A burst pipe can happen at any time… Even outside of normal business hours. Our plumbers are on call 24 hours a day to help you when you have a plumbing emergency such as a burst pipe, but there are a few things you can do to avoid the damage caused by a broken water line in the first place — or at least minimize the flooding if one does occur.
How to Deal With Burst Pipes
The most important thing to do is shut off the water to the affected area, and then call Church Plumbing & Heating at (574) 295-6844. You may be able to shut off the water to just the faucet or toilet that is damaged, but it may be necessary to shut off water to the entire house. If you don’t know where your shut-off valves are located, call us immediately and we’ll send a plumber out ASAP!
How to Avoid Burst Water Lines
- Disconnect Garden Hoses In The Fall
The number one plumbing emergency service call we get every spring is the result of homeowners forgetting to disconnect their garden hoses from outdoor faucets. While most modern outdoor faucets are considered “freezeless” or “frost-free”, leaving a hose connected over the winter can still result in a burst pipe. As soon as you turn your hose on in the spring, a torrent of water will leak out — usually into your basement. If this occurs, turn the hose off immediately and give us a call so that one of our plumbers can repair or replace the outdoor faucet.
- Keep The Temperature Above 50 Degrees
It can be tempting to turn the temperature down in certain parts of your home in the winter time or when you go on vacation to save money on utility bills. While it is OK to do so, we recommend that all areas of your home are kept at a minimum of 50 degrees to avoid a freeze up in areas like basements or crawl spaces. If you have had a frozen water line before, you should consider keeping the temperature even higher.
- Locate Your Water Shut-Offs
There are a number of shut-off valves in your home that you may need in an emergency including a main valve for the entire house, a valve above your water heater, and shut-offs at individual plumbing fixtures such as sinks and toilets. If you don’t know where these shut-offs are located, take the time to figure it out. Knowing where they are can mean the difference between mopping up a bit of water and thousands of dollars of water damage in an emergency. Our technicians can help you by locating and tagging the valves in your home.
- Test Your Shut-Offs Regularly
Make sure your shut-off valves work before you need them. Valves that have not been exercised regularly may not shut off easily or at all. Waiting until your water heater is leaking only to find out that the valve is stuck won’t do you much good. Older style gate valves can be particularly difficult to operate for folks with a weak grip or arthritis, and the packing nut tends to loosen each time you operate the valve. One of our plumbers can help you replace any valves that don’t operate easily or are the older style gate valves with easy-to-operate quarter-turn ball valves so that you don’t have to worry in an emergency.
Burst pipes and broken water lines are no fun to deal with. They can cause thousands of dollars in damage in a matter of hours or even minutes. Call Church Plumbing & Heating at (574) 295-6844 today to make sure you and your home are prepared in the case of a burst pipe emergency.