of signs of corrosion
nasty looking pipe with lots of corrosion
corrosion on a pige.

As these photos show, there are some real signs of corrosion.  You would roughly expect piping to last up to fifty years.  There are different factors that affect just how long the piping actually lasts. Some of these factors include chemical treatment, dissimilar metal protection, broken vapor barriers, damaged insulation, etc.  The better you take care of the piping, the longer it will last. 

With the property taking the initiative to determine the piping condition, we will help them determine a plan of action to address the problem. Instead of being reactive, they can be proactive in getting the work done. Work can be coordinated /phased to keep the property occupied.  A construction plan can be made to limit how many rooms are lost or how many events are canceled to allow the property to still generate revenue. 

If you haven’t thought about your piping lately, it may be time to take a look.  All it takes is one failed fitting or one cracked pipe to bring your whole facility down.  If you need help, we can help you determine your piping condition and the best way to fix it.