Having a water pipe burst at home can be classified as a major problem and can quickly become an unbearable nightmare for any homeowner. It is crucial to stay calm and not panic, think fast about how to contain the broken water pipe to reduce the damage that can potentially occur.
Dealing with a burst pipe is one of those tasks you wish you never have to do, however such incidents do occur more frequently than you think, just ask any plumber and they’ll tell you 30% of their call outs are somewhat related to burst water pipes. This can happen for a number of different reasons including drops in temperature, pressure gauge failure, faulty or damaged plumbing and is more likely to occur if you live in an older house. Regardless of how a burst pipe happens, it is almost a guarantee that a huge mess will follow and you could be up for an unpredictable large clean-up bill.
In this article we will go through the 10 fundamental steps you should take should this ever happen so you can be better prepared for such a situation.
Step 1. Turn water off at mains
If you don’t know where the water main valve is or what it looks like, then it is a great time to get familiar with it as soon as possible. Turn the valve off and use your hose in the garden to test if the water has stopped after running the water for a few seconds. The water should eventually stop, preventing further water damage inside your home.
Step 2. Disable your electricity
Find your switch box and turn the electricity off with the switch panel. This will provide a safe environment for you until you can determine none of the electrical wiring and circuits in your home is compromised. Depending on where the burst water pipe occurs, there may be general power outlets in the vicinity that has been affected. If so, call your local electrician to determine the area is safe.
Step 3. Get your local plumber out
Unless you have the necessary tools and extensive knowledge on repairing a burst water pipe, it is recommended that you call your local plumber to attend at the earliest possible hour. At this stage, you will have no water supply to you home, so the quicker the pipe is repaired, the earlier you can get the water running again.
Step 4. Protect non tiled areas
If you have carpet or laminated flooring that could be compromised by water leaking out of the wet area, quickly take steps to reduce the damage the water can do. Allowing water to stagnate on carpet can cause bad odours whilst laminated flooring can be severely damaged by water seeping through which can be costly to replace.
Step 5. Soak up water and dry the area
Be thorough with the clean-up, burst pipes normally sit under the sink or inside the vanity. Remove all the items in the affected areas and try with a lot of towels. Keep cabinets and windows open to aerate your home, this will help introduce warm air in the environment and reduce the drying time.
Step 6. Take photos of the damage
It is a good idea to take photos of the damage when a burst water pipe occurs, this will help document areas in the home that has been affected and can be provided to your insurance company if you decide to put in a claim.
Step 7. Contact your insurance company
Burst water pipes that cause damage to your home should be covered under most general home insurance policies. The best part about purchasing home insurance is that your provider will be there to arrange everything from inspection to resolution. They will work with registered plumbers to expedite onsite attendance within short time frames.
Accidents can happen at the worst of times and having a burst water pipe inside the home may be one of the more disastrous scenarios. Time is of the essence when water is not contained and keeps pouring out, however knowing how to tackle it if it does occur can help minimize the damage and prevent an expensive repair bill.