Things You Should Do When You Find a Burst Pipe

A detailed upclose photo of a pipe bursting with water

Dealing with a burst pipe is tough, but having a good plan can save you from major damage and expensive repairs. At 72 Degrees Texas, we know how urgent these situations are. Serving Fredericksburg, TX since 1984, we offer 24/7 emergency services and have thousands of 5-star reviews. Whether it’s a late-night plumbing problem or a sudden drop in water pressure, our expert team is always ready to help.

Here’s a simple guide on what to do if you have a burst pipe to help you minimize damage and get your home back to normal quickly.

The first step in responding to a burst pipe is recognizing the signs.

Here are some indications that you may have a burst pipe:

  • Dripping or spraying water from the ceiling, walls, or floors
  • A sudden decrease in water pressure
  • Unusual noises coming from the pipes, such as banging or hissing
  • Water stains on walls, floors, or ceilings
  • A musty smell in the affected area
  • Wet insulation or drywall

A burst pipe can also lead to an unexpectedly high water bill, indicating a leak. Additionally, if you experience unexplained puddles of water in your yard or garden, this may be a sign of a burst underground pipe. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to act quickly to prevent further damage.

Shut off the Water Supply

The first thing you should do when you discover a burst pipe is to shut off the water supply. Every home has a main water shutoff valve that you can use to stop the flow of water. It’s typically located near the water meter or where the main water line enters your home. If you can’t find the main valve, contact your water company for assistance.

Once you’ve located the main shutoff valve, turn it off by rotating it clockwise. This will stop the flow of water and prevent further damage to your home. Remember, it’s a good practice to familiarize yourself with the location of the main shutoff valve before an emergency occurs. Additionally, if your home is equipped with isolation valves on individual fixtures, you can turn these off to stop water flow to specific areas.

Turn off Electricity and Gas

If the burst pipe has caused flooding, there is a risk of electrical shock. If you can safely access your electrical panel, turn off the electricity to the affected area. If you’re unsure how to do this safely, it’s best to contact the professionals at 72 Degrees for assistance. Take care to avoid standing water when you access the electrical panel to prevent electrocution.

If you smell gas or suspect a gas leak, turn off the main gas valve immediately and evacuate the property. Contact your local fire department or gas company for assistance. Gas leaks are extremely dangerous and can lead to explosions if not handled promptly and properly.

Drain the Faucets

After shutting off the water supply, open all the faucets in your home to drain any remaining water from the pipes. This will reduce the pressure on the burst pipe and prevent further damage. Be sure to flush the toilets as well to drain the water from the tank and bowl.

Additionally, if you have a hot water heater, turn it off and open the hot water faucets to drain the water from the system. This will help to prevent damage to your water heater and reduce the risk of additional leaks.

Locate the Burst Pipe

Once you’ve shut off the water supply and drained the faucets, it’s time to locate the burst pipe. Look for water stains, dampness, or unusual smells in the walls, floors, and ceilings. You can also listen for the sound of dripping or running water to help locate the source of the leak.

Sometimes, the burst pipe may be located in a hard-to-reach area, such as behind a wall or under a floor. In such cases, it may be necessary to carefully remove a section of drywall or flooring to access the damaged pipe. Use caution to avoid causing additional damage to your property.

Call a Professional Plumber

Repairing a burst pipe is not a DIY project. It’s essential to call our professional plumbers as soon as possible to repair the burst pipe and prevent further damage to your home. A licensed plumber has the expertise and specialized tools to locate and repair the burst pipe safely and efficiently.

Our expert plumbers will also be able to assess the overall condition of your plumbing system and suggest any necessary upgrades or replacements to prevent future bursts. They can also provide advice on how to maintain your pipes to reduce the risk of similar incidents.

Document the Damage

Before you start cleaning up, document the damage caused by the burst pipe. Take photos and videos of the affected areas and any damaged items. This will be useful for insurance purposes and will help you keep track of the damage and repairs.

Make a list of all damaged personal property and note the estimated value and age of each item. This detailed documentation can be critical when filing your insurance claim. Remember to save all receipts from repairs and cleaning, as they can be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Dry Out the Affected Areas

After the burst pipe has been repaired, it’s crucial to dry out the affected areas to prevent mold growth and further damage. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove standing water and open windows and doors to let fresh air in.

You can also use fans and dehumidifiers to help dry out the affected areas. If the damage is extensive, it’s best to contact a professional water damage restoration company for assistance. They have the tools and experience to effectively dry out your home and prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Contact Your Insurance Company

If you have homeowner’s insurance, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the burst pipe and document the damage. Your policy may cover the cost of repairs and damages caused by the burst pipe.

Provide your insurance company with all the documentation you have collected. They may send an adjuster to assess the damage and determine the coverage. Keep open communication with your insurance representative and follow their instructions for the claims process.

Preventing Future Pipe Bursts

To keep your pipes from bursting, it’s important to take care of your plumbing system. Here are some easy tips:

  • Insulate pipes in places like basements, crawl spaces, and attics.
  • Drain and turn off outdoor water before winter.
  • Keep your home’s temperature steady during cold weather to stop pipes from freezing.
  • Don’t pour grease or oil down the drain; it can harden and block pipes.
  • Avoid putting fibrous foods like potato peels and celery in the garbage disposal.
  • Regularly check for leaks and signs of rust on your pipes.
  • Have a professional plumber inspect your system once a year.

You can also install water leak detectors to catch leaks early. Updating your plumbing fixtures and being careful about what goes down your drains will help keep your plumbing system healthy.

A burst pipe can be scary, but with the right steps, you can reduce the damage and get your home back to normal. Act fast: shut off the water, turn off electricity and gas, and call 72 Degrees Texas right away.

Our plumbers are licensed, available 24/7, and ready to fix the problem quickly. Be sure to take pictures of the damage for your insurance and dry the area to stop mold from growing. Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent future issues, and our Home Care Plan keeps your plumbing in great shape.

Trust 72 Degrees for all your plumbing needs—contact us today for top-rated service and peace of mind!

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