All About our Plumbing and HVAC Systems: How Shut-Downs Work
When repairs need to be made, it can be taxing and seems to be an endurance marathon at times.
"The notice that went out clearly says 9am-5pm!"
"Why don’t I have heat or hot water yet?"
Those are both not only common, but fair questions. In this blog post, we aim to explain how our plumbing and HVAC systems work, and what that means for Residents during shut-downs.
First, we do our best to ensure that Residents are notified and updated as much and as often as possible, but... not everything goes as planned. Not everything goes as scheduled. Complications arise, and I can promise you that these situations are not exclusive to our building.
When issues during repairs occur, we have to fly by the seat of our pants and react to it. Yes, there are procedures and protocols to follow but it doesn’t always go as smoothly as we would like. This can increase the repair time listed and cause further interruptions to our hot water and heating systems. When we find ourselves in this situation, the management team sends out blast emails and updates the screens in the elevators and in the lobby. The building’s staff is all hands-on deck team, and we do our best to ensure that systems are restored as soon as possible.
It doesn’t stop there, however. Once the repairs are completed, restoring the systems can take a significant amount of time. Sure, you have water again but it takes time to heat up the hot water tanks (just like it would for the tanks in a regular household). and the same thing happens to the heating system.
"But why does it take so long?"
Often, repairs require us to drain the lines. That means that, once the water is shut off, we empty the entirety of the building’s water that is inside the pipes. That is 37 floors, 478 units, 4 levels of parking, all of our amenities and the retail businesses... which is to say... that is a lot of water!
Behind the scenes, the Superintendents have to turn back on many pumps and machines at different times to restore, not only the flow of water, but the pressure as well. Too much pressure can cause even more problems, so it is monitored, regulated and increased over time. To get the air out of the lines and make sure there is a decent flow of water in the pipes going to all of the different systems, tanks, pumps and eventually the residential units, the Superintendents have to bleed the air out using hoses attached to open taps.
Restoring the building systems is a lengthy and manual process. It isn’t automatic. It certainly isn’t quick, and we understand that it is unfortunate that emergencies happen and it can be extremely frustrating to not have heat when it is cold outside. It can be aggravating that there isn’t any running or hot water. Sometimes, though, we ask you to be aware of the reality that it can not be avoided.
The potential damage that can be caused by leaks and floods is devastating and costly. Damage control and repairs become our number one priority to minimize the impact of the current issue. We know that it can be inconvenient but it is unfortunately, necessary.
Please be assured, that the staff have the building’s best interest in mind while responding and attending to emergencies and scheduled repairs. We do our best to not only complete the repair to the utmost standard, but also within the shortest reasonable amount of time possible.
While we do our jobs, we ask that you please be patient not only with us, but also with our Property Management team, who is primarily responsible for coordinating the work, and also for communicating with Residents. We work together to get the systems back up for our Residents, and require everyone's cooperation and patience during these times.
Douglas Carney, EC1 Superintendent