Dishwashers and washing machines should be run one time empty to flush them out, and dishes or clothes that were washed during the water emergency should be rewashed once the washing machines are clean.
Water in CPAP machines or other medical or health-care devices should be thrown out and the devices rinsed with clean water. Any baby formula or drinks made with tainted water should also be thrown away. Pet bowls should also be emptied and washed.
External devices like water softeners, sediment filters or reverse osmosis machines should have filters changed before flushing the system. The membrane in the reverse osmosis system should not need to be changed, water company officials said.
Maddox said he was replacing the filters in his refrigerator and the water filter on his tap. He and his wife had bottled water left over from the water emergency, and planned to use it before drinking his tap water.
Water officials said tap water may still have an odor after flushing, because the odor threshold of the chemical is lower than the level health officials deem safe. Additional flushing won't help get rid of the smell, water officials said.
Area plumbers were reluctant Monday to offer additional advice on flushing household water systems.
"We're plumbing contractors, not chemists," said Jay Marino, president of Al Marino Inc., a Charleston plumbing business dating from 1952. "I'd follow their protocol."
Marino did advise homeowners with ice machines to run several batches of ice through the device before using it, and said it might be a good idea for homeowners to open faucets closest to their home's main shutoff valve first, then move out through the house like the spokes on a wheel. That process is similar to one plumbers use when flushing lines for other reasons.
Marino said no one knows yet what the effects of the chemical might be on gaskets, rubber seals, O-rings or toilet seals. He advised homeowners to be vigilant, and if a seal or gasket starts to leak, replace it.
But he did have one strong suggestion.
"Don't walk away from a running faucet," he said. He said someone should keep an eye on faucets while flushing the water lines to make sure drains don't overflow.Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.