The 16th Annual Heat and Plumb the County service event will take place Saturday, Sep. 14, to help nearly 50 veterans, senior and disabled residents who do not have the physical or financial means to pay for home repairs.
A group of 100 volunteer contractors from the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association of Northeast Ohio (PHCC) and the Greater Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors Association (ACCA) traveled throughout Cuyahoga County to provide the free furnace tune-ups, water audits and plumbing repairs. “Some of the things we look for are high CO detection, rolling flames, gas leaks, plumbing leaks and sewage problems,” says event co-organizer Jerry Johnson.
Each plumbing contractor partnered with a heating and cooling contractor to visit two homes during the day. During each safety check, the contractors will make sure the furnace was running safely and that the home’s plumbing system was working efficiently.
In past years, technicians have founds and fixed problems that could have been life-threatening to the customer. This year, all homes will receive a combination CO and smoke detector provided by Dollar Bank.
“A few years ago we found a home with a serious gas leak,” says event co-organizer Jim Haberek. “We had to evacuate the house, but thankfully no one was hurt.”
All residents are pre-screened by the Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission, Cuyahoga County Senior and Adult Services, Cuyahoga County Department of Development and the Cleveland Department of Aging. Residents in need have to meet certain criteria, including being the owner of the home and having financial income of no more than 175 percent above the poverty level.
“Our technicians are proud to be here and to make a difference in the community,” says Haberek. “They’ve donated their Saturday to make sure residents are safe.”
The event’s materials, supplies and additional funding were donated by local plumbing and HVAC supply companies. According to the event organizers, they are always looking for more contractors to volunteer their time to meet the growing demand for the program.
The ACCA of Greater Cleveland first hosted Heat and Plumb the County in 2004, and the PHCC joined the event in 2008. Heat and Plumb the County events take place nationwide. The program was started by the ACCA in Texas and has since spread across the U.S.
The PHCC and ACCA of Ohio are membership organizations of active plumbing, heating and cooling contractors committed to the continuous improvement of the industry and society’s quality of life through ongoing education, training and political action.