What to do when a pipe bursts in your house
Hopefully you’re at home when it happens. Sometimes it’s a slow leak and you don’t hear it. Other times it’s a loud hissing sound and you really hear it. Burst pipes are never fun and there’s always a sense of urgency if you’re seeing water spraying out of a pipe, wall, vanity, etc or you’re seeing a quickly increasing pool of water where there shouldn't be one.
If you’ve got a burst pipe in your home the first thing you need to do is stop the water. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to turn your water off at the mains. If you’re not sure how to, take a look at this page and it will show you how to turn off your mains water.
Once you’ve turned the water off it’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to check there’s no electrical items near or close to the water that could cause potential harm. If in doubt, it’s always safer to turn your electricity off as well.
The next thing to do is to turn on a tap that is connected to the pipe. This will relieve any remaining pressure that’s been built up in the pipes.
Now that you’ve turned the water off you have time to think and evaluate what’s going on with the pipes in your home. Before we get into what to do you need to do with a burst pipe, there are two different areas where we find burst pipes in homes and the approach to fixing them differs.
If a pipe bursts outside
Usually if a pipe has burst outside you will find a damp patch, puddle or really green grass around the area where water is getting out. Occasionally (but not very often) you may see a jet of water coming up out of the ground. A jet of water, whilst it sounds like something that is very bad, can actually be a good thing as it helps you to pinpoint the exact position of the break in the pipe. A puddle means you’re going to have to go looking for the crack or break.
If you’re going to dig around the pipe, it’s a good idea to go slow. The last thing you want to do is put your shovel or maddock through the pipe and damage it further. Dig down a little until you find the pipe, then carefully dig away the dirt along the pipe until you find the hole, crack or damage. Once you’ve found it you will need to dig under the pipe a little to get easier access to it.
Here’s the point where you need to decide if you want to fix it yourself or call a professional like Allclear Gas & Plumbing on 0424 141 174.
If a pipe bursts inside
This can be a little trickier as there’s a huge range of reasons pipes burst on the inside of your home. Corner pieces might burst, copper piping can corrode or rust and sometimes if a plumber uses cheap imported plumbing supplies, they just break.
The type of pipe that bursts will also determine how difficult it might be to fix. For example if a mains pipe bursts, this is going to need a little more care to fix, as it runs at a higher pressure and directs water to multiple other pipes in your home compared to say a single pipe running into the taps in your vanity.
Depending on the type of piping it is, will determine the material you will need to try and make an attempt at fixing it. If you’re unsure or unconfident in trying to fix a burst pipe, we recommend giving us a call on 0424 141 174 and we can come out and fix up your burst pipe for you (it’s a big part of what we do so have all the tools and the know-how to fix it quickly).
There are lots of different ways to fix a burst pipe. For example, some people recommend cutting some hose and getting a screw clamp to fix a crack, a repair wrap, clamps or even Self-Fusing Silicone Tape. These are all great if they work but usually end up being a temporary measure. It’s always best to call in a licensed professional to get it fixed properly.
If you’ve got a burst pipe, live around Bribie Island or Caboolture and need a plumber, give us a call on 0424 141 174 and we can get out there ASAP and get it fixed for you.