Cold causes costly heat, pipe problems in the valley - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Cold causes costly heat, pipe problems in the valley

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PHOENIX -

The big freeze is doing a number on heaters and plumbing. It's just not a good time for heating units to go out or for pipes to burst.

We caught up with one family who really had to bundle up last night.

"We just wrapped up in blankets," says Debby Taylor. "It was very cold, especially like with no burn nights, you can't light the fireplace."

It was a very cold weekend for the Taylor family. It seemed like it was colder in the house than it was outside. With no fire in the fireplace late Friday night, Debby Taylor decided it was time to turn up the heat.

"We just turned it on, heard a funny sound in the unit and my husband turned it off."

The Taylors braved the cold as long as they could, and it was so cold their fountain froze over. They called in a professional -- Seth Haynes with Accu Temp.

"A lot of people that don't know much about heat pumps call us. They freak out when it goes into defrost," says Haynes.

He has been very busy. The Taylors are one of many stops. Haynes checked out the unit and found the problem.

"This particular case was fairly simple, it was just a burnt wire on the run capacitor, I just had to replace the wire. They are back up and running."

This was one of the easy appointments Haynes had -- all he had to do was replace the wire. Haynes suggests you have an inspection of your air and heating units in the winter and in the summer, because it will save you time and money.

As for your exposed pipes or hoses, cover them with blankets or foam -- or they could freeze, expand and burst. Jerry Turner from Diamondback Plumbing says they've had hundreds of calls in the past day due to frozen lines, leaks on roofs or through ceilings, and leaks outside.

Technicians say you should let your hose run a drip so that water keeps moving.

With freezing temperatures, some people in the valley are using their chimneys to stay warm. But heating your home with a chimney could be very dangerous.

The Phoenix Fire Department, along with the National Fire Protection Association, is showing residents how to use their fireplaces safely.

Arizona Chimney Sweep says fireplaces should be cleaned yearly to avoid a fire.

"You should have your chimney inspected at least once annually, the do's and don'ts is basically not stocking them up with trash, not overwhelming the fireplace, understanding that the fluid damper needs to be open when you're burning something inside of it," says Larry Nunez, Phoenix Fire Department.

Experts say gas chimneys should also be inspected yearly to avoid carbon monoxide.

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