Spencer Solves It: Houstonians expecting to dish out money as pipes burst from winter storms

Power outages lead to burst pipes, flooded homes
Power outages lead to burst pipes, flooded homes

HOUSTON – As more than a million CenterPoint customers are still without power, families all over our area are dealing with frozen pipes bursting, sending water into homes and flooding yards. Fixing those pipes could be costly.

KPRC 2 Consumer Investigator Bill Spencer has what you need to know to avoid getting ripped off.

In the midst of a weather emergency throughout Texas, 46-year-old Tamika Thomas is frightened. Tamika is a single mother caring all by herself for her six children and four grandchildren, and in a matter of minutes, Tamika’s home was flooded with water gushing from the ceiling.

“I’m coming down the stairs and all I see is water coming out,” Tamika said.

A pipe burst directly above Tamika’s bedroom and within minutes, the house Tamika rents was filled with five inches of water, her tiny grandchildren scrambling for safety.

Now, Tamika faces a very large plumbing repair. She has gotten one estimate from one plumber so far.

“He told me, maybe $1,200, he could fix everything for $1,200. I’m on a fixed income. I don’t have no $1,200,” Thomas said.

Burst water pipes are a problem many Houstonians will be facing over the next several days. Not to mention the damage to ceilings and walls and floors all the water can bring.

Marcus Clark and Sara Benniga have several broken pipes, and the water damage is extensive.

“The walls are so water-logged already, you can just put your hand on it and push them through, barely any pressure the wall falls through,” Marcus said.

If you have had a pipe or pipes burst inside your home, a certified plumber told Spencer you should expect to pay anywhere between $250 and $650 for repairs.

Don’t just call one plumber either. The pros recommend you call at least three companies to get estimates.

It’s also a good idea to call two small, independent plumbers and two larger plumbing companies to get the best deal.

As for Tamika, her biggest concern isn’t the pipes. It’s her four young grandchildren.


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