What to do when your water pipe bursts

PANIC!! You come down the passage and there is water gushing out of your bathroom door…. what do you do? Do you have a plan?

Leak Detection Cape Town - Water running through house
Water running through living room

Most likely not! This is a scenario that we don’t imagine happening to us, until it does. It is important to have an action plan if this scenario ever plays out in your home.

Most people will probably think to first fetch towels to absorb the water and force something into the opening where the water is spraying out. This method is futile, you are never going to keep up with the rate at which a pressurised pipe will leak out water and very soon your whole home will be covered in water.

Having an action plan will limit the damage inside your home. Yes you may be insured, but the faster you can act, the less damage you will incur and hence you will be less inconvenienced with the clean up and fixing of water damage.

Following our action plan will help you do just this:

Step 1 – Turn off the water main.

This is the most important step and must be the very first thing you do in the unfortunate event of a burst waterpipe.

Leak Detection Cape Town - Main Water Tap
The main water tap is usually together with the water meter

It is good practice to ensure that everyone in the household knows where your properties main water tap is situated. Don’t rely on this being your husband’s job as he might not be home when a pipe bursts. Make sure that your children know as well, your domestic, mom-in-law, EVERYONE!

Step 2 – Empty/drain your pipes

Once you have stopped the water flow, your pipes will need to empty, open all taps to drain out any water still in the pipes. The water that is left in the pipes should flow out, however it will be at a very low pressure once your mains is off.

Leak Detection Cape Town - Leaking pipe
Allow your pipes to empty

It is at this stage that your towels and mops will come in handy.

Step 3 – Shut-off the Electricity

We all know what happens when water touches a plug or an electrical appliance. To prevent anyone getting shocked or a fire breaking out, turn off the main switch on the DV Board. As with step 1, make sure every member in the household knows where the main switch is in the home.

Step 4 – Find the Burst Pipe

This isn’t always as straight forward as it may seem. A pipe could be leaking in the roof and the water is running down and coming out a joint. If you do not know where the burst pipe is, then some form of Leak Detection will be required. Ensure that you call a plumber that specialises in Leak Detection.

Leak Detection Cape Town - Water Leak
Locate the location of the leak

Step 5 – Document Damage

Document as much as possible. Write down all the items and areas that have been affected by the burst pipe in your home and back this up with photos. Don’t give insurance a reason to question any part of your claim, but if they do then having all the damage well documented will strengthen your case.

Step 6 – Start the clean up

Mould sets in fast. Make sure that you dry your carpets and any other material or wooden furniture as quickly as possible. Open all your doors and windows to speed up the process.

Leak Detection Cape Town - Water damage
Mould sets in fast!

If all else fails, give us a call! We ready 24/7 to assist with all of your plumbing needs and emergencies.

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