One of the first things you should do if your water main bursts is immediately to call your plumber. They will have the tools and expertise needed to fix the problem effectively and in no time.
However, just sitting there waiting for their arrival will only lead to more problems. Water is likely still pouring out, causing more damage if you do not do something about it. With that in mind, here is what you should do while the plumber is on their way to fix your burst water main:
1. Locate the shut-off valve
The first thing you should do in the event of a burst water main is to shut off the water. To do this, you will need to look for the main shut-off valve. Once you do find it, shut it off immediately.
You will need to know where this is before any plumbing emergency so that you can quickly reach it. Trying to figure out where it is during an emergency will only cause you to panic further, allowing the damage to worsen.
2. Turn on all the faucets
Once the water has been shut off in your home, you will need to drain your plumbing of the remaining water. Do this by going to all the cold-water faucets and leaving them on until no water comes out. Also, do not forget to flush your toilets multiple times to allow more water to exit your home. This helps relieve any pressure that puts stress on the pipes that may have caused them to burst. Follow this up by switching off the water heater and turning on all the hot water taps.
3. Warm your pipes
Be sure to expose whatever pipes you can access to warm air. This is especially true in the wintertime when pipes are prone to freezing up, as the warm air can help thaw the pipes. Go around your home and find pipes that might be frozen. If you discover any, warm them up by either wrapping them with a warm towel or directing a hairdryer at them.
4. Clean up the mess
With all the water drained out of your home and the pipes warmed up, you can start cleaning up the mess created by the burst water main. During this time, you can also take pictures of the resulting damage. This can include the condition of the pipe and its surroundings. This is important for insurance purposes and so that your plumber has a more detailed record.
By following the steps above, you can control the damage a broken main can do to your home and allow your plumber to fix the issue more quickly and effectively. At the same time, you save a lot of money, ensuring that any damage does not worsen.
With that said, after the fix is complete, it pays to implement preventive measures to keep your home safe from similar plumbing emergencies. For example, you can leave your thermostat above the freezing point to keep all the pipes warm when you are not around or apply pipe sleeves to insulate them from the cold. These actions may cost you some money, but they will prevent more expensive problems from happening!
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