There are plenty of things property owners and managers can do to protect their property from burst pipes. However, none of the precautions are helpful if you are in a situation where your pipes have already burst. We are here to ensure you have a course of action if you are ever desperate under these circumstances.
No one ever intends for these things to happen, but sometimes they can. Instead of panicking, limit any damages or costs with the following recommendations.
1. Turn Your Water Off
Walking into a puddle or pool of water, where water should not normally be, is never a calming experience. Do your best to ignore that immediate instinct to start mopping up the water. To stop further damage or harm to yourself and your property, the priority needs to be turning off the water main. This will stop the flow of water through your pipes by cutting them off from the source.
It is important for homeowners to know where this is. Although if you don’t, the water meter (with the water main valve) is typically a few feet from the main water pipe so try locating this in advance if you are unsure. Many homes have the valve within their home: on the front foundation wall of the property, stairwell closet, beneath the sink, or near the water heater. Some homes do have the water main valve outside, especially in older properties.
2. Call An Emergency Plumber
Identifying and calling a professional plumber with emergency services is the next order of business. All too often, owners try to fix the problem themselves but just move the issue to another area. Just like those old cartoons where a hole or crack is patched but another quickly appears, the pressure is just pushed somewhere else, causing another potential burst.
3. Cautionary Assessment
Now that the most urgent matters have been addressed, be cautious as you maneuver the affected spaces. When you call your plumber, they will most likely walk you through some simple damage assessment procedures so that they can adequately service the problem when they arrive. You may also want to see if there are any other pressing concerns regarding your personal belongings and other utilities.
4. Turn Off Electricity
As mentioned above, assess the space with caution. This includes keeping an eye out for any affected electrical appliances or outlets. Idaho Power has a list of other items related to electrical safety. Then, do your best to safely turn off your electricity if you think that your burst pipe could be interfering with or impacted by your home’s electrical power.
5. Document Affected Areas
As long as the situation is not dangerous, document the damages to the best of your ability. This can include pictures as well as any written or noted damages your plumber can verify. This will assist in the pipe repair process for your plumber as well as expediting insurance claims, if necessary.
Keep Your Head Up
At the end of the day, the issue will be resolved so remember to keep your head up! Until your plumber arrives, maintain an awareness of your surroundings just in case something changes and be sure to update your plumber when they arrive for everyone’s safety and efficiency.