What To Do When You Have A Burst Pipe

A burst pipe can occur out of the blue and at any time. However, the most common time to experience this potentially damaging problem is during the winter months. When pipes become frozen, the water inside them can expand. As the frozen water starts to expand it can cause the pipe to burst and water to start pouring out. If you are not at home or don't notice the burst pipe for a long period, you could suffer extensive water damage. 

How To Cope With A Burst Pipe Emergency

If a burst pipe occurs when you are at home, there are a number of things you can do to lessen the damage. They include:

  • Switching off the water supply - If you know where your stopcock is, it's time to turn the water off. If you don't know where it is, the most common place is under the sink.Switching off the water supply will stop any more water coming through the pipe. It also means you won't have a water supply anywhere else in the house, and so it is essential you get your burst pipe repaired as quickly as possible. 
  • Protect your belongings - Don't risk your possessions being damaged by water. If you think you may be at risk of a burst pipe, try to move as much as possible out of harm's way. 
  • Locate the burst pipe - It can be difficult to locate the exact location of a burst pipe. If you cannot shut off the water, check the flow of water around the house including in the kitchen, the bathroom, shower rooms and anywhere else that has water flowing to it. Zero, or minimal water flow usually indicates that you are getting closer to the burst pipe. 
  • Thaw out the pipe - You can also prevent a burst pipe if you are quick enough. If you believe water to be freezing or frozen inside the pipe, blast it with a hairdryer if you can reach it or wrap towels around the pipe to insulate it. 

When in doubt or you have a burst pipe you cannot stop flowing, get in touch with a reputable emergency plumber. They will be able to locate the source of the problem and get to work on rectifying it as quickly as possible. Prevention is always better than the cure, and so it is also worth finding out about good quality pipe insulation.