Retro-Commissioning case study finds safety issue as well as savings
Oct 04, 2013

Sometimes the company’s bottom line is not the only thing to benefit from Retro-Commissioning. As in the case of the following Retro-Commissioning case study, critical safety issues may be uncovered during the RCx process.

In this case, the buildings being Retro-Commissioned were two long-term care facilities in California. As Retro-Commissioning agents were performing their investigation, they noticed that hot water was occasionally flowing from the cold water tap in the laundry room. Now, this might seem like a fairly simple fix: swap the lines under the sink so that the hot water is flowing to the correct side of the water fixture.

Fortunately, these investigators weren’t into quick fixes. They took the time to investigate what else might be affected by these crossed water lines. It turned out that the same “cold” water line (that was really hot water) also fed the emergency eyewash station on that floor! Since the temperature of that “cold” — but really hot! — water was measured as high as 116 degrees, the station that was supposed to alleviate one emergency would have, instead, caused another — possibly worse — emergency.

At this point, there was no other solution than to do it right, and correct the piping layout to that entire section of the building. In this case, the building owners were fortunate that the facilities manager was also a licensed pipe welder, so he was able to correct the problem without involving the cost of a hired contractor. Fortunately also for the company’s bottom line, this same water line was feeding the washing machines, and those machines will now be cleaning clothes more efficiently — and without the cost of heating water for cold water washes!

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in this business, it’s that you never know what you will find on a Retro-Commissioning project. Every building is unique, and so are its issues.

For more information on how Retro-Commissioning can benefit your facility, contact sys-tek today.