What Do You Do When a Water Pipe Bursts?
A burst water pipe is no laughing matter. Depending on the size of the damaged area, a large pipe can lose a gallon or more per second. Even smaller pipes can cause a significant amount of water loss, not only driving up the water bill but also potentially causing a lot of water damage. When you’re dealing with a burst pipe, it’s important to take action quickly to stop excessive water loss and get the pipe fixed as soon as possible.
Is a Pipe Really Broken?
Determine if a burst pipe is the problem. If you’re simply experiencing a drop in water pressure, it’s possible that you don’t have a burst pipe at all. Look for some of the signs of burst pipes, including:
- Water spraying from the ground or visible section of pipe
- Puddles forming despite a lack of rain
- Odd colors or smells coming from tap water, or debris in the water
- Sounds of running water even when visible water isn’t present
- Significant increases in your water bill despite not using more water
If the pipe is located in your house, then you may also notice damp spots on the walls, blistering paint, an increase in mildew or even water stains appearing on your walls or ceiling.
Burst Water Mains
If a water main bursts, the responsibility for the pipe falls on the city or water district you get your water from. That means you need to contact them and let them know that there’s a damaged pipe near your home. Provide as much information as possible about the break, including the location and how much water seems to be coming from the pipe. If there were extenuating circumstances surrounding the break such as an accident or a worker driving a post down into the pipe, be sure to provide this information as well.