Record freezing temperatures gripped the Miami Valley last week. Temperatures fell below and many homeowners were left dealing with frozen or even busted pipes. To help with your plumbing needs, your Better Business Bureau offers tips to help you find a trustworthy plumber.
Pipes can freeze because of a quick drop in temperature, poor insulation and or thermostats set too low. Jay Moran, A-Abel, says, “A trickle of hot or cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.” Moran says there’s many ways to combat frozen pipes, “Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks near exterior walls.”
If you have frozen pipes other plumbing issues, your BBB offers tips for finding a trustworthy plumber:
• Shop around and compare several plumbing companies. Request bids detailing the work to be done, materials needed, cost and payment terms.
• Get recommendations from friends and family. If they’re pleased with their plumbers, most likely you’ll be too.
• Find out if the plumber is a member of a professional association like the Dayton Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Association.
• Consider reputation, years of service and services provided, as well as cost.
• Be sure plumbers are licensed, bonded and insured. In addition, determine if the plumber will obtain necessary permits.
• Get a written contract, which details the work to be completed. Be sure verbal promises are included, in addition to warranty/guarantee information. Don’t sign anything until all blanks are completed.
• Don’t pay for the job in full until it’s complete. However, some plumbers may require a deposit before beginning the job. Make checks payable to the company, not the individual performing the work.
• Watch out for plumbing contractors offering quick solutions or using misleading statements, high pressure or scare tactics.
• Don’t be afraid to say no or get a second opinion if large repairs are recommended.
Remember, when temperatures dip, disconnect all garden hoses, turn off shut-off valves to outdoor faucets and be sure to cover exposed pipes with insulation. In addition, professionals say never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with warm air from a hair dryer.