4 Key Steps to Take After a Burst Pipe
Four Step Game Plan For Dealing With Burst Pipes
At some point in time, usually during the winter, you will experience a burst water pipe in your home or business. It is extremely important that you have a game plan in place to deal with a burst pipe so that you save as much money as possible and get your home or business back to normal as soon as possible.
Burst water pipes cost a home owner an average of $10,000. The cost is usually more for business owners.
Ice freezes in the pipe. The ice expands. The expansion causes the pipe to burst. Pipes of any material - copper, steel, PVC, and even schedule 40 PVC that is rated as strong as steel - are subject to being burst by expanding ice. Once the ice thaws the water starts to flow again and the water causes the majority of the damage to your home or business.
You need to have a plan in place that minimizes the damage, protects your investment, and eliminates any potential for injury to you, your family, or your employees.
1. Turn off the Stopcock
Before you experience a burst water pipe you should locate the stopcock that turns off your water supply. This may be a water faucet type valve inside your home or it may be a valve you need to turn with pliers located in the water meter outside your home.
2. Turn off the Electrical Supply
You also must find the switch in your switch box inside your home that turns off your water heater if it is electric and become familiar with each switch and what rooms each switch controls the electricity in. The idea here is simply that water and electricity do not mix and the danger of severe shock and even death from electrocution increases when water covers the floor. Electricity can also pose a fire hazard if the floors are wet.
You should also familiarize yourself with where all the piping is in your home or business. You do not have to tear out walls or anything extreme. Just follow the pipes and look for cut off valves under sinks and in bathrooms. This step allows you to tell repairmen where the damage is and saves time and money.
If you have a gas water heater it is a good idea to turn the gas off at the water heater – there is usually a dial that turns off the gas – to prevent possible damage to your water heater and the escape of gas that could pose a fire hazard.
If you have a pipe burst, turn off the water supply first. This prevents more damage from occurring. Next, turn off the electricity to the rooms affected. If your junction box is wet, get an electrician to turn the power off for you to avoid possible shock or electrocution.
3. Call a Loss Accessor
Call your insurance company as soon as possible. Arrange for an assessor to inspect the damage and get the repair process started as soon as possible. If you have severe damage you need to arrange for temporary living space while repairs are being made and get the ball rolling so that your home owner's insurance pays for your living expenses while your home is being repaired.
4. Remove Undamaged Items
The next step you can do to save yourself money and time in repairs is to move all the furniture, wall decorations, and anything else you can out of the areas that are flooded by a burst water pipe. This step prevents further damage and also clears the area so that repair work can get going a little faster.
Burst water pipes happen. You can prevent this from happening with insulation to a certain extent. If you have a burst water pipe you need a plan to keep more damage from occurring, prevent injuries, and get your insurance company on the ball to get your home back in shape as quickly as possible. A plan and a few precautions can save your thousands of dollars if a water pipe bursts.
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