A water pipe bursting is every home owner's worst nightmare. The damage, time and cost associated with fixing it can be immense and it grows every second you delay. These are 5 steps you should take to maximise your chance of a quick, clean and effective clean up.
1. Call An Emergency Plumber Now
There are many companies that can provide you with emergency response plumbers and the nearest plumber is an hour or less away if you live in a populated area. There are no two ways about it: only a licensed plumber will be able to fix a burst pipe. The longer you wait the longer it takes the plumber to arrive and the more damage the burst pipe will cause. Yes, an emergency plumber may be more expensive than a regular call out but you will easily save that money by getting the pipe fixed quicker rather than waiting for a busy plumber.
2. Shut Off Your Water Supply
Everyone in your house should know where the lever to turn off the water supply to your home is located. In Australia it is located next to the water meter, usually out the front or side of the house. There will be a marked lever that says on and off so simply switch it to the off position. It may be hard to move given that it will not be used very often but you need to make sure it is off as quick as possible so try really hard and, if need be, get someone nearby to try as well.
3. Drain The Water In The House
While you have turned off the water supply there will still be water left in the house. Flush all your toilets, run all your taps and turn on the shower. The sooner you get all the water out of the system the better. It is important to remember to turn these all back to the off position once you are done so that when you return the water supply they do not all spray everywhere.
4. Clear The Area
While a burst pipe is more likely to be in the kitchen or bathroom, which are traditionally 'wet rooms' anyway, you still need to move everything out of the affected area. This will not only help the emergency plumber access the pipe as quick as possible but it will stop your belongings from getting damp and mouldy.
If the burst pipe is not in the kitchen or bathroom it could be devastating for your wallet. To limit the damage as much as possible use everything you can to clean up the water such as rags, paper towels, blankets or anything perishable that will do a good job soaking the water up. Lay plastic or tarpaulin on the ground to prevent future water damage. Any damage you can stop now will save you hundreds down the road.
These 5 quick steps will hopefully ensure you have as little damage as possible but remember that an emergency plumber is a must, whatever damage you can see on the surface could just be the tip of the iceberg.