EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Many El Paso home owners are still on a waiting list to get their busted pipes fixed.
This, as local plumbers have been responding to hundreds of calls received after last week’s winter storm.
Plumbing companies like Jeff’s Westside Plumbing LLC are still doing the work to fix broken pipes due to the winter freeze and say they were well prepared this time around, but still remind El Pasoans what they can do ahead of time prevent any busts or leaks.
“We had about 200 calls. Most of them we were able to get to, some of them are still on pending situation,” Joe Gonzalez, a licensed plumber with Jeff’s Westside Plumbing LLC said.
Many plumbers said they received hundreds of calls during the freeze and are still responding to busted pipes a week later.
“Rule of thumb is if it’s going to be 32 degrees or below for more than 12 hours, you know that you’re going to be in trouble if your pipes are not protected,” Fabian Barragan, the Owner of Fabian’s Fast and Affordable Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling along with Master Plumber said.
Having your pipes insulated ahead of harsh winter conditions is key.
“I still recommend every winter, starting at the beginning of winter even in October, to wrap those pipes up. Remember this year we had snow in October and the pipes burst then too,” Barragan said.
“Any hose bibs, any valves, you can cover it up with a towel, blanket, plastic bags and it will protect it a little bit better,” Gonzalez added.
Barragan said the sprinkler system usually breaks first, “I’ve been warning my customers to go ahead and open up those valves that have little valves on there and let the water out if you know that it’s going to be 32 degrees or below for more than 12 hours.”
Some other tips include disconnecting all water hoses from the hose bibs, letting a light stream of hot and cold sink water running, and opening up your cabinets.
“If you can see outside the window in your kitchen or your bathroom, and your plumbing is on that wall, what I can recommend is to open up the cabinets so the heat from the house goes inside the cabinet and keeps those pipes warm,” Barragan explained.
While plumbers are keeping on task recovering busted pipes, they also shared a fair warning to make sure to do your research and contact licensed professional plumbers.
“We have a lot of people coming in out of town just saying ‘We’re plumbers we can do the job for you’. They’ll do the job but it’s just not a professional job. They have to get a licensed plumber to do it because otherwise they’ll end up paying double,” Gonzalez said.
Another tip is to avoid paying any money upfront. Again, doing your research and finding licensed or master plumbers can help you avoid paying more money for further repairs.