Avoiding 5 Common Plumbing Issues in High-Rise Buildings


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Plumbing installations certainly perform a major role in high-rise buildings, efficiently delivering clean water towards all types of plumbing fixtures as well as sending the used water to the sewage system. And now given with the fact of how essential water supply is, issues found in the plumbing systems should be fixed first and foremost. The supply of water must be continuous but most importantly it should be protected against contamination.

Plumbing contractors are responsible in this matter. A properly installed plumbing system is one of many things they have to execute the right way. Excellent are the services and work they provided and executed when using software tools like a construction schedule software for it promotes real-time collaboration and team productivity.

This blog will dive in to describe some of the most common plumbing issues and how to effectively prevent them through efficient plumbing designs. Take a look below:

  1. Incomplete Venting in Plumbing Lines

Take an observation of water being poured from the bottle that is being held vertically. It is quite difficult, thus, on the other hand, the water will flow much easier if the bottle is being strongly held at a certain angle. When water is flowing out of that bottle, the created vacuum is being filled with water. However, the flow is slowing down if the air movement will be restricted.

This sample scenario is the same principles that apply for plumbing systems: When the installed pipes are lacked of sufficient venting, the actual flow will be hindered and it might be incapable of removing the used water coming from the fixtures faster enough. In the usual case of the plumbing system, the vents should allow air movement towards the pipes without letting the stored odor out.

There are many principles that plumbing professionals have to consider and one of which is this. But following and executing the principles into action is made easier with the application of a project management software. This integrated project management solution leverages advanced features such as cloud-computing that allows accessibility anywhere and anytime.

  1. Backflow

As being implied by its name, backflow is consists of water movement that is directly opposite the right direction through the pipes. This issue is specifically one of which that most plumbers are very keen about. Identifying the main causes of backflow is a must-do. For a way of handling issues like this, scheduling planning has played a very crucial part. Through this, assigning and scheduling of tasks and crew is made easier and more efficient.

Below are the two common causes of backflow:

  • Back pressure – it is when there is an increase in the downstream pressure. For the high-rise buildings, gravity is pushing back the water that is contained in the piping system. This is where the supply pressure is strong and high enough in overcoming this certain effect.
  • Back siphonage – this refers to the reduction in the upstream pressure. The pressure for water supply decreases while there’s a sudden increase in consumption.

For both cases, the result will be a pressure difference that is being opposite to the direction of flow. In fact, backflow only occurs unless the piping system has included a series of measures in order to prevent it. The mere concept of cross-connection is usually used to describe any potential and existing connection between a non-potable fluid and water supply. The concept itself has been all the time considered by plumbing professionals as in line in their work including other strategies. Above all, it is also equally crucial to be knowledgeable enough and aware of all emerging latest builder trends today that could help them and their team to be more efficient and productive. The strategy like construction crew management is also best to implement and is best achieved when using any of the emerging software tool trends.

  1. Corrosion 

In simplest terms, corrosion is the continuing gradual destruction of any materials due to chemical actions. Before and now, one of the most recognized examples of corrosion is definitely the rusting of iron elements that are directly exposed to the weather. Corrosion is known to wear down any metallic elements, thus, it slowly decreases the overload-bearing capacity. For plumbing, the corroded installed pipes are more susceptible and vulnerable to breaking with intense impact or probably bursting under high pressure.

Galvanic corrosion is a particular type of corrosion that usually occur when a variety of different metals are together in physical contact. Usually, plumbing professionals are avoiding contact between different metals for as long as it is possible and protective measures should also be specified.

Below are a few examples of corrosion prevention measures.

  • Preventing a near contact with water with a waterproof paint or coating
  • Adding of sacrificial anode – a 3rd metal that is considered as more vulnerable towards corrosion
  • Electroplating metals specifically with a corrosion-resistant metal like chromium
  • Electrical insulation
  1. General Maintenance Issues 

Probably one of the most overlooked issues not just in the plumbing system but all areas in general. A very notable maintenance issue for this is the maintenance crew. Experienced and knowledgeable plumbers are hired in order to maintain this expensive and delicate kind of a system. It is important to take not about the cost of recklessness that is easily-avoidable so that awareness must be brought up in this matter.

Another usual dilemma in this system is the inappropriate booster pump start-up right after the prolonged or longer power failure. There is a risk in domestic booster pumps that usually start-up within an empty water riser that results to blowing-up of the installed pipes. So in that instance, it is advised to shut down the booster pumps. This only further pushes the fact that only well-trained and experienced plumbers are the only one who can handle such issues and capable of resolving it.

Plumbing subcontractors these days are preferably using the best construction management software like Pro Crew Schedule in the workplace. This advanced tool is continuously leading in the market and continues to promote numerous project management benefits. Resources and even the entire crew members can be properly managed using this.

  1. Water Temperature Issues

Imagine not having hot water, basically, that sounds not fun or exciting or even sanitary. During the construction phase for high-rise buildings, the temperature of the water is often one of several main plumbing challenges. Below are a few things to consider by plumbing professionals, it includes:

  • Booster pump control
  • Water pressure
  • Pipe materials
  • Building height
  • Municipal accessibility

Efficient Design Principles for the Plumbing System


It always pays to consider the different principles of an efficient and well-organized plumbing system layout. In this way, the above-mentioned issues can certainly be resolved. Additionally, project scheduling management is also a huge help in the process for it provides organization and uniformity whether in scheduling tasks, supervising crew, and managing resources.

Now, the focus is on finding the root cause and start to put the plans into action. Plumbers normally find the length of the pipes as the root cause of the efficiency of a plumbing system. For high-rise buildings, it is crucial to calculate how the piping system will have to efficiently run around a building. This approach is wise and cost-effective.

Plumbing professionals not only manage tasks but also they are using several certain concepts in designing efficient plumbing system:

  • Pipe length – allows much quicker access to hot water in order to effectively reduces water waste and lessen energy costs
  • Grouping – grouping fixtures and bathrooms is definitely an effective way in saving time for installation. And if a repair is necessary, plumbers will be having a much more easier time in tracing the major root of the problem.
  • Pipe fittings – fittings or connections are very prone to leaks most especially when these joints are not appropriately sealed.

General Building Layout Considerations 


  • Consideration for ceiling construction that will allow for the smallest number of access panels where domestic distribution piping will be routed
  • The plumbing equipment room must be closer as possible to the common bathroom groups
  • Avoidance to plumbing fixtures being located directly above unheated garage spaces


  • Ensure that a room is provided enough for water mains to exit into the plumbing equipment room
  • Domestic water meter has to be located within 3’-0” in the front wall
  • For multi-floor projects, stack plumbing chases and fixtures as much as possible
  • Never locate fixtures within the exterior walls of the high-rise buildings

Structural Constraints:


  • Both plumbing fixtures and chases must not be located over the structural footings that are placed down under the floor slab
  • Plumbing chases must not be put at the structural expansion joints
  • Plumbing chases must not be placed over directly the structural beams since the latter is usually aligned to the column lines

Key Takeaways


Plumbing system might appear static in comparison with mechanical systems, but in reality this type of system is involved in significant engineering challenges. To summarize the blog, a poor installation process and design can ultimately lead to different plumbing issues like inadequate venting, corrosion, and backflow. A smarter approach for this is to schedule plumbing upgrades alongside with major necessary renovations. But then again, the overall performance of a certain plumbing system is ultimately relying upon on efficient planning.

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