18 February Copper water pipe and valves

What to Do If Your Pipes Burst

Posted by PlumbWize

The majority of the client calls we receive are “fix burst pipe” issues, especially during winter where we really get swamped with burst pipe repairs. Why does this happen? When temperatures drop, the water freezes and the pipes expand. If your pipes are made low-quality metal or plastic, poorly insulated, or have not been replaced for decades, there’s a greater possibility that you’d encounter a bursting or leaking incident any time soon.

A burst pipe repair emergency can be pretty serious because it can shut down your entire plumbing system and flood your property, ruining furniture, gadgets, and make matters worse if they get in contact with electricity.

But what should a homeowner like you do if you find yourself in this messy situation? First of all, call a professional plumber immediately. Do not attempt to DIY a burst pipe repair. Nevertheless, there are some safety precautions that you can do while waiting for the pros to arrive. Follow these steps.

Close up of an unscrewed lightbulb

Switch off Your Water and Power Supply

If you spot a leak and suspect that it’s a possible burst pipe situation, it is highly recommended to locate the main water shutoff valve in your home and turn it off. It is usually situated in the basement, under the kitchen sink, in a downstairs water closet, or near a water meter. If you are leasing the property and cannot find it, give your building manager or landlord a call. In some cases, the landlord may also arrange for a trusted plumber of his choice to inspect and fix the burst pipe in your unit.

Turning the switch off will lessen the risk of the running water busting open the frozen pipe because of excessive pressure inside, which can soar up to 3000psi or more. When this happens, the results can be catastrophic, putting the safety of your loved ones in danger and damaging your home (ceiling, walls, floorboards, and carpeting) and the valuable items in it that are most likely uninsured. If you are worried whether the leak has reached electrical wirings and sockets, it may be a good idea to turn off the power supply as well.

Turn on the Tap and Flush the Toilet

After you have switched off the main water stop valve, now you have to drain the remaining water from your pipes gradually. The best way to do this is by turning on your faucet—cold tap first—and keeping it running at a low to medium stream. Flushing your toilet several times also makes sense. Doing so releases the pressure from the pipes and stops the water stuck in it from freezing, too.

Clean up and Dry the Affected Areas

Take a closer look at where the water is leaking. Inspect if there is any water drip coming through the walls or ceilings or if there is any puddle forming on your floors or other surfaces around the house. Mop up and vacuum the areas dry. Collect the water leaks with buckets to stop them from spreading and soaking through the materials, for instance, wood or carpeting. This effectively alleviates the chances of developing mold and mildew after the burst pipe repair situation has been addressed.

How to Prevent Burst Pipe Issues

Winter should be cozy and comfy, sipping hot cocoa or getting warm by the fire. It shouldn’t turn into a complete nightmare with unexpected “fix burst pipe” scenarios. Taking proactive steps to prepare your home for the colder months can lower your likelihood of running into this dilemma.

Winterproof Your Entire Home

Before winter comes in, be sure to apply weatherstripping and caulking to seal all doors and windows. This solves the drafts that let the cold air into the house. You’ll thank yourself for doing this because aside from reducing the chances of frozen pipes, it will also make you and your family super comfortable.

Keep the Heating on at All Times

Yes, even if you are going on a long vacation. Turn on your heating at a low setting, preferably above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, to prevent pipes from freezing. This tip can be hard to swallow for energy-conscious homeowners, but if you consider the enormous damage it can do to your property and the water resources that will end up getting wasted before you can get hold of a plumber for a burst pipe repair, it is actually a step in the right direction.

close up of a wrench

Get Your Water Pipes Checked by a Professional Plumber

Are you living in an old home? Are your pipes of excellent quality or are they well insulated? Are there any signs of leaks? There may be countless tutorials about plumbing hacks that you can find online but nothing beats a thorough check from a qualified expert who knows what he/she is doing and what and where exactly to look for. Have your water pipes checked by a professional plumber once in a while, preferably before the winter season sets in. The peace of mind it can give you, knowing that you can look forward to a smooth and hassle-free winter, will be priceless.

Who to Call for Burst Pipe Repair Emergency?

Do you urgently need a burst pipe repair emergency in the middle of the night? No worries. At Plumbwize, we have a team of professional, licensed, and insured plumbers on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week! We have record-fast response times and efficient burst pipe repair services. We are in and out quickly. We leave a job site neat and tidy.

Plumbwize is a premier provider of professional plumbing services in Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, and anywhere in between. We have over 20 years in the industry and have delivered high-quality emergency plumbing service to numerous residential and commercial clients that have remained loyal to us up to now. We use only the best plumbing practices and advanced technologies. We can take care of everything, from frozen and burst pipe repair, pipe replacement, plumbing and drain cleaning for property managers, and plumbing remodelling as well.

Burst pipe emergency? We got you. Contact Plumbwize today!


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