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Fighting Busted Pipes, Busted Furnaces

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) With the cold weather, pipes are frozen, and furnaces are having trouble keeping some folks warm. It's keeping plumbing and heating crews busy.

Dean Smith at Superior Plumbing says he's received anywhere from five to 10 calls on Thursday, as temperatures stayed in the single digits. He says frozen pipes have been a big issue. Smith recommends trying a hair dryer to thaw out the pipes rather than a torch. He also suggests keeping a trickle of water running to help keep water pipes from freezing up. It's the advice he gives over the phone to help customers avoid a service call. "Some people give it a try, I never hear back. About 50 percent of the time, I'm able to help out like that," estimates Smith.

When it comes to furnaces, John Quirk of JW Danforth says high efficiency furnaces directly vented to the outside are freezing over. "If you're waking up to no heat, you want to check outside and make sure there's no ice around the vent pipe," says Quirk. He says the older furnaces his crews are repairing are very old, and due to be replaced. One way to help, is to limit the setback temperature on their programmable thermostat. "Try to keep it within five degrees of set point. If you set it ten degrees back, you're making your furnace work too hard," explains Quirk.

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Locations : Buffalo
People : Dean SmithJohn Quirk
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