School Restroom Maintenance During Summer Months

Lisa Shimko, associate product manager with Moen Commercial, addressed several scenarios school facilities managers may encounter with restroom maintenance when those buildings are closed or minimally occupied during the summer break.

In low occupancy times, like the summer season for school facilities, what maintenance tasks can facility management teams tackle that might not be convenient during the academic year?

While school is out for the summer, it’s a great time for facility management teams to conduct inspections and widespread fixture updates. With students, teachers, and administrators using the restrooms every day during the academic year, school facilities need heavy duty plumbing options that are going to last, with minimal upkeep and repair.

Having new, modern restroom equipment can enhance a space quickly without the cost and time of a full remodel. Consider replacing faucets and flush valves with sensor-operated fixtures, which can also offer significant water facilities

Additionally, retrofitting commercial-grade valves can be a cost-effective option to upgrade a flush valve and avoid replacing the whole fixture. The M•Power sensor-operated flush valves (pictured here) feature a retrofit model that can be programmed for closets or urinals and has adjustable flush volumes, ultimately delivering water-saving benefits and increased sustainability.

What impact does the reduced use of restroom fixtures during the summer months have on the condition of this equipment?

Reduced use of restroom fixtures can lead to stagnant water in the plumbing lines. This results in gas buildup in toilets and urinals and bacteria growth in faucets, which can negatively affect the life expectancy of the equipment. A good solution to this is to install sensor-operated fixtures with sentinel flow, which runs water or flushes every 24 hours to clear lines and prevent water from harboring harmful bacteria such as legionella.

As the summer comes to a close, what can facility management teams do to prepare for the resurgence in occupancy — and use of restrooms?

Facility management teams should continue routine examinations to ensure all fixtures are running properly and are durable enough to withstand the high-traffic environment. Facility managers should consider incorporating commercial-grade flush valves that feature piston technology to prevent issues with line debris, which can congest the diaphragms used to operate other models.