Shutoff valves in commercial buildings ?

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    • #275455
      arobin

      We have a business located in a commercial building. There are 12 “units” in the building. None of the individual units have a shutoff valve of any type. I was just wondering if this is normal procedure ? There is only one water meter for the entire building and in order to do any plumbing repairs in each unit, the entire building supply must be shut off. Just curious as to the code requirements, if any, on shutoff valves.
      Thanks,
      Bill

    • #292176
      SylvanLMP
      Participant

      What planet or fifth world country is this structure located?

      I know it cannot be located in any civilized part of this planet.

      Lets think about this for one minute OK?

      A bathroom lavatory need a washer replaced so according to YOUR primitive code the handyman shuts off the entire building water supply including all fire suppression system if it a common main.

      How about this thought someone destroys ONE toilet and the water is pouring out so all 12 units are shut off?
      I DON’T THINK SO

      Lets ASSUME someone had an ounce of brains and said WAIT A MINUTE this isn’t possible and they ask to see the blue prints or ask the installing contractor for a valve chart.

      Every fixture should have an isolation valve or the very least one valve to control each bathroom hot, cold and return circulation lines. Some times these valves are hidden in hung ceilings or access panels or for really CHEAP installations a shut off valve only on each riser

      I am sure you have integral stops at each appliance. Possibly key type to prevent vandalism

      Even the worst of the worst ********** installer wouldn’t be that stupid and I cannot imagine any building inspector taking that much graft to over look this.

      I am curious what country, province or state your building is located.

      A Fraud must have been at it again it would appear…

    • #292177
      Bill K
      Participant

      Sylvan,
      My thoughts exactly. There are shutoffs for the sink and toilet in the bathroom, but if a leak was to start in the pipe feeding those two….well it would be off to the street. The location will remain un-named, would prefer not to stir up anything. We found out about the lack of a cutoff because we wanted to do away with the small “inst-hot” water heater at the sink, and install a regular water heater to also feed a deep sink for floor washing etc. I guess the whole building is going to have to be shut off, at which time I will have a cutoff installed in our unit anyway. The way the water comes in is through the slab. It loops up at each unit with a feed for the bathroom tee’d off, and then goes back into the slab to the next unit. I thought it was retty cheezy myself.
      Does the code actually allow it ?

    • #292178
      SylvanLMP
      Participant


      In reply to message posted by Bill K:
      Sylvan,
      My thoughts exactly. There are shutoffs for the sink and toilet in the bathroom, but if a leak was to start in the pipe feeding those two….well it would be off to the street. The location will remain un-named, would prefer not to stir up anything. We found out about the lack of a cutoff because we wanted to do away with the small “inst-hot” water heater at the sink, and install a regular water heater to also feed a deep sink for floor washing etc. I guess the whole building is going to have to be shut off, at which time I will have a cutoff installed in our unit anyway. The way the water comes in is through the slab. It loops up at each unit with a feed for the bathroom tee’d off, and then goes back into the slab to the next unit. I thought it was retty cheezy myself.
      Does the code actually allow it ?


      Yes, most codes would require the proper number and location of valves BUT it doesn’t mean the installer can read what is in the code or let alone understand it.
      That is why I had to ask where your located (You can send me a private E mail if you like) sounds like Southern USA plummmin to me.

      There is this other person on here who was dumb enough to admit he is lax in keeping abreast of codes. I can only HOPE he goes to a brain surgeon who also feels so lightly about keeping up to date with things in his profession, poetic justice huh?

      Any how your statement below

      “There are shutoffs for the sink and toilet in the bathroom, but if a leak was to start in the pipe feeding those two….well it would be off to the street”

      Now this makes some type of sense BUT again each riser should have a shut off valve so each riser can be shut down not effecting the entire structure.

      You know there are many legal ways to pipe a building,

      For example on buildings with poor pressure I use a roof tank to down feed a system.

      Sometimes I use city pressure to either feed up Or down each riser or a combination of both.

      Think about it, the instant hot had to be installed and we know they are not built to last more then a few years at best.

      SO I find it very hard to even think someone wouldn’t have given it its own shut off Or the very least some type of back up valve so the entire structure is not shut down.

      When a hot water tank fails they sometimes leak correct?

      You would think anyone installing this should know this simple fact of life.

      Even if it never leaked the T&P should be serviced and or replaced every few years (most idiots install them and forget the safety devices) thus how does one go about replacing the T&P if the water cant be shut off?

      I am very positive some place there has to be a valve for double insurance for shut downs.

      Under most basins a lot of folks use a cheap globe type of valve (one with a washer and the valve costing about $3.00) when the washer goes how does one replace this shut off if it cant be isolated from the rest of the building system?

      I may have another suggestion for the building owner.

      Every time someone requires a shut down (entire building) have a real plumber slap in a few valves in several places.

      For your own space you can get a plumber semi skilled BUT licensed and insured and ask about freezing the branches leading to your space THEN have this person throw in a valve the branch leading to your space only so it does not effect other occupants.

      Then if you ever have the need you can shut off this one valve as it sounds like you have to supply your own hot water services.

      A lot of commerical buildings also have a Sub water Meter for each office space.

      If this is the case here (check to see if you have your own water bill) then you HAVE TO HAVE a shut off valve before and after the meter.

      Very few building owners especially commerical have only one meter for the entire space as if your not paying for something human nature being what it is would just let it waste like a dripping washer etc.

      This is intreasting as your going to have to look trial and error to locate the valves.

      Finding the water meter is your next step as this is very easy to locate if there is one then 90% of your troubles are cured.

      Check your lease to see if you do pay your own electric, heat, cooling and water and other utilities.

      Are we having fun yet? Plumbing 101 going behind the non talented installers

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