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Some W.Va. residents face hot water tank glitches

By Marcus Constantino

Charleston Daily Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Water heaters are becoming the latest unlikely victim of the chemical spill that has plagued about 300,000 West Virginians for nearly a week.

Many residents took to social media Wednesday reporting their water heaters were not working after their homes were lifted from West Virginia American Water’s “do not use” advisory.

Kelly Francis, co-owner of Spring Hill Hardware in South Charleston, said his store had about 10 calls as of Wednesday afternoon regarding water heaters not working, and about 80 to 100 calls in recent days from people asking about water filters.

“There’s been a quite a few calls for stuff like that,” Francis said. “I think it’s probably still going to continue for a while. Most people I talk to, they say they’re turning their water on, but they’re still not drinking it.”

West Virginia American Water’s instructions for flushing homes did not include draining the hot water tank – but instead the suggestion to run all hot water faucets for 15 minutes and then all cold water faucets for 5 minutes.

Appliances then would need to be attended to, with attention paid to any filters. The entire protocol is posted on the water company’s website at

http://www.amwater.com/files/WV – How to flush.pdf

The Daily Mail put in calls to several area plumbers Wednesday, but all who answered the phones at the businesses said their plumbers were all in the field. Sherry Hilbert answered the phone at Jerry Hilbert Plumbing Monday afternoon and said it had been a busy day for the company.

“A lot of calls about people panicking. A lot,” Sherry said. “They’re still smelling the odors…

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