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What do I do if my Pipes Burst?

So you’re running down the stairs on a chilly winter’s morning, already half an hour behind schedule – and you find yourself knee-deep in ice-cold water, watching your coffee table serenely floating past. Burst pipes are a homeowner’s nightmare, but quick thinking can really reduce the damage. Here are some tips for what to do if this happens to you.

• Turn off the water: This is one of the first things you need to do – you have to halt the flow of all water to prevent it flooding your property completely. The tap to turn off your water supply is usually located under your kitchen sink, so do this as soon as you can. If possible, drain the water out of the house as quick as you can - even if this means bailing it out with a bucket - as this could help reduce the long-term damage on your home.

• Turn off the electric: Equally important (if not more), is turning off the electricity, as it doesn’t tend to work in harmony with water. A combination of the two can be extremely dangerous (if not fatal) so make sure you do not touch any electrical products that may have had contact with the water and be careful when turning off the electric itself, too.

• Call a plumber: The only solution to a problem like this will be to get a plumber in as soon as possible. Remember that it’s in your best interest to call someone as local as possible. This might seem obvious, but when panic sets in, people do tend to lose all their sense of reason. Try which is ideal for finding a local tradesperson in your area, and you can also compare customer ratings to see which one will be the best for you, as well as getting online quotes. Getting a local person in is significant, as it will not only reduce any response time, but will also mean less cost passed onto you owing to a shorter journey time.

• Call your insurer: Buildings insurance covers disasters such as burst pipes and should cover the cost of repairs - but let them know as soon as possible about what has happened. Making a claim in disastrous situations is why you got insurance in the first place, so don’t hesitate to call them.

How to prevent a burst pipe

For many people reading this article, it may already be too late for thinking about preventions, but there are ways of helping reduce the likelihood of a burst pipe (or of it happening again). Burst pipes are very common in winter as water freezes, expanding the pipes, leaving them vulnerable to bursting when the thaw sets in. Leaving your taps running ever so slightly keeps water flowing through your pipes and setting your heating to come on at intervals throughout the day can help prevent the pipes from freezing. For more information on burst pipe prevention, click here.

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