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How to Handle a Burst Water Main

Obviously, you are going to need a local certified plumber to help you deal with this problem, but there are things that you can do before they arrive. One of the worst things about this type of emergency situation is that it’s very easy to panic and lose control. After all, when water is spraying around, and your home is becoming damaged before your eyes, it’s easy to lose focus. But, if you follow our advice, you can tackle a water main burst with increased confidence.

Call the Plumber First

Many people start to deal with the situation, and they forget to call a plumber. Firstly, it’s good to know that the cavalry is on the way to help, and there may be a wait before they arrive. So, it makes good sense to call a plumber immediately, and this will help you to mitigate the potential of water damage. The last thing that you need during an emergency situation is to start searching around for a plumber’s phone number. The time to do your research on a trusted and certified local plumber is when you have no time pressure. Look at some reviews, contact them for a plumbing health check and evaluate their performance. Ask your friends, family, and co-workers about a plumbing company they could recommend. When you find a plumber, you want to work with in future, put that number on speed dial, and you will be ready when an emergency occurs.

Shut-off the Main Valve

OK, the plumber is on the way; now it’s time shut-off the water valve to your home. Start by locating the main water valve. If you don’t know where this is located, this is another thing that would be helpful to learn before a plumbing emergency. As you can imagine, frantically searching for the main water valve when water is coming into your home would be very difficult. The valve could be located in the home, or it may be under a metal lid closer to the street. Every home is different, but if you take the time to research your property, you will find the valve and learn how to close it. Remember, the sooner you shut-off the water, the less damage will be caused, so it makes good sense to be prepared. Once you know where the valve is located and how to shut it off, make sure you share this knowledge with everyone living in the home.

Turn Off the Water Heater and Drain the Faucets

Turn off your water heater and drain the cold and hot water faucets to remove any water left in the system. This will relieve pressure on the pipes and help to limit the release of additional water into your home. If you have a toilet related burst pipe, you could flush the toilet a few times to get rid of any water in the storage tank.

Document the Damage and Clean Up

The release of water has now been stopped, the plumber has arrived, and repairs are underway. Congratulations, you dealt with the crisis, but now it’s time to deal with the aftermath. Start by documenting the scale of the damage for insurance purposes. Take plenty of pictures, make lists of the affected property and create a historical record of what occurred. Now you can begin the cleanup, remove the water, any items beyond repair should be moved outdoors, and all windows should be opened. This will increase ventilation and speed up the drying out process.

If you need help dealing with a burst water main, contact your local certified plumber for emergency assistance.

By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.