Q12. Should I turn off the pilot lights on the fireplaces in the summer?
A12. Teresen Gas recommends it for two reasons. They throw a lot of heat which makes it harder to keep the house cool in summer and it costs about $9.00 per month per fireplace. Since we all have two of them, figure $18.00 per month for four months - $72.00. If you don't need your living room fireplace on in the winter at all, you'll be saving another 8 months x $ 9 = $72 for a total of $144 per year. We're paying this because we don't know how to turn them off?!
It's easy to turn off the Pilot light. Here's how:
Just remove the bottom panel on the front of the fireplace. There are two little balls on springs on each side which click in and out of the sides of the F/P. Press either side of the panel sideways and it pops out. At the base of the fireplace runs the gas-line. There is a coloured shut-off valve midway. The horizontal position is ON. Do a quarter turn so it is now turned vertical to the gas-line - OFF. That turns off the gas completely and you don't have to fiddle with the pilot light knobs on the left at all. Those are for igniting it.
Come Fall and you want to turn the pilot light on again, it's a bit more involved, so you want to ask someone who knows how to ignite it. It's all quite easy when first you've been shown how. Paying a plumber to do it negates the savings. You must have a relative, friend or neighbour who can show you.
Q13. Why can't I phone our Caretaker when I have a problem?
A13. It is common practice with most Strata Corporations that Council does not give out the Caretaker's cell/pager numbers. These are used in case the Council Maintenance Monitor or the President needs to get in touch. Giving out our previous Caretaker's number caused too many interruptions in his daily Strata duties.
Example: Caretaker is on a roof, or in the middle of painting or power washing. His phone/pager goes off and he has to stop what he is doing to, perhaps descend a ladder to address a perceived immediate concern of an owner. He's on the phone, or gone, for some time. A dozen or more such calls could be received in a day. Our Caretaker is not our personal handyman. A Strata Complex is not a resort, nor is it Extended Care. :o) He is hired for the purpose of maintaining our common Strata areas in which there is lots to do. Therefore he should be left in peace to do his job. Some people have misunderstood this rationale and are under the impression that "we can't talk to the Caretaker". Of course you may.
Be friendly by all means - he's a nice guy.
The way you got your internal house problems resolved in your previous non-strata home, or perhaps being unable to maintain your own flower beds, - it is just the same here. You call in the trades. If there is a problem with the external part of your unit or common area around your home - e.g bees nest under eave, just fill out a Service Request form for the Caretaker to address. If it's an emergency - e.g. tree fell on your house, call our Property Manager at RE/MAX and they will call in the trades.