On January 17th 2014
The Plain Dealer Interviewed us with these Questions.
Q : With the winter we’ve had so far, what free advice can you give to folks about how to prevent their pipes from freezing or bursting? A : During the winter season residents must maintain their heating systems in good working condition. Pre-season preventive maintenance is suggested. Since no guarantee can be made when or if a heating system will fail, we always recommend to our customers the following do-it-yourself preventative maintenance methods:
If you are going away for a period of time, turn off your water main and drain your water lines at the lowest level of your home. Turning off the water and draining the home will help prevent a frozen line. If the water in the piping does freeze, it expands, which can cause a break in the line. If the water main is not shut off and the already frozen and failed water line finally thaws out, the water damage that follows can become quite devastating. Don’t forget to disconnect hoses from your outside hose faucets as well — we see many burst hose lines this time of year. If you have any exposed water lines in attics or basement crawl spaces you should have that area insulated to help keep the cool air from entering the area. If any water lines are buried behind kitchen and bathroom cabinets we recommend leaving the cabinet doors open during these frigid events — especially if these cabinets are on outside walls. If you have frozen pipes, never apply a torch to thaw them. Try to find isolation valves to that particular fixture and turn them off. When the temperature rises, slowly turn on the water source and monitor for any failures. Do not leave your home unattended unless you are positive the isolation valves are off. The last thing you want to do is leave a potentially failed water line unattended and have it thaw out which can create further damage by water.
If your heating system is dependent on water, such as steam or hot water heat, we recommend to call your professional heating specialists to install a dedicated water line to keep the heating system operating while the domestic faucets are out of service.
Q: Can you describe a time when you were faced with a situation that tested your skills?
A: How about last week (1/7/14). Our company responded to over 300 emergency calls in a three-day span due to frozen or burst water lines. In addition to no heat calls and maintaining our regular scheduled work, keeping people and their homes safe was the priority. Unfortunately, we were confronted with a lot of damaged homes due to what was mostly found to be minor pipe failures in water systems that ran unnoticed for hours.
A: My father started this business over 30 years ago, along with being a professional firefighter. His hours have never been “a regular 9 to 5.” The demands of this business can stretch into your personal life. However, we have made so many friends over the years in the servicing of people’s homes that the work does become a part of our personal life, and we like that. Q: How have changes in technology affected your job?
A: The technology in the plumbing trade is constantly changing from the material we use to the complex heating and cooling mechanical systems we install and maintain. The technology becomes quite a challenge because of the ever-changing demands of more economical ways to heat, cool and serve a home with comfort systems. In order to stay knowledgeable we must educate ourselves and staff to understand and service these developments in engineering. Our company understands the importance of continuing education and we strongly believe here at A C Plumbing that knowledge moves our industry forward. Q: What would people be surprised to learn about your profession?
A: The men and women in this profession have a definitive passion for quality and craftsmanship. We as plumbers, heating and cooling specialists must be licensed from the state to perform these technical skills and must have continuing education documented by the state in order to keep those licenses. We have worked and studied hard to achieve these credentials. Homeowners should expect these professional requirements in their plumbing, heating and mechanical professionals. We take pride in serving our customers safely, promptly and professionally and will continue to do so for many years to come.
For those who want to see the article in the Plain Dealer click here