RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

3 Pro Tips for Water Heater Maintenance

January 28, 2016 1:18 am

Of all the household appliances requiring maintenance, your water heater is one you don’t want to neglect. Forgoing maintenance can not only be hazardous, but also costly, says Michael Petri, a Brooklyn-based plumbing and heating professional.

"We see hundreds of poorly maintained water heaters that need to be fixed or replaced around this time of year," says Petri. "Water heaters account for nearly 17 percent of a household's energy use, so it can get very costly if they aren't maintained properly or get too old."

To ensure the longevity of your water heater, Petri suggests the following tips:

1. Replace an Outdated Unit – Water heaters generally last between 8 and 10 years—after that, they may begin leaking, requiring frequent maintenance or repair work. If your model is outdated, consider replacing it with a new, energy-efficient alternative. Keep in mind that water heaters built after April 15, 2015 meet different energy standards than older models, and, as a result, are larger in size, so storage modifications may be needed.

2. Install Insulation – To ensure accurate water temperature and avoid damage from temperature fluctuations, insulate your water heater with a fiberglass wrap. These wraps, installed by a professional plumber, are safe and generally less expensive than other insulation options.

3. Inspect and Flush the Unit – Regularly inspect the water heater’s pilot light to ensure the system is heating properly. The light should always be blue—red or orange indicate a malfunction. In addition, have your water heater flushed at least once a year to remove built-up rust or sediment, which can inhibit the unit’s performance.

Source: Petri Plumbing and Heating, Inc.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Snowstorm Damage? What Is—and Isn't—Covered by Homeowners Insurance

January 28, 2016 1:18 am

Homeowners insurance covers a multitude of property damages, including those caused by blizzards and other severe winter storms. According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), standard policies generally cover:

• Damage brought on by burst pipes or ice dams, typically with the requirement that the homeowner has taken reasonable steps to prevent these losses by keeping the house warm and properly maintaining drains and pipes

• Damage caused by tree limbs that fall on the house or other insured structure on the property, including both the damage the tree inflicts on the house and the cost of removing the tree, generally up to $500

• Damage from ice and other objects that fall on the house

• Structural collapse of the house caused by weight of snow or ice

• Wind-related damage to the house, its roof, its contents and other insured structures on the property, as well as damage caused by wind-driven snow or freezing rain

• Additional living expenses (ALE) to cover other living arrangements in the event the home is severely damaged by an insured disaster

Bear in mind damage caused by flooding is not covered by either standard homeowners or renters insurance policies. Melting snow that seeps into a home from the ground up would be covered by flood insurance, which is provided by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program and a few private insurers. Flood insurance is available to both homeowners and renters.

“Consumers who need to file an insurance claim should contact their insurance professional as soon as possible,” says Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and chief communications officer of the I.I.I. “Let your agent know the extent of the damage and start to document your loss with lists, receipts or photographs. If you have a home inventory, now would also be a good time to access it.”

Source: I.I.I.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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