Big construction projects are logistical mazes that require permits, local government approval (depending on the nature of the project), and managerial abilities. Moreover, they also involve a certain business savvy. Over-invest and you will lose money. Under-invest by using cheap materials and employing under-qualified contractors and labor, and the building has the potential to become a health risk for the people involved.
Even if you managed to strike the necessary balance between costs and quality, bad things could still happen. Some of the problems that pop up in new constructions are often related to plumbing, simply because the contractors might not be fully familiarized with the layout of the building. Here are five of the most common plumbing issues found in new constructions…
Air conditioner problems
Air conditioning has become more and more widespread. Shoddy installation could result in the emission of many toxic emissions, from nitrogen oxides to volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde.
More often than not, inspectors discover that the vent pipe from the gas-fired furnace is not properly connected. The consequences are grave, because carbon monoxide could enter the building, killing everybody inside or leaving them with permanent disabilities, like reduced hand to eye coordination and vigilance or cardiovascular issues.
Shoddy fixtures in general, and clogged pipes in particular, have the potential to affect the property from a business standpoint because they’re usually a telltale sign of worse things to come. The causes for clogged pipes are diverse. Nowadays, due to extensive studies, we know they are either environmentally caused, like tree roots growing into the joints or cracks of obsolete sewer systems, or mad made, like the usage of cheap materials, improper installation, or pure neglect. Plumbing issues are safety hazards and can lead to harsh fines.
One of the immediate consequences of clogged pipes is drain blockage. Random debris, grease, small objects, and other toxic substances build up in the pipes and block the water from flowing properly. If neglected, the still matter will become gradually infected. Besides becoming a health hazard for the people involved, the stagnant body of liquid will cause damage to the structural integrity of the construction and cost a lot of money to repair properly.
After a while, the blocked drains will discharge a stale emission that will eventually pervade the property. Following that, the water will leak into the foundation, preparing the way for flooding.
Sump pump failure
A sump pump is a hole created in the lowest part of the building. Its basic role is to filter out water through an intricate system of pipes, preventing it from reaching the foundation of the building. The water is transported into an area where it can properly drain, like a dry well or a city storm drain.
Flooding was a big problem in the past, but now, thanks to engineers who are focusing even more on plumbing terminology and technology, it should be a thing of the past. But sump pumps can still fail, especially if it is a new building. Some of the most common causes of failure are:
- Power failure
- Wrong installation
- Lack of maintenance
- Product defect
- Frozen pipes
If left unattended, broken sump pumps can flood the lower point of the building and impact the structural integrity of the building. Best case scenario, it will flood the basement. There have even been reports of a sump pump failure resulting in a basement filling with black waste water, destroying clothes, walls, and more.
Leaky faucets are another common plumbing problem, especially in high rise buildings. While they might not seem very important at a first glance, if the building is big, they will eventually overload the water bill with unnecessary costs that could have been avoided.
To put the potential costs into perspective, a single leaky faucet can use hundreds of gallons per year. Now imagine 50, or 100 faucets leaking simultaneously in a high rise building for a year. Moreover, the problem will only get bigger if left unattended, along with the water bill.
Newly constructed buildings are prone to many technical problems, especially plumbing related issues. From leaky faucets that could lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to blocked drains that infect the drinking water, common new construction plumbing problems can be solved if addressed early and proactively.