National Fuel is warning homeowners about flooded basements, and trying to avoid do-it-yourself disasters.
Water in the basement can do alot of damage to property and personal effects, but the gas company says leave repairs up to the professionals.
When the creeks and streams flood their banks, sewer backups and flooded basements are usually not far behind.
A home’s utility equipment is generally in the basement–the circuit breaker box, the furnace and air conditioning equipment, the hot water tank–which National Fuel spokesperson Karen Merkel said, is the last place a homeowner should be if the basement is flooded.
“Wait for the floodwaters to recede,” said Merkel, “then you need to call your plumber and have your plumber check out the appliance or equipment because if they have been submerged, damage can happen.”
If first responders or National Fuel shuts off the gas, Merkel said the gas company can turn the gas back on, “but the same thing applies. They need to call a plumber, have a plumber come out, check out the appliance or equipment, make sure that it is in good working order, and the pilot will get re-lit.”
Why is it important to call a licensed plumber to do the repairs? Merkel said, water will cause damage, and just drying your appliances out, might not be enough restore them. In some cases they will need to be replaced, even if they seem to be working okay.
National Fuel has more safety tips for natural gas customers on this page at their website.