Plumbing parts starting to arrive in Houston, but stores aren’t sure when they’ll be restocked with new supplies.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Warmer weather has returned to Houston, but those with broken pipes may have to wait days to find the right parts.

The number of customers looking for help at the Ace Hardware Store in Cypress hasn’t slowed since last week. The cold conditions have caused pipes to burst and now thousands are looking for new ones. But there isn’t enough to go around.

Bill Murff, owner of Cypress Ace Hardware, drove to Alabama this week to get fresh parts. While we were doing the interview, more trucks were arriving and delivering goods. The big problem is finding copper. Murff found copper from suppliers in colder climates, but it will be a while before it’s fully stocked here.

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“That’s a million dollar question,” Murff said. “I honestly don’t know. Copper will be the hardest part. We’ll be looking at a week to 10 days to fully replenish copper. We’ll have 90% stock of CPVC and other tubing by the end of the week.”

Hardware stores with more access to supplies are also having a hard time. At Lowe’s, a store manager said in the spring the company was sending trucks from facilities across the country, but it was still not going fast enough. They are having a hard time getting more supplies into the Houston area, especially with copper.

“Fully stocked? I don’t know if that’s going to happen anytime soon,” said Lowe’s branch manager Will Mcbride. “We bring products to market. We also have PEX pipes, where much of this material replaces the copper.”

ALSO SEE: If your pipes broke this week it may take some time to get a repair done

Regardless of the store you go to, the staff said there was something you can do before you leave your home to save time in store.

“If you can give us an example of what you need, the piece that broke, then we can definitely get it to you faster,” explained Mcbride.

“There are a lot of people who don’t know what size pipe you are,” Murff said. “The only thing I’ve told people is to put a tape measure behind it and take a picture of it. That way we can help you figure out what you need.”

If you need supplies, don’t forget the smaller specialty stores. U-Plumb-It in Montrose had parts that people needed, but it wasn’t easy. Customers waited two hours in front of the building and didn’t even know if the part was in the building.

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