How to handle burst pipe emergencies
Belinda Thorpe, Managing Director of Residentsline, discusses how to handle burst or frozen pipe emergencies, plus preventative measures to keep your flat’s water supply running smoothly.
There is never a good time to deal with a burst pipe emergency in your property. As well as flooding your home and causing extensive material damage, burst pipes can cause serious damage to your flat’s structure and electrical wiring.
Burst pipes can be especially dangerous in a block of flats, as there is also a chance of the water leaking into the flat below. If a pipe bursts in your flat, you want to be sure that you know what to do as soon as possible so as to contain any potential damage.
What should I do?
1. Turn off the water supply
First, you need to turn off the main stop tap. You should normally find this under the kitchen sink or where the service pipe enters your flat. It’s a good idea to locate this before a burst pipe emergency so that you know exactly where to find it.
- Drain the system – turn on all your cold taps.
- If water has been leaking through for some time and the ceilings are bulging, be careful as some rooms may not be safe to enter.
- If you notice the leak quickly you can catch dripping water in buckets. You may also need to consider putting a small hole in the ceiling to let water out if it starts to bulge.
2. Turn off water heating systems
- Switch off the central heating, immersion heater and any other water heating systems.
- If the central heating uses solid fuel, let this die out.
- Once the water heating system has shut down, turn on the hot taps to help drain the system.
3. Turn off the electrics
- If water leaks near your electrics or electrical appliances, switch off the mains immediately. If it is wet, do not touch anything!
4. Call a professional to repair the damage
- Electrical wiring damaged by water can be very dangerous. You will need to call in a professional is this happens.
You will need to contact a reliable plumber to repair the burst or frozen pipes as soon as possible. It is always a good idea to have a number to hand at all times so that you are prepared in case the worst happens.