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Fit to Burst: 3 Steps to Take After You Notice a Pipe Has Burst

A burst pipe can seem like a homeowner's worst nightmare: a torrent of water rushes through your home and damages electronics, furniture and other belongings. But burst pipes don't have to ruin your home. As long as you notice a leak or break early on and react efficiently, you can minimise the damage done.

In this blog, we list characteristics of burst pipes and give you three steps for effective response when a pipe bursts.

What Does a Burst Pipe Look Like?

When you imagine a ruptured pipe, you probably picture water gushing from the wall or ceiling. However, this image represents one of the most damaging misconceptions about the way pipes burst.

If a pipe burst in your home, you may experience an obvious stream of water. But you may also notice any combination of the following signs:

  • Abnormally low water pressure or a sudden drop in water pressure
  • Damp or soaked patches on the walls, floor or ceiling
  • Loud rushing, churning or gurgling noises from your pipes
  • Sudden and unexplained electrical faults in a localised area

While none of these signs on their own guarantee that a pipe has blown, they are early indicators of serious problems. Watch for these signs of pipe ruptures, especially during high-risk periods, such as during a renovation or during a seasonal drop in temperatures.

What Can You Do When a Pipe Bursts?

So what do you do when you notice any or all of the warning signs listed above? Take these three steps:

1. Turn Off Your Water                               &

Before you do anything else, stop the water flow. This step not only protects your possessions, but it can also slow down the damage high water pressure does to your piping.

Close the stopcock completely. Then, turn on all the taps in your home to give the residual water a place to go.

If the water is near any electrical outlets or appliances, turn off the power in that section of your home. Do not touch any exposed wiring, which may be wet.

2. Call the Professionals

As soon as you stop the water flow, start making calls. Contact an experienced plumber to handle repairs. Then, contact your insurance company to begin the claims process. Record any water damage to report to your insurer.

If the water has stood for a significant period of time or contains any sewage, you may also need to contact a mould remediation specialist or a hazardous material removal team.

3. Begin the Removal Process

Once you have professionals on their way, begin moving items away from the leak if it is safe to do so. Once you have moved the most sensitive items out of the way, start to collect any standing water.

Water removal is your highest priority because the longer the water stands, the higher your chances of mould growth and irreversible water damage.

If the weather permits, open doors and windows near the affected area to aid in water removal.

The best way to treat pipe flaws is to prevent them in the first place. Your plumber can provide inspection, repairs and improvements to decrease the risk of ruptures in the future.

If you have any doubt about your pipes' condition or what step to take next, contact your trusted plumber. Many plumbers offer extended hours to accommodate emergencies, and your plumber may be able to give you some basic recommendations over the phone.

Take the steps listed above to circumvent health and safety hazards caused by standing water, protect your property and belongings and allow for rapid repairs.

For more information about your home's plumbing system and how you can use it in a safer, more effective way,  browse our blog section.

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