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How to handle a burst water pipe emergency (5 easy steps)

15 February

A burst water pipe can occur when pressure in a pipe gets too high for it to contain and it ruptures. Existing flaws in the pipe or deterioration over time can cause weakness that can result in a burst pipe. When a pipe bursts the resulting flood can cause water damage to your house, leaving you with an expensive repair bill.

To mitigate the damage caused by a burst pipe, it’s a smart idea to know what to do in case this type of plumbing emergency occurs in your home. Below, you’ll find five easy steps to take so you can handle a burst water pipe emergency!

Handle a burst water pipe emergency Infographic

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“How to handle a burst water pipe emergency (5 easy Steps)” Infographic Transcription

Step One.

Switch off electricity
Everyone knows that water and electricity don’t mix. Trying to clean up a wet floor while electrical devices are plugged is only inviting a potentially fatal electrical shock. So before you do anything else, switch off the electricity at its source as a safety measure.

Step Two.

Time to get a bucket
Find a receptacle to catch water spilling from the damaged pipe. Depending on the severity of the burst, you may need a fairly a sizable container to hold the water or preferably two to empty one at a time. Once your container is placed, proceed immediately to the next Step.

Step Three.

Turn off water at main valve
Water will continue flowing out of the burst pipe until it is cut off at it’s source. By turning off the main water immediately after placing your container, you will stop the flow of water to your home. This will stop water pouring in to your home and minimise damage.

The main water shutoff valve is usually found in your front yard or on the front of your house with your water meter. All members of your household should be aware of the valve’s location so that they will be able to stop the water inflow even if you’re not around.

Step Four.

Call emergency plumbing services
Now, that the water cut off and water damage is minimised, it’s time to call an emergency plumbing service to repair the broken pipeline. It is also wise to request a plumbing inspection at the same time to find any other possible damage so that it can be addressed immediately. This will reduce the likelihood of burst pipes, and other plumbing related issues, in the future.

Step Five.

Drain remaining water from pipes
Even with the water turned off, there is still water sitting in the pipes. While waiting for your plumber to arrive, drain the water from your pipes by turning on all cold water taps. To drain hot water, you will need to turn off your hot water service first, then turn on hot water taps. This way, all pipes are clear of water and ready for your plumber to begin work.


  1. Switch off electricity
  2. Place bucket under burst pipe
  3. Turn of main water valve
  4. Call plumber
  5. Drain pipes


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