What to do if a drainpipe bursts

A burst pipe is a homeowner’s nightmare. Winter is when pipes become weak and the water freezes and then expands with a great amount of force. First things first, if you are experiencing a burst pipe then you need to call a plumber. If you are living in a rental property you must contact the property manager straight away. Landlords pay for property management services to deal with these kinds of situations. While you wait there are a few steps that you can take to reduce the water flowing out and prevent water damage.


Turn off the water main

You need to go out and turn off your main water supply. If you suspect that the water from the burst may have got to any electrical sockets or within the fuse box, then you need to take precautions and turn off the electricity. The water main can often be found under a metal lid on the property somewhere or it can be inside in places like crawl spaces, basements or near the water heater.


Drain your faucets

Always do the cold tap first. Once the water supply has been switched off then you need to open the faucets in order to drain out the remaining water from within the system. You need to flush the toilet several times. This will reduce any leftover water freezing from within the pipes. It will also help to reduce any build-up of pressure within the pipe.


Turn off the heat and drain the hot taps

Now it is time to drain the water boiler and the heating system which will release the water from the hot pipes.


Let the warm air inside

If your pipes freeze or burst from the cold weather then you need to let some warm air in. After you have drained out the water from your taps you can turn the heat back on and put the thermostat up high or even use a hairdryer on the pipe. If your pipes are inside a cabinet, open up the doors so the warm air can circulate inside.


Cleaning up

If you know where the leak is coming from then you should start to clean up the excess water in order to reduced mildew, mould and damage to the flooring.



Now that you have called plumbing services and completed the above steps you need to take some pictures and document the damage that has been done to your possessions and the home. Don’t throw the water damaged items away. You want to keep as much evidence as you can when it comes to claiming insurance. This could include evidence to pass on to a property manager or landlord. Landlords pay a letting fee, pay home insurance and contents insurance all to protect them from financial losses. Depending on the home insurance policy, this may be completely covered so be sure to keep the evidence.


Be preventative

It can be an ordeal going through a burst pipe. You may wonder, is there anything that can be done to prevent it from happening again? You can add extra insulation to your home and the pipes to ensure they are not going below the freezing point during winter. You can add pipe sleeves to the exposed pipes that are more likely to freeze.


Give your pipes access to warm air if you can by leaving cabinet doors open. The plumber should now be on their way and they will sort the problem out for you. They can write a report for the insurance company so remember to check with the company about this if you are wanting to go through insurance for repairs.