It might seem like panic needs to strike when a pipe burst in your home. Your floors, walls, and furniture stand a good chance to get water damaged. But don’t fret, here are the steps to take when a pipe bursts in your home. 

First, let’s look at the main causes of a burst pipe.

  • Corrosion: when there is an imbalance in the water’s pH or when rust has formed, corrosion occurs. This is a phenomenon that happens over a long period. This imbalance compromises the strength of the pipe because small leaks start to form which leads to bursts.
  • Clogs: needless to say, clogs cause a build-up of water pressure, when the pressure is high and the water has nowhere to go, the pipe will burst. 
  • Freezing temps: In areas with extreme winters, frozen pipes can burst. If external temperatures fall below 0 degrees celsius and water freezes in the pipes, the pipe weakens. By opening the hot water the ice breaks up and so does the pipe. 

Now that you know what cause may affect a burst pipe, let’s look at what to do when a pipe bursts in your home?

Step 1:

TURN OFF THE MAIN WATER LINE.

By doing so, you will immediately stop the flow of water to your property and prevent too much damage to your floors, walls, and furniture. Don’t turn the flow of water back on until your plumber gives you the go-ahead. 

Step 2:

CALL A PROFESSIONAL PLUMBER

Plumbers are busy professionals, make sure to immediately schedule a call-out with your plumber to avoid waiting too long to get this problem fixed.

Step 3:

Turn off your geyser & drain the water

Let the taps run dry by opening them until no more water runs out. Flush your toilets and clean up any water that might damage your home quickly to prevent excess damage.

Step 4:

Locate the burst & document it. 

This will help you with any insurance claims. If the damage is extensive you might want to claim damages from your insurance company. To do this effectively, take enough pictures and document every step you have taken to ensure minimal damage to your home. 

Step 5:

Clean up any standing water. 

If you act fast and move quickly you can minimize the damage to your belongings by cleaning up the water that has already leaked out from the burst pipe. This will also prevent mould. 

Step 6:

DIY temporary fix

If you urgently need to close the leak and your plumber is a ways away. You can try to temporarily stop the lead by using a piece of rubber, a c-clamp, and a block of wood. Cover the lead with the piece of rubber, place the block of wood over the rubber before you clamp the pipe and the wood together. The wood prevents the pipe from collapsing by spreading the pressure of the clamp on the pipe. 

Step 7:

Let your plumber take over from here. 

Your plumber will fix your burst pipe and also educate you on prevention methods. 

How to know if you have a burst pipe?

  • Water pressure. If you are experiencing low water pressure, the rate at with water flows through the pipes, you might have a leaky or a burst pipe. Water in the pipes flows out through the opening in the pipe instead of coming out of your taps. 
  • Water stains. Look for stains on the ceilings or the walls. These typically indicate a leak or a burst in your water pipes. Stains can help you easily locate the position of the burst pipe. 
  • Discoloured water. If you have red/brown water, this could indicate rust in the pipes. Rust gets caused by leaks in the pipe and could lead to bursts. 
  • Abnormally high water bill. This could indicate a severe leakage somewhere in your pipes. Excess water leaks through the hole in your pipe pushing up your water usages. 
  • Hearing water. If you hear water, and you know all the taps are closed properly, you may have a burst pipe, try and locate the sound and inspect the area for any water damage. 

No one wants to experience a burst pipe in their home. Even though there are prevention steps you can take, pipes inevitably burst. But following the key indicators of whether or not you have a burst pipe, can limit the damage that it can cause to your home and belongings, by catching a leak before it spirals out of control. If you do get a burst pipe, just follow the instructions set out above as quickly as you can and have your plumber come and fix the pipes as soon as possible.