Business as usual at Bristol shopping centre during Rotamec booster set replacement

For shopping centres, keeping the taps on is essential to ensuring that shops, restaurants and cinemas can stay open to the public. Booster sets pressurise the water supply, ensuring water is pumped around a facility for general use. So, when a four-pump booster set at one of Bristol’s shopping centres was beginning to show its age, facility managers needed to plan an upgrade that wouldn’t disturb the customers. They turned to Rotamec to carry out a full replacement within a short timeframe.

With shops, restaurants and a cinema relying on the reliability of the booster set, facility managers took the decision to update the installation to future-proof reliability. The original equipment dated from the initial construction of the building, so to maximise the benefit of the works a total replacement was specified. Experienced electro-mechanical service provider, Rotamec, was contacted to see if the project could be carried out with minimal disturbance to both shoppers and staff.

John Drew, Site Services Manager at Rotamec, was heavily involved in the project: “The booster set changeover would have to be carried out between 1.30am and 8.00am on a Monday morning, the timeframe between the cinema shutting and the first shops opening. Failure to achieve this would result in closure of the shopping centre. We had to keep the water running for as long as possible, so it was important we carried out the installation with absolute efficiency.”

A Rotamec site services team conducted a complete inspection prior to the work: measuring flow rates, pumps, motor sizes and pipe sizes. Immediately it was clear that the new booster set would need to be custom manufactured to exactly fit the existing footprint and attain the same duty requirements.

Passing the results of the inspection to a trusted third-party manufacturer, the new booster set was custom built and delivered to Rotamec ready for installation at the shopping centre. To minimise the downtime of the centre’s water supply, the engineers were required to box clever.

John explains the plan: “The next phase was to deliver the new unit to site, strip it down, then build it back up in the pump room. Beforehand, we had uninstalled three of the old pumps, leaving one running so we could carry out as much work as possible before turning the water off. Once we had installed the three new pumps, we turned the water off and replaced the remaining pump.

“Thanks to the custom design, everything fitted straight into the existing pipework. Even after we’d turned on the new booster set and commissioned it, the total installation had taken about three hours – well within the allotted timeframe. By stripping out the old installation as much as possible before shut off, we could fit the new set with increased ease and speed.”

Shoppers would have noticed nothing when stores opened at the shopping centre the next morning. The new booster sets were fully installed and operational with minimal disturbance, bolstering water infrastructure reliability at the site for the future.

“We operate localised centres around the country, so we can offer the attendance and flexibility required to service critical equipment at large sites,” John explains.

“We’ve been working with the facility managers at this shopping centre for three years now, and they appreciate our fast reaction to solve issues when they arise. Our experience means we can carry out work like this booster set replacement in an optimal fashion, all important if you’re welcoming thousands of shoppers every day.”

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