What to Do When a Pipe Bursts

January 20, 2020

Why does a pipe burst?

Water pipes burst because the water inside them expands as the temperature gets close to freezing, and this causes an increase in pressure inside the pipe. When the pressure gets too high for the pipe to contain, it ruptures.

When you know a pipe has burst, here are the steps you need to take right away before you call a plumber or restoration company.

Turn Off Your Water Main

If you own a home you need to locate your water main valve and turn it to the off position immediately.

If you rent, or are working in a commercial property, contact the landlord or maintenance staff for your building right away.

This video posted on YouTube by Dutton Plumbing, Inc. in California is a great help for finding your water main valve.

Drain Your Faucets

To reduce the chance of leftover water freezing inside your pipes and to relieve pressure in your pipes you must open your faucets.

After your water supply has been turned off, open your COLD WATER faucets to drain the remaining water from the system. Don’t forget the water in the toilet systems. You will need to flush your toilets multiple times to make sure they have no water left in their pipes.

Next, turn off your water boiler and heating system. Open all of your HOT WATER faucets to drain the remaining water from those taps. Once this is done you can turn your heating system back on.

Let The Heat In

Open cabinet doors and allow heat in to the areas where your interior pipes are accessible. Turning up the thermostat for the home or business can help keep any left over water in the pipes from freezing and causing more damage.

VERY IMPORTANT: Photos, Photos, Photos

Once you have stopped the water from leaking into your home document any damage to your home or possessions that were affected by the water from the burst pipe. Make sure not to throw anything out that was damaged. This is evidence of the disaster that occurred.

Know Your Homeowners Policy!

Many insurance policies have special language dealing with water damage. Because water damage is one of the leading causes of homeowners’ claims, insurance companies have very specific stipulations for constituting water damage as claim-worthy.

Knowing your specific policy and how it will qualify your damage from the frozen pipe and the upcoming repairs is important to know before contacting a plumber or a company to dry the water damage.

Get more information about filing claims for frozen pipes and water damage from Dan Karr with ValChoice from his helpful Consumer Insurance Information website.

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