Waking up to a flooded home is the stuff of nightmares. But it’s also a very real possibility if you’re dealing with a pipe that has burst unexpectedly.
A burst pipe can leak hundreds of litres of water every minute. That will quickly flood your home and cause major damage to the interior, and even to the foundation of the house.
Because of that, everyone should know what to do when a water pipe bursts in their house. In this article we’ll discuss how to deal with the issue and some of the most common causes we encounter.
What to Do if a Water Pipe Bursts in Your House
If you find yourself dealing with this issue then it’s important to stay calm and work quickly. You need to:
1. Briefly Inspect the Leak
Take a moment to check where the leak is coming from – this will help your plumber repair the issue later. The most likely culprit is a damaged section of pipe or a faulty joint. If the leak is coming from your toilet, check the section of flexible hose that connects it to the water supply. These are prone to becoming rusted and bursting.
If you can’t spot the leak then don’t worry. A skilled plumber won’t have any trouble locating it later. It’s more important to get the leak under control at this stage.
2. Turn Off the Main Water Supply
We need to stop the burst pipe from flooding your home. This can be done by turning off the main water supply:
- For freestanding homes, the main water valve is located in a plastic box that’s buried near the footpath at the front of the property. Simply open the box and switch off the valve inside.
- For townhouses, the water valve is usually located in a central service area along the driveway or near other services (such as rubbish bins).
- For apartments, the water valve is located in a service cabinet that’s near the front door.
The leak from the damaged section of pipe should stop once the main valve is turned off. You can turn on the taps in other parts of your home to drain any water that remains in the system.
3. Clean Up Any Flooding
We can’t rest yet. Flooding can cause serious damage to flooring, walls, cabinets, furniture and the foundations of your property. Minor flooding can be cleared up with a broom or towels, or with a wet and dry vacuum cleaner. Major flooding may need to be dealt with by a specialist flood cleanup team.
4. Contact a Plumber
It’s time to call your local plumber. Burst pipes need to be removed and replaced to avoid the issue occurring again. Skilled plumbers typically offer 24/7 burst pipe repairs, so they can get the problem under control at any time of the day or night.
What Causes Burst Water Pipes?
The plumbing in your home can burst due to problems like:
- Damaged pipes – Plumbing that is corroded or that has been damaged (e.g. from accidental knocks or manufacturing defects) is prone to bursting. Damaged sections can burst under normal water pressure. This is especially common for flexi hoses, such as the ones used to connect your toilet to its water supply.
- Blocked pipes – Blockages can prevent water from flowing normally through your pipes. This may cause the water pressure to build up, which can burst the pipes. Blockages should be cleared as soon as possible by a licensed plumber – avoid using drain clearing chemicals wherever possible.
- Old age – Plastic and metal pipes age and wear out over time. This can cause them to become brittle, rusty or damaged, which increases the risk of a burst. Replacing old pipes isn’t a small task, and it’s something you’ll need to talk to your plumber about. If you experience regular problems with burst plumbing then this may be the best option.
- High water pressure – Unusually high water pressure is uncommon, but it can cause pipes to burst. This issue may need to be fixed with a pressure regulator if your area is known for high water pressures.
- Faulty installation – Not all plumbers are created equal, and your plumbing may have been installed incorrectly. Unsupported plumbing runs can sag and burst. Similarly, faulty joints are a weak point that can burst under normal pressure. Sections of plumbing that are poorly installed will need to be replaced.
- Invading tree roots – Tree roots are constantly searching for water, which can cause them to invade your pipes. Tree roots create major blockages, damage pipes and will eventually cause them to crack, break or collapse.
Contact Liqwyd Solutions Immediately if a Water Pipe Bursts in Your House
Burst water pipes and flexi hoses are some of the most serious plumbing emergencies we encounter. A burst pipe can rapidly flood your home and cause serious damage. If a pipe or flexi hose bursts in your home, switch off the water supply and contact Liqwyd Solutions as soon as possible.
Liqwyd Solutions is an emergency plumber that works all over the Brisbane region. Our plumbers are available 24/7 to help with emergencies such as burst pipes. You can contact us at any time of the day or night if you need help. Our team can talk you through the process of switching off your water supply and getting the problem under control.
Contact us online if you’re concerned that a pipe may burst, or call us directly if you need our 24/7 emergency plumbing service.