Fairfield Ledger

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 20, 2014

Furnaces fail, pipes freeze in recent cold snap

By DIANE VANCE | Jan 08, 2014

Winter’s artic blast this week has kept plumbers and furnace repair staff very busy.

Luke Jagens, owner of Jagens Plumbing Heating & Cooling in Fairfield, said today he has been busy since Saturday.

“It’s been continuously busy,” he said. “We’ve been mostly focusing on repairing heating, because people need to have heat. Cold weather brings out furnace problems that may have been there.

“I’d say about half the work these past few days has been furnaces breaking down from weather related problems.”

Jagens said the worst furnaces to work on right now are the large commercial furnaces that are outdoors, because setting outside causes problems to be more difficult to work on.

Dave’s Plumbing and Heating in Fairfield reports keeping busy with heating and plumbing problems.

Robinson John Plumbing and Heating in Fairfield said it’s been really busy equally with furnace work and frozen plumbing.

Shawn Worley, superintendent at Fairfield Wastewater Treatment Plant, said his department has not encountered weather-related problems.

“We have a protocol to rotate workers having to work outdoors, and our equipment has all been functioning well,” said Worley.

Fairfield’s water plant superintendent Carl Chandler said everything at Waterworks is going well.

“The ground shifts when it freezes, and we’ve had some water main breaks, one at Ninth Avenue and Broadway Avenue, which is now fixed,” said Chandler. “But we haven’t had any water mains freeze.”

The bitter cold has affected residential trailers at Utopia Park on the campus of Maharishi University of Management.

“About 50 trailers here have no water,” said resident Ken Chawkin. “Utopia Park management has been very kind, and one of the renovated frat buildings has been opened up for us to use. We can go there to shower and clean up and fill water containers.

“I filled water containers yesterday and brought water back for cooking and drinking and to fill my vaporizer. I was told I should go stay with friends for a few days, but my computer and phone are here, and I need to keep working,” said Chawkin.

“I did go to lunch yesterday at the Thai Deli and stayed there, working on my tablet.”

He didn’t know if frozen pipes in Utopia Park were to blame for no water.

“It’s been too cold for anyone to go work outside,” he said.

Staff at V & F Plumbing & Heating Co. in Fairfield are busy also with service calls and offered preventative tips in extremely cold temperatures:

• Keep cabinets under (bathroom, kitchen or other) sinks open so heat from the rooms reach plumbing.

• If plumbing is on an outside wall, keep hot and cold water streaming, not just dripping, to thwart frozen pipes.

• Disconnect any outdoor hoses from faucets.

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