How to Handle Pipe Bursts?
A burst pipe can strike panic into the heart of any homeowner, but fear not! Understanding exactly what to do when you encounter a burst pipe can make all the difference. Read on to learn how to handle burst pipes while you wait for that “emergency plumber near me” to arrive. Need emergency plumbing services in Duncanville, TX? The pro team at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating is on call and ready to help. Dial (972) 388-3310 for assistance or visit us online to learn more.
What to Do When a Pipe BurstsWhen the water comes gushing, the ability to think on your feet can make a huge difference in the amount of water damage you’ll need to deal with later — not to mention the utility bill. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the appropriate steps to handling burst pipes before disaster strikes. That way, once the initial shock of a busted pipe passes, you can spring into action. Here’s what to do:
Step 1: Shut Off the Main Water ValveLocate and shut off your home’s main water valve. This is the most effective way to stop water gushing into your home. The main water valve is typically located in the basement or in the kitchen. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with its location and how to shut it off when they’re not in crisis-mode. The last thing you want is to go hunting for the main water valve while your belongings get soaked.
Step 2: Empty All PipesOnce you’ve shut off the main water supply, flush all toilets and run cold water from every faucet. This simple step ensures that any residual water left in your pipes won’t also come gushing out of the damaged piping.
Step 3: Turn Off the Water HeaterNext, shut down your water heater and empty hot water from each faucet. This is a safety precaution to ensure that dangerously hot water doesn’t come busting out of that burst pipe while you troubleshoot.
Step 4: Turn Off the ElectricityTurn off the main power supply to your home as soon as you are able to do so safely. Water conducts electricity, and under the wrong circumstances, this can be incredibly dangerous, especially if water from the burst pipe reaches outlets or fuse boxes.
Step 5: Determine the SourceLook for signs of leakage, such as pooling water, a bulging ceiling or water leaking into the cabinet beneath a sink. If you are able to, place a bucket to catch dripping water. At this point, you’ll want to search for the “best plumbers near me.” A professional plumber can determine the source and extent of pipe damage and recommend the best course of action.
Signs of a Burst PipeSometimes, a burst pipe announces itself loud and clear. In other instances, the problem may not be as obvious. Neglecting a severe hidden leak can lead to major problems, like mold growth or extensive pipe damage. Let’s look at the common signs of a burst pipe:
- Stains on the Wall or Ceiling — Look for large water stains on your walls or ceiling, as these likely indicate an extensive water leak and its approximate location.
- Pooling Water/Puddles — While small drips indicate a minor leak, if water quickly pools when you turn on a faucet, you probably have a bigger problem on your hands.
- Low Water Pressure — A sudden change in water flow may point to a burst pipe. If you notice a sudden drop in water pressure, inspect your home for a leak, or call a professional plumber to diagnose the problem right away.
- Discolored Water — Changes in water color could indicate a burst pipe, or it could point to rust or corrosion within your plumbing. This is an early warning sign, as extensive corrosion can lead to a burst pipe. If you only notice a reddish/brown color to water when the hot water is running, your hot water heater tank may be the culprit.
- Unpleasant Water Odors — Water that appears red and has a metallic smell to it is a common sign of a burst pipe.
- A Spike in Utility Bills — If your water bill suddenly skyrockets, you may have a burst pipe or severe leak somewhere out of sight. A professional plumber can inspect your plumbing system to diagnose and repair the problem ASAP.
- Strange Noises — If you can hear water dripping or pouring anywhere it’s not supposed to, such as in the walls, you have a leak or burst pipe on your hands. If you can hear pipe noises, such as banging or clanging sounds, your pipes are moving — a condition which can lead to bursts. Have a master plumber take a look and see if those pipes can be secured to prevent damage.