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What Do You Do When a Pipe Bursts?!


Well, it happened. Your worst nightmare as a homeowner became a reality this winter and you were dealt the damages of a burst pipe and mess to clean up. You may not have read our blog on 5 Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter and now your kitchen more closely resembles a swimming pool, but that’s OK. We’re here to help — don’t panic! First, call Schuler Service at 610-434-7103 for 24 Hour Emergency and Same Day Service! Then, follow the steps we outline below.

1. Shut Off the Water

The first step you should take when you spot a burst pipe in your home, after calling us of course, is to shut off your main water supply. This step will prevent additional water from entering your home and causing even more damage to your property. You may find your main water shut-off valve in your basement, crawl space, near the water heater, or outside on your property near the street. It’s a god idea to take note of its location before there’s a problem.

If you have reason to believe that the water leak may have reached, or has access to, electrical sockets or the fuse box, shut off your home’s electricity as well.

2. Drain the Faucets

Once the water flow is shut off, open the faucets in your home. This step will alleviate any remaining pressure in the pipes and drain excess water. After the cold water is completely drained, turn off the hot water heater and repeat the step to drain the hot water taps as well.

Burst pipes are a concern for many homeowners during the winter months since colder temperatures can cause water inside the home’s pipes to freeze and expand. The buildup of pressure in the pipes causes the stiff metal and plastic material to burst in weak points.

3. Turn Up the Heat

If you believe the burst pipe is still frozen, it’s important to turn up your home’s heat, open the cabinet doors, or apply a hair dryer to the pipe in question. Once the ice begins to thaw, the water will flow.

Pipes behind vanity or cabinet doors are most at risk for freezing and bursting due to their seclusion from the home’s warm air, as well as pipes with little insulation and in basements. Also remember to keep all of your windows and garage doors closed. Keeping your home and plumbing system warm is a preventive measure to take for the remainder of the winter to protect from another frozen or burst pipe.

4. Clean Up the Mess

The faster you begin to remove the water from your home, the greater the chance you have to minimize the damage it leaves. However, before you get started take a few pictures to document the emergency and damage to provide to your insurance company. Hardwood floors and cabinets can warp or rot from water damage, your home can become the victim of mold and mildew, and water can even leak through ceilings.

If the burst pipe was caught quickly and your home did not take in an extensive amount of water, you may be able to clean it up yourself with mops, a shop vacuum, and dehumidifier. But if the water is on the walls and ceilings, you can seek help from a professional water restoration company to properly dry your home.

5. Don’t Panic

When you notice water pooling in your home and soaking your belongings, it can be hard to not panic. Just remember that Schuler Service is here for all of your plumbing emergencies and time-sensitive situations.

Once you call Schuler Service, our plumbers will get to your home as soon as possible to repair the problem. Depending on the situation, we will be able to fix the issue during our initial visit, or we may need to return for follow-up repairs. Either way, we make sure to solve your problem using the most effective and efficient repair methods.

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