UK winters are known for being harsh on its residents. The roads are covered in snow, and the skies remain cloudy. With temperatures outside below freezing point, everyone likes to remain in the comfort of their heated rooms.
But what about your houses exposed water pipes? What happens to them in the cold?
Yes, you are right; they burst. It happens because when the water in those pipes freezes, it expands, and with it, the pipe expands.
When the pipes can no longer bear the tension, it ruptures. Of course, freezing weather is not the only reason behind a ruptured pipe. It could also happen because of corrosion, pipe movements, or clogs.
Now that you have detected the burst pipe, you will need the assistance of emergency plumbers. During the winter, the plumbers are extremely busy because burst pipes are common in the UK.
For example, it usually takes four hours before emergency plumbers in Colchester arrive on the scene. In the meantime, you can follow below-mentioned steps to ensure your family’s safety.
Things To Do Immediately When Pipe Burst Occur
Step 1: Shut off the main valve
Whenever you come across a puddle of water or water leaking from walls or floors shut off the main water supply. This way, you have prevented a worsening of the problem.
You must know the location of the main water supply to your home beforehand. It saves time and let you know how to guard against more hazards.
For example, if your main water supply and the electrical main are in the same location, you are at risk of being electrocuted if you step on water. In that case, you would want to avoid the scene and call an emergency plumber.
Step 2: Disconnect the main electrical system
Locate the main electrical panel and turn off the electricity. The water could have affected the circuitry in the house, so you should take precautions before touching the panel. Ideally, you should wear a rubber glove to protect yourself against shocks.
It would help if you did not touch any electrical appliances in your home or try to plug/ unplug any wires from the sockets. Remember that you are at risk of being electrocuted at any moment.
Step 3: Drain the water
Water can severely harm the interior of your home. Especially if the leakage has occurred on the top floors of your house, the water can seep through the floor and damage the subfloors.
The seepage can lead to the growth of mould and mildew in the future. Mop up the water and place buckets under any dripping. You might also want to get professional help if the flooding is severe.
Step 4: Locate the leak
By now, you might have a fair idea of where the leak has occurred. However, broken pipes behind a wall may be harder to detect. In all cases, you must contact professionals to fix the pipes and make all other repairs.
Step 5: Hire an expert
As a homeowner, it is always recommended that you have the contacts of more than one emergency plumber and electrician. You would require the services of both a plumber and an electrician in case the spillage affected your electrical system.
Don’t neglect a burst pipe or try to fix it yourself. If you don’t have the contact information of any plumbers, ask your friends for suggestions.
Even if you are handy with tools, if the pipes are made from copper, you would need a blow torch to melt and solder them. It is a fire hazard, and you should let professionals take care of it.
You might need to make a detailed note of all your damages and record your conversations with the emergency plumber and electrician. These will come in handy when filing your insurance claims. So, be sure to document everything carefully and in detail.