Category Archives: carbon monoxide detectors

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