Burst pipes are becoming an increasingly common plumbing problem both in the domestic and commercial sectors. As modern-day conveniences mean that many of us integrate more complex plumbing systems into our homes, offices, and business premises, it’s no wonder that fractured pipework is a regular occurrence.
The damage a burst pipe causes
The issue with any burst pipe is that it isn’t solely the cost of a new pipe and the labour to fix it. Instead, significant costs often lie in the ensuing destruction or water damage that a burst or fractured pipe causes.
Did you know for example that even a small burst pipe just a few centimetres in diameter can lose around 400 litres of water every hour? That’s enough to fill two large baths. If you do the maths you’ll quickly realise that you only have to be away from the house for as little as 24 hours to know that when you return you could be looking at around 9600 litres of water being dumped inside your premises. That’s enough to cause major devastation in anyone’s book.
Another worrying issue with a burst or fractured pipe is that because most pipework these days is buried either above the ceiling or under the floor. Which means there’s a strong chance you won’t even notice there’s a problem until it’s either coming through your ceiling or ruined your flooring.
For these reasons, it’s imperative that the risk of bursting pipes be minimised. Here’s how you can do exactly that.
As with anything, prevention is better than cure, and as such there are steps that you can take to prevent flooding due to a burst pipe from occurring.
Know where your main stop valve is located
Having already mentioned that the majority of pipework is hidden from view it can make it difficult to locate the problem. Clearly, the obvious step would be to switch off the water at source – namely your stop valve. That’s provided, of course, that you know where it is.
Stop valves are notorious for being located in some strange places, so make sure you know where yours is so that you can get to it quickly if and when you need to.
Keep all outside piping and taps insulated
Piping, including drain pipes for heating and overflow pipes, has a tendency to expand and contract when exposed directly to either cold or hot weather. This can cause a weakening of the joints over time and eventually, the pipe could burst, particularly when it’s under pressure.
For this reason, it’s in your best interest to make sure any pipework exposed to the elements is lagged. For outside taps, you can also purchase fitted covers.
If you’re unsure about what pipes need to be lagged or even how to do it, then you can always contact an experienced local plumber who can help.
When you go away
If you’re away from the premises for longer periods of time it’s best to turn off the stop valve completely. Then drain any water from the system, and close your taps again. This ensures that you won’t come back to a flooded house. Make sure you check your hot water system manual for shut down procedures.
Burst pipe repairs
Unfortunately despite these prevention tips, burst pipes remain a problem and when they do you need a reliable plumber you can call on. In the Metropolitan area of Brisbane, that’s Brisbane Plumbing and Drainage. With our emergency service available 24/7 one call to us and we can get the problem fixed fast.
When speed is of the essence it’s comforting to know that whether it’s 3 am on a Sunday morning or 4 pm on a public holiday you have a ‘go-to’ plumbing service who can help. Don’t delay contact us today