What to Do When Your Pipes Burst
During the winter months, freezing temperatures make it harder for water to flow through your pipes. Pipes with no insulation or protection from the elements are always the most vulnerable under harsh weather conditions.
What happens to your pipes when the temperature drops to a point where it’s freezing outside? Your pipes freeze and, in extreme cases, will burst as a result. Our team knows how horrifying this may sound to most homeowners, so we created this blog to help you prepare for and survive a burst frozen pipe.
Here are tips on how you can survive your pipes bursting in the winter and what to do immediately after they burst:
- Turn Off the Main Water Valve: The first thing you need to do if your pipe bursts is cut off the main water supply. Turning off the main water supply will prevent water from completely flooding your home and making the situation worse. Make yourself familiar with where the water supply valve is located. Most main water valves are located in the same room as your water heater or close to the furnace.
- Disconnect the Electricity: Once your main water supply is off, you should immediately turn off your electricity. Disconnecting your electrical system will prevent you from standing in water that can potentially electrify you. We suggest that you do not stand in water unless you know for sure the power is off. To be sure if your electricity is off you should always call your electrical company or an electrician.
- Call a Plumber: The next thing you should do once you follow the first two steps is call a plumber to help. Our plumbers at Bee's Knees Plumbing and Heating Ltd. specialize in repairing and removing frozen pipes. A plumber can assess and immediately help you create a plan for repair so that your pipes are not broken long after your pipe has burst.
- Drain Pipes: Drain your pipes after your water is off and run cold water through the faucets in each room. Push all your toilets at least once, turn off your hot water heater, and continue to let your faucets run but this time with hot water.
- Remove Standing Water: Depending on where the water is flooding your home, you should be able to drain the water so that you can prevent any further damage to the structure of your house. It’s easier to remove standing water from the first floor of your house or a basement with a drain than if you had a pipe burst on the second floor of your home. Open all of your exterior doors to let the water drain out and use fans to dry up any water left behind.
Preventing your pipes from bursting in the winter can sometimes be difficult but there are steps that you can take to keep them from freezing.
How to Prevent Burst Pipes
Follow these steps to keep your pipes from freezing:
Allow your faucets to drip during the winter. Dripping faucets can promote water movement, making the water less likely to freeze. Even a small amount of dripping water can keep your pipes from freezing.
Call your local plumber to install insulation for your home’s piping system. Insulation is one of the best and most effective ways to keep your pipes from freezing in cold temperatures. Foam and heat tape are the best materials to insulate your pipes.
Leave your sink cabinets open in your kitchen and bathrooms. Opening sink cabinets will let warm air from your home reach the pipes and allow them to stay warm enough so that they don't freeze.
Get regular maintenance on your home’s piping system. Maintaining your pipes will allow your plumber to keep them in good condition. Regular maintenance also helps your plumber catch any cracks or other potential hazards that can lead to your pipes freezing in the winter.