Heating and Plumbing Companies Expect Busy Days Ahead - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Heating and Plumbing Companies Expect Busy Days Ahead

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When cold snaps happen, heating and plumbing companies start to get a lot more calls for service.

Anything from frozen pipes to broken furnaces.

Service technicians around the Truckee Meadows are expecting this to be a busy week.

"As it gets colder, your furnace runs longer, and as they run longer, they tend to break more," Adam Cohan, RHP Mechanical Systems Service Technician said.

While the frigid weather doesn't help, one way to prevent problems is to have your furnace serviced once a year.

"Just like your car, you take care of it every 3,000 miles or 5,000 miles, same with your furnace," Cohan said.

That kind of maintenance can help find problems that could lead to bigger and more expensive issues.

And nobody wants that to happen during a cold snap.

"Depending on the customer, they're pretty panicked if it's pretty cold out," Clark Carter, RHP Mechanical Systems Service Technician said. "They want you there right now. They just want their heat on."

While you might expect problems with older heaters, the same can happen in newer homes that may have been built during the housing boom.

"There was a lot of contractors coming into the area that aren't familiar with building and construction in a cold climate," Carter said.

The cold temperatures can also freeze pipes, but Dennis Collins says he hasn't had many calls on those yet.

They usually get busy as things warm up and frozen pipes thaw out, over the next few days. 

"We'll get some frozen pipes in the garage, on insulated walls," Collins said. "Circulating pumps on water heaters that have failed and the customer is not aware of it. Pipes running along walls that can freeze and split in a crawl space and they can be completely unaware of it."

And if you haven't already, make sure hoses are disconnected from outside faucets.

"Even if they're on frost-free hose bibs, if they're not drained, they can freeze inside a foundation wall and create a tremendous amount of damage," Collins said.

These guys say they're expecting the next couple of days to be very busy for both heating and plumbing.

Another thing to keep in mind is if you have an older furnace that might be around 20 years old, replacing it might be a better option than repairing it. Since newer furnaces are more efficient and cost less money to run.

Written by Paul Nelson
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