As everyone is trying to be vigilant regarding COVID-19, Berner Plumbing & H20 Inc. is doing our part to keep our customers and community safe. We have put together a “Plumbing Safety Needs List” during this unprecedented time.
This will include further information on:
Water Heater Booster / Service Package / Replacement
⦁ Washing hands in warm-hot water and soap is critical, or add a mixing
valve to boost WH capacity & internal temperature – while
safeguarding against viruses and bacteria such as Legionella
“Toto Washlet” + Fixture Installation
⦁ Greatly reduce toilet paper usage, good for comfort and cleanliness, automatically self cleans and includes remote control
Sewer Gas Inspection
⦁ Since viruses can survive in sanitary sewers and sewer gas, we can test your home for sewer gas potential exposure
Taking extra precautions of social distancing and sheltering in place is what is recommended for the time being. The following is our contribution to helping you feel a little more secure, safe, and comfortable in your home should this pandemic extend beyond four weeks, into late spring or possibly summer.
UV Water Disinfection / Filtration Options
– All doctors agree that hydration and drinking lots of water is good for overall health and well being. If a person were to acquire an infection, its important to be adequately hydrated, If under-hydrated, the ability of the body to fight infection and prevent organ damage is reduced.
– Introducing from Luminor Environmental a convenient all-in-one UV filter system. This whole home filter rack system effectively treats flow rates of 8-15 gpm and provides the required 5 micron pre-treatment with the option of a full flow carbon filter to treat taste and odor as well. Filters and UV lamp recommended to be replaced annually.
– Introducing from Watts Pure Water an under sink activated carbon filter (filters water coming right out of kitchen faucet) lead filtration system, certified to reduce 99% of lead, while also removing chlorine, sediment, taste/odor, and parasitic cysts from city drinking water. Filter life is 12 months (7900 gallons).
– Also, if you are concerned about other pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, or Flouride as well as viruses, then it may be beneficial to look at an R.O. – Reverse Osmosis three/four-stage filter system. R.O. requires a separate dispensing faucet at your kitchen sink – usually accomplished by drilling a 1.25″ hole or utilizing a separate sprayer/soap dispenser hole. In a comparison of both technologies, R.O. Systems have a membrane that can remove up to 500x the micron size particle as an activated carbon filter.
Water Heater Booster / Service Package / Replacement
– Having warm-hot water is especially important now due to the importance of frequent hand washing and maintaining good hygiene. Berner Plumbing & H20 Inc. has decades of experience servicing and replacing tank type heaters and the newer brand tankless type water heaters.
– Running out of hot water? With everyone spending more time at home there is a cost effective solution for increasing usable hot water capacity on an existing tank. Adding a tank booster thermostatic mixing valve allows water to be stored at a higher temperature, but safely delivered at 120 degrees to all outlets. This valve mixes both hot and cold water which increases the tanks water capacity. With this coronavirus outbreak the added benefit for this tank booster is the increased temperature of 140+ degrees Fahrenheit will reduce the chance of Legionella or pneumonia-type bacterias to form in the hot water heater that might sicken people easier with compromised immune systems.
– If your tank type water heater is more than 3 or 4 years old (normal tank water heater warranties are 6 years with typical lifespans of 10-12 years), we highly recommend a cleaning of the intake air/flame arrestor filter screen, inspection of critical CO exhaust venting, and possible water leaks. If your tank is over 10 years old, repairs are usually not cost effective and better to preemptively invest in a more energy efficient tank or tankless water heater with a new warranty – you might even avert a failure that always happens at the wrong time!
– Tankless Units are even more important to maintain because of their initial higher dollar investment. Servicing entails critical heat exchanger descaling, cleaning intake air/water filters, checking for any recent error codes. All these services are
recommended every 2-3 years.
“Toto Washlet +” Fixture Installation
– Toto Washlet + is the smart way to introduce life-changing comfort and cleanliness to your life! Berner Plumbing will remove your existing toilet seat in most cases (or upgrade to a new water efficient toilet – especially if your fixture is 10+ years old) and attach a fully operational bidet feature that comes with a remote control to operate a heated seat, lighted bowl, warm water wash, warm air dryer/deodorizer and unique Ewater self-cleaning feature.
– Toto Washlet + Perfect for the baby boomer generation and anyone older that needs further assistance with maintaining personal hygiene. The Toto Washlet + will save on toilet paper and help you feel more refreshed while caring for yourself and others!
Sewer Gas Inspection
– SARS is in the same family of viruses as COVID-19. It is likely that the coronavirus can indeed be spread through building sanitary drainage systems. This became apparent when the Chinese government identified an outbreak in a Hong Kong high-rise building earlier this year (IAPMO.org).
– Sewer gas, which is present inside all city sanitary sewer piping connects to 100% of houses, apartment buildings, etc. (through underground interconnected pipes in the street with individual branch lines to every house), is only held back by a minimally protective “ fixed 2 inch water sealed trap”. This common water sealed trap is mandated on all floor drains and every fixture including lavatories, kitchen sinks and tub/showers and is integral on all toilets. Older or improperly installed wax rings at toilet bases can also fail and allow sewer gas entry. “S or U Shaped” trap water seals keep noxious gases from entering the home, but can be compromised in multiple ways over time. Sewer gas can contain pathogens and other toxic and non-toxic gases, one being hydrogen sulfide (which gives it the familiar rotten egg smell), but sewer gas can also harbor many viruses such as rotaviruses, the Norwalk virus, Adenovirus, and possibly the coronavirus (IAPMO.org).
– Berner Plumbing & H20 Inc. can test your sewer/vent system for sewer gas integrity and verify if there is any possible entry of toxic sewer gas. This test is similar to tests required for new homes after final finished plumbing is complete and before human occupancy. (Illinois Plumbing Code 890.1930 Subpart M (e)).
CDC Question: Can the COVID-19 virus spread through sewerage systems?
CDC is reviewing all data on COVID-19 transmission as information becomes available. At this time, the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through sewerage systems is thought to be low. Although transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through sewage may be possible, there is no evidence to date that this has occurred. This guidance will be updated as necessary as new evidence is assessed.
SARS, a similar coronavirus, has been detected in untreated sewage for up to 14 days. In the 2003 SARS outbreak, there was documented transmission associated with sewage aerosols. The available information suggests that standard municipal wastewater system chlorination practices may be sufficient to inactivate coronaviruses, as long as utilities monitor free available chlorine during treatment to ensure it has not been depleted.
Wastewater and sewage workers should use standard practices, practice basic hygiene precautions, and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as prescribed for current work tasks. It is recommended that anyone working on a sanitary drain and vent system use “Universal Precautions”. Assume that everything inside that system is contagious.
We hope this plumbing needs assessment is helpful looking forward, alerts you to items which you may not have considered yet, helps to improve your living environment, and/or address potential plumbing issues before they become emergencies.
Please call, text, or email us now for your Plumbing Safety Needs Assessment!
Richard G. Berner
Berner Plumbing & H20 Inc.
“Protecting the Public Health”