SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A shortage in plumbing supplies is impacting the local industry in Santa Barbara.
"Normally when we have to order stuff, when our suppliers have them in stock, depending on the product, anywhere from a couple of days to the most, maybe two weeks," said Jaime Maldonado. "Now, because of what's going on and depending on the product and where it's coming from, we're looking from six to eight weeks to three months."
Maldonado, Head Plumber at Carroll Plumbing and Maintenance in Santa Barbara, said layoffs across the country linked to the COVID-19 pandemic cut down on the number of employees working at plumbing supply and distribution sites. And now, the weather crisis in Texas and other states has added another layer of problems for the supply chain and deliveries, nationwide.
"Just getting water heaters again is a little hard."
Some parts are on back-order or under a rationing, of sorts, including reverse osmosis filter systems.
"Normally when we order them we order about 10. I think they're limiting us now to just six."
Maldonado said if you also factor in materials coming from other countries like Italy, Japan and, China, that means certain supplies that normally take days or weeks to ship are now taking months. One specific, popular product used with water filters and imported from Canada and Zimbabwe is completely unavailable.
That said, Carroll Plumbing staff is keeping most items well-stocked and their highly credentialed plumbers are busier than ever.
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