Professional Drain Cleaning Services
Professional Drain Cleaning Services

What to Do When You Have a Burst Pipe

Posted by on 19-03-2024

What to do when you have a burst pipe

There is nothing worse than coming home to find that a water pipe has burst. It’s even more daunting if you are arriving from a long vacation. Or, maybe the water pipe burst overnight while everyone was sleeping.

While a burst water pipe can happen at any time, there are certain things you can do to reduce the damage so that you can then call the plumber to come and fix it properly.

Typical Causes

Understanding what can lead to a burst pipe is the first step in preventative care you can learn as a responsible homeowner. 

Corrosion is the big pipe-killer. This can happen as the pipes age and wear down. For older homes, if the pipes have been in place since the house was first constructed, then they may no longer be up to code and could have corrosion inside beyond sight.

If your home’s water supply is high in iron, corrosion can happen even faster.

Frozen pipes in the winter are another leading cause. When water freezes, it expands, causing the pipes to bulge and then subside as it melts. This weakens the pipe, which eventually leads to bursting if it happens multiple times. Insulation and normal room temperatures will help prevent this issue. 

Another cause is the ever-dreaded clog. Hair buildup in pipes and drains, grease poured down the kitchen sink, and flushing items meant for the garbage can all cause pipes to clog or burst.

Movement is another pipe-killer. Older homes are more likely to experience this issue. However, if the home was constructed with substandard workmanship, it can also happen in new builds. 

If the pipes are not secured properly, they will move and shake due to any vibrations from the residents within. After a prolonged period, the joints weaken and the pipes fall apart.

Signs of an Impending Burst Pipe

A burst pipe isn’t always as clear as gushing water rapidly filling the basement (though it can happen that way, too). It can also be a smaller pipe hidden in a wall, or under a sink. While less dramatic, it can still be expensive to fix, and so, it should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Dripping sounds and softening of wood in walls, floors, and baseboards are all signs of trouble. Even a decrease in water pressure when you are taking a shower can indicate a burst pipe somewhere in the house. 

The water quality itself can also let you know that there is a problem. If you notice a funny colour or weird smell, this can indicate that a pipe in another part of the house has broken. Strange water colours and smells may be a sign of a burst pipe near sewage, water tanks, and drains, so don’t ignore them.

How to Deal With a Burst Pipe

As soon as you see a problem, locate the nearest water valve and turn it off. This will prevent water from coming into the area and causing further problems. This should always be the first step.

If you have turned off the valve and there is still water coming in, locate the main shut-off valve for the whole house and turn it off. At this point, call your emergency plumber in Toronto while you search for the problem.

Do this while you are on the phone to give the plumbing team as much information as possible before they arrive. In addition, take the following steps:

Turn On the Taps

Once the water has been shut off, either to a room or the entire house, you don’t want it to remain in the pipes. So, slowly turn on the taps to let the water drain. Even flushing the toilet will help clear the water from the system, making it easier to work with and repair.

Mop up the Water

No one likes to work in water (clean or not), and the longer it remains, the more damage it can do to the flooring. Therefore, clean up what you can. If the room is flooded up to your knees, then obviously this can be an exception.

Mopping up the water also helps to reduce the risk of slips and falls, making it safer for you and the plumber to work in.

Open the Windows and Doors

If you don’t know where the water came from (or even if you do), you should open a window to let out the smells and help the water to evaporate. This will create a safer work environment.

Opening doors lets in warmer air and also helps the water to drain. If the pipes burst because they were frozen, opening the doors allows them to warm up slowly, preventing further risk of bursting.

Grab a Bucket

If the pipe is still dripping after the water has been turned off, placing a bucket underneath will make it easier to see how fast the drip is and how much water leaks until the plumber arrives, making the cleanup process easier.

Do Basic Repairs

The average homeowner may not have plumbing sleeves at home, which would be placed over the damaged pipe (where possible) to act as a temporary repair until help arrives. However, you can still do this with some basic household items.

First, find a piece of rubber that you can wrap around the pipe to seal it. Then, get a small piece of wood to place alongside the damaged pipe to act as a splint. Next, clamp it together tightly until the plumber arrives.

Contact the Plumbing Professionals

Drain King Plumbers are the experts for both routine and emergency plumbing services in Toronto. Whether it’s a burst pipe, stubborn clog, or other plumbing-related issues, we can do the job efficiently.

Call us at 1-833-983-5663 today, and see how we can help you take care of all your plumbing needs. Alternatively, contact us here for a free quote.

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