Even with the best prevention the pipes connected to your home’s plumbing can and do burst. As soon as you discover the burst pipe your actions can determine the extent of the damage caused not only to your pipes but to the rest of your property. Here are a few handy tips on how to deal with burst pipes.
How to tell if you have a burst pipe
Some burst pipes will be blatantly obvious as water will be leaking out from a wall, floor or ceiling forming puddles and wet patches. However, some damaged pipes will have slow leaks which create damp patches on walls, floors or ceilings.
Other signs that you may have a burst pipe are a noticeable drop in water pressure when you turn on your taps, strange noises such as rumbling coming from your boiler or radiators and some electrical faults.
Burst pipe action list
- Turn off the water at the stopcock. This will prevent additional water entering the system. The stopcock is often located under the sink in the kitchen or bathroom.
- Do not use electrical equipment or switch lights on or off as water may be within the electrical circuits and can cause fatal electrical shocks.
- Mop up any excess water to minimise the damage.
- Clear furniture and objects away from the affected areas. Some items may not be covered by insurance or are simply irreplaceable for sentimental reasons.
Temporary burst pipe repairs
Some burst pipe problems can be repaired temporarily by binding the pipes with cloths, towels or tape. If you do this don’t be tempted to turn the water back on at the stop cock as you need a qualified plumber to make sure the pipe is water tight.
Call out a professional plumber
Only a fully qualified (preferably Gas Safe Registered) can make sure a burst pipe is fixed properly. The sooner you call, the sooner your home will be back to normal.