Billings plumbers kept busy past holiday season

BILLS – If you’re having toilet trouble after the holidays, you’re not alone. More visitors to homes means greater demands on plumbing, so plumbing companies like Billings-based Air Controls are busier than ever.

Tyler Langhus has been busy working as an air conditioning plumber for the past few weeks.

“Lots of leaks, frozen pipes,” Langhus said Wednesday at the Harvest Granger Apartments in the West End.

Langhus is not alone.

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Tyler Longhouse

“We had to turn people away. You know, something happened at the last minute and we were already full,” said Air Control Master Plumber Jason Christoferson.

According to Christopherson, the volume of incoming calls has doubled since the start of the holidays.

“On Thanksgiving and Christmas, all the relatives come into town, and you know, the load on your plumbing system doubles, triples,” Christopherson said.

He has seen it first hand over the last 25 years.

“People use the garbage disposal because a dumpster is a lot of that without a lot of water flowing. That’s part of it,” Christopherson said.

Flushable wipes are also a big culprit. And if you have an older home, you probably have older pipes too.

“A lot of these older homes are made of copper pipes, and copper pipes eventually wear out,” Langhus said.

For this reason, many Air Controls customers use preventative maintenance before the holidays begin.

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Jason Christopherson

“When you hear something, when you notice something before it becomes a problem. That’s the biggest thing,” Christopherson said.

Especially in an emergency situation, at a time when qualified plumbers are hard to find.

“There are more plumbers retiring than we are putting back into the job market,” Langhus said.

“So we hire apprentices and train them ourselves, because everyone who is good is already working,” Christopherson said.

With even colder weather ahead, they know demand won’t slow down anytime soon.

“We’re blessed with the weather so this cold snap hasn’t really hit us yet, but it’s coming,” Langhus said.

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