After All, We DO Live In Ohio

After All, We DO Live In Ohio
Welcome to the Midwest, specifically Ohio – zeroing in on Southwest Ohio with a bulls-eye on the Dayton region. What we’ve experienced may be the same as where you are – well-below zero temperatures and now another 4-5 inches of snow have caused over 450 schools and universities to close, accidents a plenty, trips to the ER for falls, loss of business for many, frozen water mains, boil advisories, and frozen pipes in our homes. If you are one of those homeowners with frozen pipes are you prepared for when those pipes thaw?
In order to be prepared, leave the faucets open on those frozen water lines to prevent damage to them and to the pipes. The pressure built up in the pipes could damage the faucet(s) and/or the pipes when the thawing occurs. Be prepared for a sputtering and a blast of water!
BUT GUESS WHAT! Relief is on the way! By Sunday, at least in the Dayton region, the temperature will be between 50-60 degrees ABOVE ZERO and life can return to normal. The kids will be back in school (Hallelujah!), you can go shopping (the stores have missed you!), you can now potty train that new puppy you just got (what were we thinking!), maybe even wash the car, and you can start planning that summer flowerbed!
BUT WAIT! The whole weather thing could start all over again in just a few days! Please no, please no!

After All, We DO Live In Ohio

WINTER HORROR!

Winter Horror!

Phone calls at 5:15 a.m. usually don’t mean anything good. When this water technician’s secretary answered, it was that kind of call. A customer was out of town and got a phone call from the police. They told him they were out on patrol and found frozen water at the end of his driveway. And that is odd because…….. Well, It was odd because it hadn’t been raining or snowing – but it was cold – very cold. Our plumber met him at his home after he got back into town and what they found was a nightmare.

A pipe in the garage had frozen and then burst. If water was at the end of his driveway you can imagine how long the water been running – running long enough to do a great deal of damage to his home.

In this bitter, cold weather it is important that your pipes, especially those on an exterior wall, be kept warm. We suggest keeping cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate into the cabinet. To help even further put a fan on the floor outside the cabinet to blow warm air into the cabinet. We do not suggest putting the fan or a space heater directly into the cabinet; nor do we recommend using a torch of any kind in an effort to thaw out frozen pipes. The use of either a heater or a torch is a fire hazard. A hair dryer can be used as long as it is not too hot and does not come in contact with anything flammable.

As soon as possible, we suggest putting insulation on the pipes and/or adding insulation within the wall cavity. If there are pipes that have been routed into an unheated attic or ceiling it may be worth your while to have those lines re-routed through a warmer area.

Dealing with this kind of winter horror – bursting pipes and the water damage they can cause – is not worth it to anyone except perhaps your insurance company and the contractor(s) hired to make the repairs.

Do some preventive maintenance and keep those pipes warm and cozy. When all else fails, give Aaron Kramer Plumbing a call.  (937-8989-0008) A little ‘heat’ applied by a professional might just be what those contrary pipes need.

 

Holiday Disasters!

Aaron Kramer Plumbing  would like for all our customers and friends to enjoy your holiday celebrations without having to deal with any disasters interrupting your time together.  To avoid these disasters, we’d like to suggest the following

  1. Don’t stuff your garbage disposal with vegetable peelings, pastas, etc. that could clog the disposal.  We are suggesting that you reserve the stuffing for a part of your anatomy – and enjoy!  We won’t be available to snake your drain or replace the disposal. We’ll be closed the 25th
  2. Don’t stuff your toilet with paper and paper products. To put it delicately flush frequently to avoid overflowing the toilet.  We won’t be available to snake the toilet.  We’ll be closed the 25th
  3. Don’t’ let your toddlers drop their new hot wheels and other small toys down the toilet. They will probably not go down, but they will do a good job of clogging it.  How do you remove a small toy?  Many times, you don’t.  Your Christmas present to the family just might be a new toilet – installed after Christmas.  We’ll be closed the 25th
  4. Out-of-town company means lots of showers and lots of dishes to wash.  Space out showers and running the dishwasher to ensure having enough hot water.  Increasing the temperature of the water heater will not make it recover faster and we won’t be available for you to call and ask what is wrong with it.  We’ll be closed 25th

We wish our customers, friends and neighbors a wonderful holiday.  We will enjoy it also – did we say we’ll be closed? 

Call us on the 26th.  898-0008

Happy Holidays, 

Aaron Kramer Plumbing

RECALL! RECALL!

Recalls are nothing to sneeze at or blow off especially when it has to do with the safety of your family and home.  As a family who has had two fires, both from faulty appliances, we have learned the hard way.  One fire was caused by a faulty coffee pot that, not long AFTER our fire, was recalled.  That fire put us in temporary housing for over 3 weeks while our home was cleaned from stem to stern.  The second fire was caused by an insufficient amount of insulation between the oven and the drawer underneath.  That fire didn’t put us out of our home except for an hour or so sitting on our front porch while the fire department ran huge fans to clear out the smoke. 

The home appliance being recalled is a water heater.  These particular heaters have caused six fires with no injuries reported.  The water heaters in question were made by A.O. Smith and were sold under various trade names besides A.O. Smith – American, Kenmore, Reliance, State, U.S. Craftsmaster and Whirlpool.  The recall includes 30, 40 and 50 gallon natural or propane gas-fired water heaters – the Ultra-Low NOx.  These heaters were sold primarily in California, but it wouldn’t hurt to double check what you have installed in your home especially if it was installed between April 8, 2011 and August 1, 2016. 

If your water heater is one of these brands have written down the size, the model number and the serial number prior to going to the internet or calling.  (The serial numbers in the recall begin with 1115 to 1631.)

You can find out two ways if your water heater is included:

  1. Go to www.waterheaterrecall.com and have your model and serial number handy
  2. Call 1-866-854-2793 (for Whirlpool, U.S Caftmaster or American Water Heater brands) or call 1-866-880-4661 (for Reliance, State, A.O. Smith and Kenmore brands)

As a side note:  if your family doesn’t have a family fire escape plan, plan one NOW.  Our family practiced our escape plan and this is what we followed for the second fire when one of our kids woke us up asking, ‘why is the house full of smoke?’  Did we crawl down the steps?  You bet we did! 

The Plumber’s Secretary

 

 

OH NO!

   Falling             Means        Which Could Cause    Which Could Lead To

FALLING LEAVES

                    MAN FLOATING IN WATER

 

 

     Which means you need to call

   Aaron Kramer Plumbing

937-898-0008

DO’S, DON’TS, NEVERS, AND CHUCKLES – Third Edition

These are the last few random thoughts from your plumber’s secretary.  (If we aren’t your plumber, you don’t have to read this; but, on second thought, maybe your plumber doesn’t offer such enlightened information.  So, go ahead and read it.)

  1. Do ask your plumber questions. We like it when people ask questions about the problem and the solution.  What is difficult to handle is when people snort at the answers when they don’t like them.
  1. Don’t tell your plumber, “It’s an easy fix and shouldn’t take too long, right?” That is a hint that you expect the bill to be small. Remember that you have hired a licensed professional, not Uncle George, to fix the problem and our services are not free.  We also need to put food on the table!
  1. Never use wrenches or pliers to force a faucet to close. If you break the faucet, the water pouring out on your feet has now created a bigger problem.  Make a squishy run to the phone and call us. (937-898-0008)
  1. Don’t be surprised if we ask you to take a picture of the part you are referring to. We don’t know what thing-a-ma-bobs, do-hickeys, or thing-a-ma-jigs are.  The pictures can then be texted or emailed to us for identification.  Aren’t cell phones wonderful!?
  1. Do remember this – we enjoy talking with and helping our customers. After all, without you, we have no way to support our families.  We do our best to please and serve you; however, there are always some, who no matter what we do, are not satisfied or happy.  In that case, we say ‘I’m sorry – please feel free to call someone else. Thank you for calling (someone else. ) Did I say that?  Not out loud!

With sincerity and a few chuckles,

The Plumber’s Secretary

Aaron Kramer Plumbing

937-898-0008

937-434-7074

 

 

DO’S, DON’TS, NEVERS AND CHUCKLES

DO’S, DON’TS, NEVERS AND CHUCKLES   – Second Edition

Just a few more random thoughts from your plumber’s secretary.  (If we aren’t your plumber, you don’t have to read this; but, on second thought, maybe your plumber doesn’t offer such enlightening information.  So, go ahead and read it.)

  1. Never put a broom handle (yes, you read that right) or any other object into a jammed disposal to try and unjam it. You will be calling us.
  1. Don’t let toilets ‘run’ or faucets drip unless you like paying high water bills. The water company thanks you.
  1. Don’t buy universal parts for the plumber to use for a repair. There is a good possibility it won’t work; so let the plumber supply the correct parts and save yourself a return trip to the store.  Keep that receipt!
  1. Don’t use hangers or other objects to try and clear a drain. Poking a hole or damaging the pipe has just increased the cost of repairs, to say nothing of the clean up under the sink.  We don’t do that.
  1. Do listen to the advice of your plumber – not Uncle George, Grandpa, your neighbor or the guy selling you parts at the box store. Are any of these people licensed plumbers?  Probably not; however, we are.

With sincerity and a few chuckles,

The Plumber’s Secretary

By the way, look for the final edition of ‘Do’s, Don’ts, Nevers, and Chuckles’ from the ‘enlightened’ plumber’s secretary!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DO’S, DON’TS, NEVERS, AND CHUCKLES

DO’S, DON’TS, NEVERS AND CHUCKLES –

First Edition

Just a few random thoughts from your plumber’s secretary.

(If we aren’t your plumber, you don’t have to read this; but, on second thought, maybe your plumber doesn’t offer such enlightening information. So, go ahead and read it.)

  1. Do disconnect your hose in late fall from the exterior faucet to prevent freezing and the potential bursting of the piping. If you don’t, your insurance company will love the business.
  1. Never put your hand inside a disposal that has the power connected to it. Fingers are a necessity.
  1. Don’t attempt a DIY repair unless you know exactly what you are doing.  The initial repair will probably now cost more to fix than in the beginning.  Thank you for your business!
  1. Don’t pour drain cleaners into any drains. When plunged, some of the remaining acid could be pulled out of the drain and onto your skin or the plumber’s.  Ouch!
  1. Don’t crank harder on a faucet to get it to stop dripping. You may be left holding a faucet handle and now you have more to deal with than a drip.

With sincerity and a few chuckles,

The Plumber’s Secretary

By the way, look for future editions of ‘Do’s, Don’ts, Nevers, and Chuckles’ from the ‘enlightened’ plumber’s secretary!

 

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH!

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Too early, much too early, cold, very cold temperatures have arrived. The cold temperatures have ended the growing season of my nine, beautiful plants on our deck, and the growing season of our vincas out front that valiantly tried to brave the cold and tried to continue blooming.  But alas, all of them have succumbed to the cold.

Watering the nine plants on our deck was not easy. We either had to haul water up the steps outside or haul water through the house. Not fun. The solution was to have our son install a spigot for the deck, running it from the exterior faucet up to the deck. Problem solved, and it was wonderful! No hauling water!

Can you get a feel for where this is going?

On a trip to the shed in the backyard we found water spewing from the exterior faucet, and the backyard flooded from the house to the shed. Thankfully all the water was in the backyard, and not in the house. The water line from the exterior faucet to the deck had frozen and come apart at the connection. Now read the title of the blog again; go ahead, you may laugh, with my permission. Did my boss (who is a plumber) and my son both warn us to disconnect this water line to the deck?  Of course! I can just hear it – you’re laughing again and shaking your head.  Do you know how embarrassing this is?

So, I will warn you again, dear friends and neighbors,

DISCONNECT THOSE HOSES, DRAIN THOSE WATER LINES, AND TURN OFF THE SHUT OFF VALVE ON THE EXTERIOR FAUCET WATER LINE!

In addition to the exterior faucet there may be other things that need your attention in the house as these cold temperatures set in. Perhaps you have some drafty windows that need to be winterized, and when was the last time the gas furnace had a check-up? Drafty windows will drive up your heating bill, and that gas furnace could put out carbon monoxide (the silent killer) that would not just make your family sick, but could and has caused deaths.

We suggest you run through our check list and make sure your home is ready for these cold temperatures:

1. Exterior faucet is turned off completely and there is no dripping.

2. Hose is detached and stored properly.

3.  Shut off valve on the water line to the exterior faucet is in the ‘off’ position.  Don’t have a shut off valve for the exterior faucet? Give us a call.

4.  Doors and windows have been winterized.

5.  Gas furnace has had a check-up.

6.  Batteries in the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have been checked and replaced, if necessary.

7.  Carbon monoxide detectors have not only been purchased, but installed.

Enjoy the cozy fires and blankets, and those big mugs of coffee or hot chocolate. Be safe, cozy, and warm this winter – not sorry.

From the secretary at Aaron Kramer Plumbing,

Ruthanne

 

 

 

 

SILENT – BUT, DEADLY

SILENT – BUT, DEADLY

Normally, when we write our blogs, we try to give them catchy titles and start out with a little humor. This one, however, deals with a very serious and potentially deadly problem that may exist in your home, and you may not realize it until it is too late. This potential problem is the presence of carbon monoxide (CO).

In the last two years in our area three children and an elderly husband and wife have lost their lives to this ‘silent killer’.  Carbon monoxide is an invisible, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is produced by fuel-fired appliances, generators, space heaters, and automobiles. When CO is inhaled, it replaces the oxygen in the blood, preventing oxygen from getting to our organs.  The gas can first cause flu-like symptoms, followed by disorientation, then unconsciousness, with the end result being death.

If a household appliance malfunctions, the gas could be allowed to dissipate throughout your home. Generators and space heaters can also produce CO.  For this reason, if you are using a generator that burns gas or propane, the generator should be at least 20’ from the house, and NEVER be used in the house or in the garage. You may have an all-electric home, but if you have an attached garage, you may also be at risk. Leaving a car running in the garage with the door up or down will allow the gas to seep into your home.

Potential harm to your family can be prevented with the installation of CO alarms. These alarms emit a loud, beeping pattern that goes off when CO is detected. The loud beeping doesn’t stop until the CO level has been decreased.  These alarms do not prevent or correct the problem; their purpose is only to alert you to the presence of CO.

The Residential Code of Ohio stipulates that the CO alarms be located outside the bedroom group in the home.  If there are bedrooms on every floor, then a unit should be installed on each floor outside these rooms.  Kidde, an alarm manufacturer, has in their manual to install one on each floor, regardless if there are bedrooms on the floor.  Kidde also stipulates that the unit should not be installed within 5’ of an appliance; and in the case of a water heater and/or furnace, it should be no closer than 15’. Deep cell marine batteries such as those that are used with battery back-up pumps, also produce CO, and the alarm should be located 5’ or more away from these batteries to prevent nuisance alarms.

Once an alarm has sounded, open the nearest window and/or doors, and/or leave the house immediately and call 911.  If you are unable to leave, stay by the open window.  If you leave the house, do not return for any reason.  Once the CO level has gone down, the source of the CO must be found. The first responders may be able to determine the source, but the repairs will need to be made by a plumbing and/or HVAC technician who is licensed, bonded, and insured.  They should check any fuel fired appliance in your home.  Do not turn on any appliance until it has been evaluated by a licensed technician.

Alarms for just carbon monoxide can be purchased, and there are also combination alarms for both smoke and CO. No matter which unit is purchased, it is the home owner’s responsibility to read through the entire manufacturer’s manual and follow the directions to the letter. Test the units weekly, and keep track of their age. They can be purchased on-line, at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and local hardware stores.  Some communities also give away free CO detectors to their residents.  Call your local fire department to see if such a program is available in your area.

The best way to protect your family and keep them safe is to be knowledgeable about the effects of carbon monoxide and install alarms in your home.    Your family is depending on you.

Your family also depends on you to make sure they have hot water, working toilets and faucets, a quiet garbage disposal, plus all of your other plumbing needs. You can depend on Aaron Kramer Plumbing to make sure that your plumbing is in working order.  Give us a call today at 937-898-0008