What to Do with a Burst Pipe

Service Today

A burst pipe is one of a homeowner’s most dire scenarios. But by acting quickly, you can possibly minimize the damage and reduce repair costs. Here is how to handle a burst pipe when you’re facing a potential catastrophe.

7 Steps to Take After a Burst Pipe

1. Turn Off Your Main Water Valve

Know where your main water valve is, so as soon as a pipe bursts, you can immediately shut off the water. Depending on the valve, you can turn it clockwise by hand. Some valves need a meter key to be turned. If you’re not sure where the valve is, check near the front of the basement or in a crawl space, mechanical room, or near the water heater or furnace. In some cases, it may be outside near the curb or sidewalk.  

2. Turn Off the Electricity

Shut off the electrical panel, especially if water is in danger of touching it. Call an electrician if the broken pipe or water is blocking your path.  

3. Drain Your Faucets

With the water supply off, open your cold-water faucets and flush your toilets several times. This will drain the remaining cold water from the system and prevent any leftover water from freezing. It also reduces pressure on the pipes so water will stop leaking through. Once the cold-water faucets are drained, turn off your boiler and heating system to ensure water is released from all hot taps.  

4. Let In Warm Air

If a pipe has frozen, it must be warmed slowly to prevent additional damage. If it’s too cold outside, use a hairdryer or space heater to warm up cold areas and gradually thaw out frozen pipes. Keep the doors between rooms open to allow air circulation; the airflow will allow the pipes to dry more quickly. Open closet, pantry, or cabinet doors to let warmer air circulate around pipes inside.  

5. Repair the Pipe If Possible

Short-term fixes include fitting a repair sleeve over the broken section of the pipe. You can also place a piece of rubber on the hole or crack and cover it with a woodblock. Clamp the two together to keep any water in the pipe. These are just temporary solutions that can hold until a plumber arrives.  

6. Document the Damage

Take as many photos as you can of the damage and any possessions that are affected. Don’t throw things away yet. You’ll need to provide as much detail as possible to the insurance company. Check that your homeowner’s insurance policy covers damage from a burst pipe. You can also call the company to find out.  

7. Start the Clean Up

Hopefully, you can find where the leak is coming from and stop it. But water has probably still soaked your home and will cause mold and mildew to grow if it’s not cleaned up quickly. Water can also cause irreparable damage to furniture and building materials. The sooner you clean it up, the more destruction and expenses you can possibly avoid. If all else fails…  

8. Call Your Local Plumber

Whether you see a burst pipe directly, or notice signs such as low water pressure, stains on the wall, puddles, discolored water, a metallic smell in water, water sounds from the walls, or a high water bill, contact Service Today! We specialize in water pipe repair and installation. Our team can find and fix the problem fast and inspect your plumbing to determine the extent of the damage. To request emergency service, receive upfront pricing, and learn about financing options, call (888) 743-0053 today!