Dealing with Disaster: What to Do When a Pipe Bursts

Pipe with a small crack in the side. Water is leaking out of the crack.

A burst pipe is one of the worst plumbing problems you could have. Replacing the pipe can be expensive, but repairing damaged walls, insulation, and flooring can easily cost thousands of dollars. If you are dealing with a burst pipe, it is important to use these quick fixes as fast as possible to prevent major problems. These ideas can help to slow down the leak long enough for you to call a qualified plumber for help.


Turn off the Water

A burst pipe happens because water freezes in your pipes. This causes the volume to increase by 9 percent. Meanwhile, your pressure can go from 40 pounds per square inch to 40,000. Once this occurs, the pipes break open to release the pressure.

After the pipe bursts, any water inside of it will rush out and flood your home. The best way to deal with this is by turning off the water right away at your water main. If the pipe is located near an electrical outlet, you may need to turn off the outlet as well.


Deal With Pinhole Leaks

Sometimes, you are lucky enough only to have a pinhole leak. In this case, you only have to apply a little pressure to the opening to keep water from coming out. An easy solution is to use duct tape around the pipe. This may give you enough pressure to keep the pinhole leak closed until a plumber arrives.


Open a Faucet

Your pipes are dealing with a lot of pressure. One way to alleviate the pressure is to turn on a faucet. This will help any water left in the system to escape safely.


Start Removing the Water

Hopefully, you noticed the burst pipe within the first few minutes. If the leak went unnoticed for a while, you may have to deal with hundreds or thousands of gallons of water. While you wait for a plumber to arrive, it is time to start cleaning up the mess. You can grab a mop to remove any water. If it is safe to use electricity in the room, a heater or fan can help dry out the floors and walls.

Preventing Pipes From Bursting

While it rarely drops below freezing in the Houston area, insulating your pipes is a smart preventative measure.

Insulate pipes in crawl spaces, basements, or exterior walls.

Not only will insulation protect pipes when temperatures plummet, but it will also save money on energy costs. Insulating hot water pipes from your water heater will reduce heat loss. This will allow you to lower the temperature on your water heater.

Insulation will also prevent pipes from increasing the humidity in your home by preventing moisture condensation. Condensation can cause drips, which lead to water damage, and fosters mold growth.


Call for Professional Help

If you are dealing with this issue, you need to turn off your water main and open up a faucet to let the remaining water out. Then, call a professional plumber for help. This type of repair issue can lead to significant damages if you do not fix it, so you need to get a professional plumber right away. If you need help with burst or leaky pipes, call Pioneer Plumbing and Septic at (281) 815-2772.

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