More than 13 days without running water, Austin man finally finds help for busted pipes

While the pipes are under the house, they are still 12 feet off the ground. Mike Miller was unable to find help for more than two weeks.

AUSTIN, Texas – Thousands of pipes and water pipes cracked in the extreme winter weather that hit Texas last week. The snow and ice have effectively shut down almost the entire state.

Mike Miller left the house he rented on February 15 when the winter storms turned violent. When he left, he turned off the water valve on the house, but continued to drip from his taps. When he returned the following Friday, February 19, he found that the faucets and drips were frozen.

“Usually this elevated home is great in the hot Texas summer,” Miller said. “This is just one of those sub-zero freak days that everyone goes through.”

On March 2nd, he finally got water back into his house.

He informed KVUE that a total of eight pipes had burst and the plumbers had found a defective shower valve and a clogged main line.

“That first shower was epic!” Miller told Mike Marut about KVUE.

RELATED: Insurance Companies, Plumbers Flooded With Thousands of Calls During Winter Storms

The house was built in the 1970s and is located on a hill next to Loop 360. The back half of the house stands on stilts that are about 3 meters high. It was there that Miller noticed the leaks.

“The first was in my guest bathroom. It came out of the shower,” Miller said.

Fortunately, none of the leaks allowed water to enter the house. The broken pipes were under his guest bathroom, main bathroom, and kitchen. The broken pipes were covered with wooden boards, but these boards do not offer much protection against freezing temperatures.

When KVUE spoke to him in late February, he had called six different plumbers and asked for help on Reddit.

RELATED: Plumbers Face Supply Problems As Calls Rise To Restore Water Service

“Each and every one of them said it would take more than one person and a full-time solution,” Miller previously said. “When you just hear those words, you just know it’s not something that you can address right now. So it’s very daunting.”

Only one plumber told Miller directly. The rest indicated that due to the high demand for service across Austin, they did not have the staff to fix his pipes.

“It’s a full day of work. You have to pull several people to do it, while these simpler solutions to a quick breakout in a house behind a wall could easily be done by one man,” Miller said. “More boots on the ground, more fixes definitely make sense and I get it.”

Miller said he was lucky enough to have a family close by so he could shower regularly, clean dishes, and do laundry, but he needs to collect rainwater and melted snow to fill his bathtub and flush toilets.

RELATED: Toilet Tips: How to Use Your Toilet Without Running Water

“We’ve raised and relaxed our expectations for fixing this issue a bit so that we’re not just confused,” said Miller.

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