How to Handle a Burst Pipe (in Winter)
Northern Alberta is under an Extreme Cold Warning with wind chill values of -40 to -45 expected to persist into Saturday. This is frozen and burst pipe weather.
We’ve written about how to prevent and thaw frozen pipes, but what happens if it’s too late for that?
Hopefully you can thaw the frozen area or contact a licensed plumber before the pipe bursts and causes expensive property damage. If, however, you do notice a broken or burst pipe, here’s how to handle it.
Burst Pipe Signs
Here are some signs you have a leaking or burst pipe in your home:
- Dripping sounds
- Puddles of water
- Water spots and damage to ceilings and walls
- Lack of water pressure
- Main water shut-off shows a leak
How to Handle a Burst Pipe
In the event of a burst pipe, be prepared to act fast.
In the event of a leaking, broken, or burst pipe, turn off the main water supply to prevent any further damage. While you can make a temporary repair while you wait for a plumber’s availability, the pipe will have to be replaced as soon as possible.
- Turn Off Main Water Shut-Off
To be safe, if you notice a leaking, broken, or burst pipe, turn off the main water shut-off valve. In the event of an emergency, everyone in the household should know where the main water shut-off is located and how to turn it off.
Consult your property inspection report or professional plumber if you don’t know the location of the shut-off valve. Don’t wait until your pipes burst to start looking!
Turn the valve clockwise to turn it off. Keep in mind that you may have to turn the gate valve several turns to shut it off.
- Turn Off Electricity If Necessary
If water has already entered your home and is in danger of contacting any electrical equipment, turn off power to that area of the home. Make sure you turn off the water first, then shut off power at the circuit breaker with dry hands and feet.
- Contact a Plumber
As soon as you turn off the water supply to prevent any further damage, contact a professional plumber right away. Not all plumbing companies are 24/7, but if you live in the Edmonton or Fort McMurray area, Always Plumbing & Heating is always available.
The sooner you schedule professional plumbing service, the less expensive your costs will be. Your plumber will also help guide you to the right decision concerning the associated water damage. You may need to contact a water damage specialist for severe cases.
- Remove as Much Water as You Can
In order to prevent moisture-related problems, such as mold and mildew, clean up as much of the water as you can. Use wet/dry shop vacuums, rags, mops, buckets, whatever you can. Run a dehumidifier if you have one.
Be on the lookout for early signs of frozen pipes, such as reduced water flow and freezing temperatures. Most plumbing ruptures can be prevented.
If you think a pipe may have burst in your Edmonton home, turn off the water supply and contact Always Plumbing and Heating at780-489-8118 (Edmonton) or 587-601-1253 (Fort McMurray).
We provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Winter Plumbing Tips