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Flush Water Lines Before Reopening a Business

Address Plumbing Dangers Before Customers and Employees Return

Business owners and managers are gradually reopening facilities that have been shuttered since stay at home orders went into effect in March. The plumbing and water cleanup experts at Roto-Rooter warn of hidden dangers inside pipes and plumbing fixtures that could put returning customers and employees at risk.

Water resting inside pipes after a prolonged shutdown is stagnant and should not be consumed or used for cleaning or cooking. The same goes for water lines that supply drinking fountains, drink stations, kitchens, bathrooms, and appliances like ice makers, dishwashers, boilers, water heaters, humidifiers, filtration systems and cooling towers. Water filters inside appliances should be cleaned or replaced too. Special disinfectants should be used on shower heads and faucet aerators during the flushing process.

Roto-Rooter urges businesses to follow the guidance of the CDC and municipal water utilities to thoroughly flush cold and hot water supply pipes and water appliances for at least 30 minutes to rid them of harmful bacteria that thrive in stagnant water. These include tuberculous mycobacteria and Legionella. However, it’s not just a matter of running faucets for a while, there’s an order of operations that must be carefully followed to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Water heaters cannot effectively kill pathogens unless the water temperature is set to at least 140 ° Fahrenheit. However, that temperature is hot enough to scald skin, so it’s important that water mixing valves be installed to reduce the temperature of the water to 120° Fahrenheit before it reaches sinks, tubs and showers. Business managers would be wise to seek the professional services of a licensed and experienced plumbing company familiar with these important water quality processes. For more information, please visit the Roto-Rooter blog.