Plumbing in a Pandemic: Your FAQs for Maintenance and Safety Protocols

Plumbing in a Pandemic: Your FAQs for Maintenance and Safety Protocols

Stay at home orders in many states mean a full house, round the clock. More people at home means more stress on major home systems like your plumbing. Every extra flush or meal prepared at home means you’re one step closer to needing plumbing service. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, we have a variety of safety measures and practices in place to minimize the risks to you and your family during this pandemic. Here’s a look at what to expect from our plumbing service technicians and how we work to avoid spreading COVID-19.

1. How Do I Avoid Contact with My Plumber?

Social distancing means staying at least 6′ away from people that don’t live with you. While our plumbers might be friendly, they aren’t usually a friend or roommate. To preserve social distance and minimize the risk of community spread, we ask that residents communicate solely via remote methods.

A no-contact greeting might mean that a plumber calls after parking, asking you to unlock the front door and stay on the line to direct them to the area that needs service.

2. Will Service Technicians Be Wearing Personal Protective Equipment?

When you call to schedule service, our customer service representatives may ask several questions to determine the level of risk to our plumbers. It’s important that we know of any active cases of COVID-19 before scheduling plumbing service. If a technician will be working in an area with known contamination, they will likely be wearing extensive PPE, including masks, gloves, eyewear, and, possibly, disposable garments.

Specific team members may be detailed to work on homes where symptoms have been reported, helping to minimize the risk of community transmission for this disease. We don’t refuse service for emergencies, but it is important that customers candidly discuss any possible risks before a plumbing service appointment so that we can take the proper safety precautions.

3. Is Maintenance Plumbing Service Available?

We are open and operational throughout our normal business hours. Maintenance service may be available depending on the risk factors. If you or a household member are under quarantine orders, it might be safer to delay any maintenance service until the pandemic has passed. Maintenance service might include inspections or cleaning for slow, not clogged, drains.

For emergencies, we still offer our regular service, even for homes with quarantined members. However, we may ask that residents stay away from work areas and behind closed doors. While this may be an inconvenience, limiting the spread of disease and reducing the risk to all of our customers is a priority.

4. Why Isn’t My Plumber Wearing PPE?

OSHA guidelines do not require all plumbers to wear PPE at this time. While a face mask is likely, other protective gear may not be necessary if no one in your home has any cold or flu-like symptoms. Plumbers often come into contact with human waste and sewage, so their standard equipment and process is considered enough to limit exposure when the risk is low.

Standard equipment when working on sanitary systems might include a full-face shield, protective eyewear, and impermeable gloves. For other repairs like hot water heaters or leaks in the water system, frequent hand washing, social distance and avoiding face contact is typically enough protection.

During plumbing service, we depend on you to help maintain social distance. Please remain at least 6′ away from our technicians and behind closed doors when possible.

5. How Can I Discuss the Work with the Plumber?

When scheduling plumbing service, a technician will provide you with a contact telephone number for use during the job at hand. If a tech needs to move from one area of the home to another, text messages or phone calls allow you and the tech to work out logistics to maintain zero-contact. If there are any changes to the estimate or the project scope, new contracts can be sent via email or fax to avoid possible surface contamination.

6. What Procedures Are in Place to Reduce the Risk of Contracting COVID-19 from a Plumber?

PPE protects the plumber, but what about customers? Our no-contact service is one way that we work with you to help keep everyone safe. Behind the scenes, we also promote safety by avoiding tool swaps, sanitizing gear between job sites and encouraging employees to stay home if they display any symptoms of an upper respiratory illness.

7. Do You Also Work in Hospitals and Other Commercial Buildings?

Yes. We do offer commercial plumbing service but servicing large, industrial systems often requires specialized skills. In most cases, the plumbers who work on commercial buildings are not the same plumbers that serve our residential customers. When there is a crossover between commercial and residential service providers, technicians remain vigilant about all recommended safety precautions to help keep your household safe and healthy.

8. Is There Anything We Can Do as Customers to Help with Sanitation?

Good sanitation practices help limit the spread of all diseases. It is always wise to frequently disinfect areas like doorknobs, light switches, and railings since they are touched often. Disinfecting these areas is fairly straightforward and uses chemicals often found in your cleaning cupboard, according to the CDC. Simply add 1/3 of a cup of unexpired bleach to a gallon of water to mix up an effective solution for killing COVID-19. Spray the areas that need disinfecting and let them air dry. There’s no need to rinse surfaces or wipe up bleach — it turns into salt when it dries. Spray before and after any visit from someone who does not live in your home, even after package deliveries.

If you have a plumbing emergency, contact your local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain expert today. Plumbing service is available during normal hours and after-hours emergency service is also provided as needed. Our technicians follow safety guidelines designed to keep them and you healthy during this pandemic while also providing top-notch plumbing service.

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