2021 Texas Plumbing Demands Deplete Supplies Nationwide

March 20th, 2021 8:15pm
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2021 Texas Plumbing Demands Deplete Supplies Nationwide

CREDIT: LM OTERO/AP      City of Richardson worker clears ice from a frozen water fountain, Feb. 16, 2021, in Richardson, Texas.

Winter Storm Uri took the United States, Mexico, and Canada by surprise. Violent winter and ice storms impacted many areas, but what caused the most damage was the power crisis that ensued in Texas. 

The days-long power outages left families and businesses struggling against freezing temperatures without access to electricity, heat and in some cases, clean water. The blackout was the largest in the United States since 2003.

The Texas blackout meant no heat. The frigid temperatures began causing pipes to freeze, leading to leaks and breaks. As the sun came back out and the weather warmed, many people started to realize the extent of the damage the storm created – an estimated $19 billion.


Plumbers in Texas are overworked. Skilled tradespeople and volunteers have been travelling thousands of miles to the state to lend a hand. In addition to not having enough plumbers to go around, the waterworks supplies are running out.


Randy Calazans, from One Call Plumbing in Houston, TX says that obtaining the materials is the hardest part of his job right now. “I’m literally just burning through supplies,” he said. He’s waiting in line at a supply house for hours trying to pick up plumbing supplies because the shelves are bare.


The depletion of plumbing supplies is only one of the problems that has come out of the Texas winter storm. The other pinch is in supply chain disruption from manufacturing through logistics.


Plumbing Supply Effects Nationwide

Texas produces nearly three-quarters of the United Sates’ supply of ethylene – a gas used in the production of essential items included in PVC. Manufacturers are feeling the strain from the sudden high demand. Supply chain disruptions include production delays due to facilities that were shut down because lack of utilities. This is still causing increased delivery time estimates.


Many of our manufacturers have stepped up to aid in the Texas recovery efforts while still meeting the demands of wholesalers nationwide. We are seeing some PVC pipe and fittings vendors warn of extended lead times for products in their reserve inventory. As Texas struggles with not having enough plumbers and plumbing supplies, the rest of the country also feels the hardship.


When demand rises, supply decreases, and prices increase. Plumbing supply wholesalers are feeling the pressure as they stock their shelves due to the increasing prices, which in turn, forces wholesalers to increase theirs. Unfortunately, this is difficult for wholesalers because they do not like inconveniencing their customers who will then also need to increase pricing for their own businesses.


Erb Company Has Wholesale Plumbing Supplies In Stock

Erb Company maintains a strong stock of PVC pipes, fittings, and other supplies in our warehouse. We have been overcoming the Covid-related labor shortages and we can outlast this stress, too. We are committed to meeting the needs of our customers by doing our best to maintaining a supply that can withstand unexpected situations.


Erb Company will continue to work closely with our vendors so that we can act to minimize any negative impact to our customers. We will remain transparent when there are logistics and other issues which are outside of our control. We ask our customers to help us help you by planning and placing orders as far in advance as possible so we all can meet or exceed deadline expectations.


Contact us today so we can help you and your customers stay ahead of the shortages. 

Call 716-825-1400 or email inquiry@erbcompany.com.

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