MONDAY, FEB. 22 UPDATE: Next Steps for Plumbers Who Want to Help Texas, and Those Who Need Help
Does your plumbing company in Texas need help dealing with unprecedented demand from broken pipes and the power grid failure during the recent freezing weather? Do you have labor or supplies available to aid a state in crisis?
Launched Friday, the ServiceTitan effort to bridge that gap has drawn 16 requests and 49 offers as of Monday morning. But the need is much greater. Texas plumbing companies have seen an enormous spike in incoming calls for service, with some reporting more than 500 calls per day.
“We are trying to help fight through the red tape and confusion of what is needed to make this happen,” ServiceTitan Director of Customer Relations Chris Hunter said. “We want to help remove all the barriers we can to get those who want to help connected with those who need it.
“That will save contractors countless hours.”
To offer or request help:
If you need assistance: bit.ly/TitanStrong
If you can provide assistance: bit.ly/TradesShowUp
ServiceTitan will help match needs with those willing; we will compile information from both forms and then work to match contractors who need help with those offering it.
Also, ServiceTitan has received clarity from the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners on obtaining licensure.
Here’s what you need to do:
Go to the TSBPE’s online site and complete the applicant portion of the out-of-state application. It will say "exam request" but actually taking the exam is NOT required.
Create an account and pay the appropriate fee for either journeyman or master license.
Once complete, email copies of the application, your out-of-state license, your photo ID, and the receipt for the fee to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a veteran, include that in your email and you will receive information about steps to take to have the fee waived.
The TSBPE has said it will turn around applications within a day, issuing provisional licenses by email. If you later decide to stay in Texas, you can take the exam at a later date.
"It's not surprising that those in the trades are stepping up, because it's what we do," Hunter said. "This need isn't going away. Anyone in Texas who needs more plumbers or materials, let us know. And if you can help, please do. We want to connect the need with the assistance."
Ongoing winter storms, freezing temperatures and a fragile power grid are creating major challenges for home and business owners across states such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
Power outages in Texas, especially, have exacerbated a problem that many might not have expected in such numbers: Busted pipes and broken water heaters. That has created a shortage of plumbers as plumbing contractors in the state field extremely high call volumes for issues such as broken water heaters and frozen/burst pipes.
» ServiceTitan has created an email for contractors with questions. Feel free to email email@example.com
Texas is known for its heat, and the frigid temperatures of the past week have caused problems for homes that lack the type of wall and plumbing insulation needed to withstand the cold. That makes their pipes more vulnerable to damage, especially when millions in the state were at one point without power.
In a Facebook post, the nonprofit trade association Insurance Council of Texas predicted that the number of claims for frozen and burst pipes will be "unlike any event the state has experienced."
Those still without power may not yet know they have a problem because their pipes are still frozen. Once they start to thaw, the pipes will reveal the extent of the damage.
Or the extent of the need for more help.
The spike in calls for plumbing repairs and the significant shortage in available plumbers to handle the load is a challenge even for Texas.
For questions about the process, contractors can also send an email to Info@tsbpe.texas.gov
ServiceTitan knows those in the trades step up to serve others in times of crisis.
“Our customers are first responders that leave their families to come and serve yours when there’s something wrong in your house,” ServiceTitan CEO and co-founder Ara Mahdessian says. “A burst pipe, air conditioning that shuts down in the middle of the summer, and you need someone to rescue you and your kids from those challenges.
“When you get the opportunity and the privilege to work with customers like that, it’s captivating. It grabs you immediately, and you don’t want to do anything else.”
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