What Do You Do When You Need an Emergency Repair?

Though Washington residents remain hunkered down in their homes amid Gov. Jay Inslee’s Stay Safe, Stay Healthy order, emergency home repairs don’t temporarily cease until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Refrigerators will continue to fail, pipes will continue to leak, and water heaters will continue to need repairing or replacing.

That is where many local companies with skilled installation and repair technicians, like Bothell-based Fast Water Heater Co., come in. Fast Water has been around since the mid-1980s and currently serves most of Western Washington and parts of Oregon and California.

We sat down with Fast Water CEO Jason Hanleybrown recently to find out what companies like his are doing to ensure customer and employee safety, and what homewowners can do if they have emergency repair needs. Steps companies like Fast Water Heater Co. are taking to ensure employee and customer safety:

  • They are never going to send a symptomatic or sick tech to a customer’s home;
  • Technicians are equipped with all the standard safety precautions, so don’t be surprised when a tech shows up wearing a big mask;
  • They will take any safety precautions the customer wants;
  • Rescheduling, if needed, is OK — just call; and
  • Onsite technicians are equipped to answer any questions or concerns.

Steps you can take if you need an emergency repair:

  • If there is an individual in the home who is sick, and the repair isn’t an emergency, wait for repairs until that individual is no longer sick;
  • When calling to schedule service, check to make sure technicians will be taking steps to mitigate COVID-19 exposure;
  • Ask in advance whether signatures can be waived or done in a contactless way, and have gloves and your own pen ready in case a signature can’t be waived;
  • Plan a route through your home to get the techs where they need to go and where they should put their tools down;
  • If it is possible to use disinfecting spray or wipes on the surface of the object that needs repairing, wipe it down; and
  • Most techs will have hand sanitizer at the ready, but you can leave a bottle out for them as a courtesy, anyway.
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is the managing editor of 425 magazine. Email her.
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