What’s the First Thing You Should Do if a Pipe Bursts?

What’s the First Thing You Should Do if a Pipe Bursts?

It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare: coming home to a busted pipe. When pipes freeze, the water inside can expand 9% in volume. This causes the pressure to go from 40 psi up to 40,000 psi. No pipe can handle this kind of pressure. When the pipe bursts, you’ll be left with water leaks and water pressure issues. When this happens, you’ll need to act fast to prevent further damage. Perform the following steps if you discover a pipe burst in your home:

Turn Off the Water

Before you do anything else, shut off the water at its source. First locate the water main. It could be outside of your house and near a curb. Look for a concrete box with a cast-iron lid labeled “water.” Some houses have the water main indoors. Look around the water heater, in the basement, or in a crawl space. Once you find the water main, turn it to the off position. This will prevent more water from entering the pipes.

Drain Faucets and Toilet

After you turn off the main water valve, you’ll need to empty any remaining water from the pipes. To do so, turn all of your faucets on and allow the water to drain out. This also includes giving the toilet a few flushes. Once you do this, the leak should subside. You’ll also prevent additional freezing.

Locate the Busted Pipe

Look for warped walls or ceilings, puddles on the floor, and any other signs of water leakage. If there is still water dripping or pouring out from a pipe, place a bucket underneath.

Turn Up the Heat

Time to thaw out those frozen pipes. Crank up the heat and close all windows and exterior doors (including the garage). Open your cabinets and closets to allow warm air to heat up those spaces, as well. If you were able to find the pipe burst, try warming the pipe directly with a hairdryer.

Call a Plumber

Now that you have the leak somewhat under control, it’s time to call in the experts. A licensed plumber will have the knowledge and tools to fix the pipe and remediate water damage. They may even suggest preventive measures to avoid pipe bursting in the future.

Document Everything

If you plan to file a homeowner’s insurance claim, you’re going to need to provide proof of damage. Take pictures, create a timeline of the event, and document all the damages. Even though you may be tempted to toss out the ruins of your house, hold on to everything for some time. You’ll need all the evidence you can get.

Clean Up the Mess

Now it’s time to clear away the water. To reduce water damage, soak up excess water with a mop and some absorbent towels. It also helps to run a dehumidifier and fan to help water evaporate faster.

Call Stephens Plumbing for Your Pipe Burst

When a pipe bursts, you’ll need a plumber right away. If you live in the South Bay or Orange County, Stephens Plumbing has your back. We’re available 24/7 for all your plumbing emergencies. Our licensed plumbers will be able to stop the leak, fix the pipe, and mitigate water damage. We know you’ll be pleased with the results. Don’t believe us? Check out the five-star reviews from hundreds of satisfied customers.