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Emergencies

Pipe Burst

Has a water Pipe Burst in your house? Here’s what to do

Your home’s pipes bursting might be caused by a number of things. We examine what to do when the unthinkable occurs.


Pipe burst

What causes a burst water pipe?

There are a number of potential causes for a water pipe to burst in your home, and the best course of action for each one depends on what caused it. For instance, burst pipes may be caused by cold temperatures, wear and tear, and obstructions.

Why does a water pipe burst when it freezes?

Why then do water pipes leak during the winter? Frost can cover exposed pipes when the temperature lowers, reducing water flow from your pipes to a trickle. The quick temperature shift might cause the pipes to rupture or crack as they warm up and thaw. This is brought on by the pipes’ expansion and contraction, which results in damage. Visit our guide to learn how to keep pipes from freezing.

Repairing a burst water pipe

To avoid your home flooding, knowing how to fix a burst water pipe will limit the number of expensive repairs you need. However, to prevent your pipes from leaking or bursting in the first place, it’s worth taking a few steps to prepare your home.

  • Snugly insulate your existing pipes and taps with external pipe lagging.
  • Leave a trickle of water running through your taps with an unheated supply.
  • Fix any pre-existing leaks before the winter months start.
  • Drain your system entirely if you’re planning to go away for a long period of time to stop water collecting and freezing.

How do you fix a burst water pipe?

Follow the next steps if your pipes burst and you need a quick fix.

  1. Look for pre-existing drips coming from your pipes, especially in colder places like lofts or garages.
  2. Locate your stop tap, which is often in the cupboard under your kitchen sink, and turn it clockwise to cut off your water supply.
  3. Turn off your heating and open all your taps to quickly drain the system.
  4. Switch off your electricity at the mains if there’s water near any electric supply.
  5. Use old towels or a bunch of robust kitchen rolls to soak up any excess water.
  6. Check your home insurance to see if it covers burst pipes.
  7. Call a plumber to come and fix your burst pipes.

How do you fix a burst water pipe yourself?

You might wish to fix your own pipes if you’re the do-it-yourself type. You’ll need pipe cutters, a repair kit, pliers, solder, an adjustable pipe wrench, and some know-how if you can find the leak. Some quick and simple solutions are:

  • Epoxy putty to temporarily stop leaks.
  • Fibreglass tape and polyurethane resin for a more durable patch-up job (can combine with epoxy putty).
  • Clamps with sleeves.

To fit clamps and sleeves, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your mains water supply and dry out the pipe before you work on it by turning off all the faucets.
  2. Make sure you’ve chosen the right pipe material.
  3. Measure your exterior pipe’s diameter using a pipe wrench (measure the distance from one jaw to the other).
  4. Use a metallic file to smooth any rough edges around your burst pipe.
  5. Centre the rubber sleeve over the burst.
  6. Make sure the seam is facing the opposite direction to the burst.
  7. Place the metallic clamps around the rubber sleeve.
  8. Tighten the clamps’ screws with a screwdriver.
  9. Open the water supply to check for leaks – repeat process or adjust as necessary.

Use of slip coupling with compression capabilities is one of the more durable methods for DIY pipe repairs. Just make sure that it has the same diameter as the pipe you are fastening on the outside. Then, you’ll need to know how to solder the temporary patch in place and fit it. If you make a mistake, the pipe could burst once more. If in doubt, see a professional.

How much does it cost to fix a burst water pipe?

The average call-out rate for a plumber is £270 each day. Some may also charge a set fee for repairing leaky pipes of roughly £300.

FAQs

What to do with a burst water pipe outside your house?

A burst pipe inside or outside of your home can be repaired using comparable techniques. To ensure a long-lasting fix, use an emergency repair kit or get assistance from an expert.

Burst water pipe and who to call

To get repairs done for you, you’ll need to call a plumber that specialises in fixing burst pipes. Call your insurance provider instead; they can advise you on the best course of action.

Who is responsible for burst water pipes?

You are typically responsible for fixing burst pipes. Unless there is a problem with the drains or mains supply that has nothing to do with you, you are responsible for anything that is located on your property and within your border.

What happens if a pipe freezes and bursts?

The volume of water expands by 9% during the freezing process, converting it into a solid. Therefore, when it occurs inside a closed pipe, the ice pushes the water away and exponentially raises the pressure, eventually causing a pipe to rupture.

How long can pipes be frozen before they burst?

Unless the expanding ice can push water through the faucets, frozen pipes explode quickly. Pipe bursts can therefore occur within six hours.

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