If you have recently moved into your first home, then you may be an inexperienced homeowner. While you will typically learn about home repairs and maintenance tasks through experience, you still should be prepared for emergency situations. A burst water pipe is one of the situations that may occur if you live in an area that experiences cold winters. If a pipe bursts, you should contact an emergency plumber. There are certain things that you should do before the plumber arrives though.
Turn Off Your Water
One of the most important things that you should do when you experience a burst pipe is to shut off the water at the main supply line. The main shutoff will be located somewhere after the water meter. Some homes will have water meters inside, and this is typically the case if you live in a cold weather area. Sometimes the meters will be located just outside the foundation wall either above the earth or buried in the ground.
If you have a basement, then the water shutoff will usually be located just inside the foundation wall that is nearest to the street. In other words, look in the basement towards the front of your house. If you have a crawlspace instead of a basement, then the shutoff will generally be located in this space. If you have a solid slab foundation, then the valve will be seen underneath the kitchen sink or next to your hot water tank.
The valves that control the water through your home and close off the main water supply are either gate or ball valves. Ball valves look like levers and gate valves are the round twist knob kind. Ball valves must be turned so they sit perpendicular to the water pipe, and gate valves should be turned to the right until they are tight.
Once you turn off the main water supply, you should also turn the faucets on in your house. This can help the water drain from your pipes so it does not exit through the burst opening.
Turn Off The Electricity
If a water pipe burst and sprayed water all over the walls in your home, then there is a possibility that your outlets have become wet. If this is a possibility, like if you see water coming out of an outlet on the wall that was sprayed, then shut off your electricity immediately. If the outlet becomes wet, electricity can travel through the water and create an electrical shock. This can happen if pooled water happens to touch you and the outlet at the same time. Simply put, water conducts electricity and this can easily cause a serious and life threatening problem for you.
Also, if the socket becomes wet, then the water can make its way to the wiring. This can cause rust concerns, and wet sockets will typically need to be replaced. Water also creates a short in the wiring that may continue even once the socket is dried out. Condensation will often remain inside and cause problems with tripped breakers.
While it is not necessary to turn off all the power to your home, it is wise to flip the main breaker first. This will give you time to locate the breaker that corresponds to the socket and the specific electrical zone in your home. Flip the breaker for the zone to cut off electricity and then flip the main breaker on again. Make sure to clean up water near the socket thoroughly and also contact an electrician to examine the socket and possibly replace it before using electricity in the space.
Burst water pipes can be a real concern, hassle, and mess. However, if you understand how to deal with the issue right away, then you keep a cool head and contact your plumber for additional info and assistance.Share
30 November 2016
Hi everyone, my name is Linda Strickerts. I am going to talk about plumbing pipes problems, repairs and upgrades on this site. Although the pipes hide beneath the floors and behind the walls, they are an integral part of the home. Without plumbing pipes, we would still be heading out to the outhouse to do our business. Washing clothes, dishes and ourselves would also not be possible without carrying buckets of water in and out of the home. I hope to explore the different ways plumbing pipes changed our lives for the better. I will talk about keeping the pipes in great shape as well. Thanks.