Plumbing 101: What should you do if your pipes freeze this winter?

For many Buffalo homeowners, having their pipes freeze and burst is one of their worst nightmares. All it takes is one especially cold night and your furnace breaking down, and your home is at risk.

Last month, we reviewed some tips for preventing your pipes from freezing. But, what do you do when it’s already too late, and your pipes have frozen?

Don’t assume the problem will solve itself

When your pipes freeze, call Reimer for service.A frozen pipe is not something you should take lightly, or try to wait out. It’s very possible that a frozen pipe can burst, even after daybreak brings warmer temperatures.

At the same time, don’t panic. You need to act fast, but don’t do so in a way that puts yourself or others in danger, or that leads to worse problems for your home’s plumbing.

When your pipes freeze, here’s where you start

When your pipes freeze and you first notice the problem, start by immediately turning off the water supply at the main valve.

Here in Buffalo, snow drifts can often cover your outdoor valve—we recommend always knowing where this is, and perhaps even marking it so that you can find it quickly in an emergency and at night. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where the water valve is located, and also how to turn it off.

Turning off the water supply will at least limit the extent of the damage if your pipes do burst.

Next, call Reimer for emergency plumbing repair services. We offer 24/7 service specifically to deal with problems like frozen pipes.

Here’s what NOT to do

#1. Never try to defrost your own pipes

This is often a source of heartbreak, as a homeowner—in a panic—follows some not-so-sage Internet advice and attempts to defrost their own pipes using either boiling water, poured over the pipe, or an electric hairdryer. This is not recommended.

First, you don’t know where the freeze is at, so what you’re doing could be relatively ineffective. Second, frozen pipes are more likely to burst when rapidly defrosted. Plumbers carry special equipment that slowly-but-steadily defrosts the pipe, avoiding damage to the pipe and avoiding a burst.

#2. Don’t continue to use water and toilets

As we mentioned above, you need to turn off your home’s water supply. If there is a freeze in the pipe, it’s going to block water from going down. What can’t go down must come up. In other words, a frozen pipe is no time to be doing the dishes.

Call Reimer for emergency plumbing services in Buffalo and Western New York

When your pipes freeze, quick thinking and remaining calm can protect your home and your plumbing. Make the right call to Reimer for 24/7 emergency plumbing services. We have the right tools and experienced technicians who know their way around frozen pipes.

Contact our team today, or give us a call at (716) 694-8524.

Watch out for the 6 signs furnace repair is needed this winter

Winter is in full-swing here in Western New York, and you can count on the weather getting even chillier in the coming weeks. A properly functioning furnace is essential for these cold nights. How do you know when something is wrong with your system? What are the signs furnace repair is needed?

In this blog, we’ll review the six signs that you need to call in the professional technicians at Reimer for a furnace inspection. We offer 24/7 emergency furnace repair in Buffalo and Western New York.

For an inspection and repair, contact our team.

Signs furnace repair is needed for your home

Look out for the signs furnace repair is needed this winter in snowy Buffalo and Western New York.There are many signs that a furnace is on the verge of failure. Here are six of the most common ones—and when you need to call Reimer for service.

 

1. Ineffective heating

Ineffective heating is an obvious sign that your furnace requires repair. There are many reasons for which the furnace may not be generating hot air, or that you’re freezing in your own home. A few common causes include a clogged burner, a clogged filter, a faulty motor, or even a faulty thermostat.

If your thermostat is set correctly and your system is running, but not generating enough heat, call in the pros at Reimer. We’ll inspect your system and figure out what the problem is.

2. Faulty thermostat

Do you still feel the chill even when you turn the thermostat higher? If so, you should get the system checked by a professional. A thermostat contains temperature-sensitive switches that regulate the temperature inside the house. Those switches might need calibrating.

You should switch off the furnace and contact a professional technician to diagnose the furnace and make repairs.

3. Carbon monoxide alarm alerts

If your home’s carbon monoxide alarm has been chirping or sounding, you need to immediately turn off your home’s furnace and call emergency services. A cracked heat exchanger in a furnace has the potential to leak carbon monoxide gas. Colorless and odorless, you won’t see or smell this gas, but it can be fatal.

Reimer can repair or replace a cracked heat exchanger. If you suspect that your heat exchanger has issues, turn off the system and give us a call so we can inspect the system.

4. Banging noises

Another sign of a faulty furnace is banging or other types of noises emanating from the furnace. The noise can be caused due to many different reasons.

One common one? The ignitor is not working right, leading to a delay between the gas release and ignition. The amount of gas builds up in those seconds, and then is ignited, causing a “THUMP” sound. Over time, this can cause increased wear-and-tear to your system.

 

5. Increased utility bills

If your monthly heating bills have suddenly spiked for no reason, it’s probably something that’s off with your furnace. This is one of the most prominent signs furnace repair is needed in your home.

When something is wrong with your furnace, it often burns more gas or electricity to make up for the difference and meet the load demand you set at the thermostat. Over the course of a month, this can really add up.

This is one of the reasons we recommend that our customers schedule an annual furnace tune-up with our team. We can make sure your system is working as efficiently as possible before winter arrives.

7. Frequent cycling

If the furnace turns on-and-off frequently, it’s probably a problem with the heating system. The problem can be caused due to malfunctioning thermostat, improper air circulation, and clogged filter.

Also, think about who installed your system. One cause of cycling is that your current furnace is too large for your home (this is really a thing!), which means that it’s constantly starting and stopping instead of running smoothly to meet demand. This is why professional furnace installation from a trusted company like ours matters.

Seeing signs furnace repair is needed? Contact Reimer for 24/7 emergency furnace repair

In Western New York, Reimer Home Services is a trusted name in HVAC repairs. We specialize in working with all furnace makes and models, and our technicians have the tools and experience to get your home’s heating back to normal.

To get started and to schedule service, contact our team today.