ARLINGTON, TX (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s the frustrating yet predictable winter timeline: deep freeze, big thaw, broken pipes and good luck finding a plumber!
“It’s hard to say ‘no’ to people, especially when they’ve been without water for three or four days,” says Everardo Almeda of Almeda Plumbing. “It’s hard and heartbreaking to tell someone you can’t do it.”
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Some homeowners are told it could take weeks before the plumbers can catch up.
“They’re frustrated, they’re mad at us, they’re mad at the situation, they’re mad at themselves for not taking precautions,” Cecil Pearcy says on an Arlington Ace Hardware site.
But that’s not all.
Hardware store shelves are cleared as frustrated homeowners go online to find out how to make repairs themselves.
“As soon as we get a truck in,” Pearcy said, “it’s gone.
Other hardware stores say they are also receiving additional deliveries and hiring additional staff.
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“They come and get parts, but they also sometimes ask ‘hey. I watched this video, but I’m stuck here. Can you help me?'” Sam Johns told South Arlington Lowe’s.
Unfortunately, knowing how is not enough.
Local hardware stores say the shortage of plumbing supplies is crippling even the efforts of professionals to restore water.
The Arlington Ace store is trucking in fittings from as far away as Colorado to try to keep up with demand. Customers often wait for these deliveries to arrive.
“We just started leaving the case open,” says Pearcy.
So what to do until your plumber’s number appears?
Maybe make some friends at your local hardware store.
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“It’s a warm feeling to be able to help these people who are in need,” says Johns, “just an overwhelming feeling that you can help your neighbors.”