The snow is piling up, the temperatures are dropping to plumbing-busting numbers, the wind is blowing, and all over town, plumbers are so busy they’re no longer even answering their phones.

By Beth Teitell, Globe Staff | January 5, 2018


It was a real cry for help on a Jamaica Plain neighborhood Facebook page, but it sounds like a voice-over from a horror flick: Call it “BOMBOGENESIS.”

“A water pipe just broke, and the water was pouring through the ceiling,” a homeowner wrote. “We’ve turned the water off and tried to get a plumber to come, but the least wait time for one is about 1 week, is there anyone who can help out?”

In Boston, plumber Isaac Ash recently got 400 calls during a four-day period. “We are just two plumbers,” he said, laughing a joyless, exhausted laugh, and hustling off the phone. “I’m at a job,” he said.

With the horrible weather continuing, and Plumbers Without Borders nowhere in sight, the heatless and pipe-challenged were turning to nontraditonal sources.

“I’m not a plumber; I’m a real estate agent,” said Kate Ziegler, of Jamaica Plain’s Arborview Realty. But clients, particularly first-time homeowners, were frantically texting for advice.

She walks them through various remedies — try a blow dryer for frozen pipes — and has been giving advice with an eye on the next storm: Establish a business relationship with a plumber before the bad weather hits.

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