Any part of a car’s electrical system is going to take a beating in extreme weather conditions, the owner of Leahy’s Auto Body said.
This week a polar vortex brought the coldest temperatures in years to central Pennsylvania -- and put auto mechanics and plumbers in high demand.
Jerry Leahy’s business in New Cumberland is working around the clock to help recharge customers' car batteries, and rescue stranded drivers from the highways.Brutal cold grips central Pa.
The tow company he operates — contracted with Pennsylvania State Police — has seen a “significant” uptick in business, he said.
“We know our volume for towing will go up during extreme cold weather," Leahy said. "Traditionally, we know our shop work goes down in volume, until people can motor outside to bring their cars in.”
His advice to motorists is to plan a budget, he said.
“Set aside a budget for your car to maintain it before it becomes an emergency,” Leahy said. “And, put a set of snow tires on your car. That would put shops like mine out of business.”
Tim Kortze, manager at Zimmerman’s Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning in Mechanicsburg, said his company has a backlog of work, receiving about 40 calls on Thursday alone.
“If the weather wouldn’t be really cold, it would be somewhat slow,” he said. “We’d be looking at half of that number after the holidays.”
Zimmerman’s is prioritizing calls, he said, with customers who have frozen pipes getting top priority.
“Safety is a concern for our guys, and our customers,” he said. “We’re trying to get to everyone as soon as possible. But, we’re also making sure our guys aren’t getting too tired out. We try to get to people same day. We really do run 24-7, but the delay right now could be a couple hours to next day service."
Pronto Plumbing in Camp Hill has also been inundated with calls from people needing their pipes fixed, said owner Barry Kindt.
Houses in this area were built to handle zero degree weather, but that when temperatures drop 10 degree below zero, homeowners or renters begin to think there’s something wrong with their pipes, both Kortze and Kindt agreed.
"Warm and comfy” temperatures, regardless of new or old home, can easily leak out of a house, Kindt explained.
“And, a lot of the time, there’s not a whole lot we can do about it,” he continued. “We just have to bear with it until the temperatures hit the 50 degree mark again. People are panicking when they set the thermostat higher, but the house seems cool, so they’re thinking they need a service call, and a lot of the times, they really don’t, except for peace of mind.”
Mobile homes, and houses with crawl spaces, are generally harder to keep warm, he said.
When extreme weather events occur, both Kindt and Kortze said residents should deploy “common sense” and “try not to panic.”
“Add on another layer, or get under a blanket," Kindt said.
Pronto Plumbing will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, he said. And, throughout those years in business, he said he has learned a lot about the mindset of area residents in terms of weather.
“I have a saying,” Kindt said. "People will go two weeks without heat, two days without water, and two minutes without air-conditioning. That’s the mindset we encounter all the time.”
Source : https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/01/mechanics-plumbers-working-overtime-during-harsh-winter-conditions.html662