Pipes can burst for a number of reasons the most common being; age, rubbing on another surface or object and general wear and tear. When you do get or think you have a burst pipe at your home or business these are steps you can follow to identify, locate and isolate the pipe.
Identifying if you have a burst pipe
There are a number ways to know if you have a burst pipe, these include:
- Can you hear running water? Most people become aware there may be a problem when they can hear water running through there pipes but there is no water being used on the property.
- Can you visibly see water or unusual damp spots? If you can see water coming up from ground or out of the wall/ceiling. It is very likely you have a burst pipe.
- Have you lost water pressure? Although it takes a big leak to notice a pressure drop this can also be a sign you have a burst pipe.
- Is your hot water system giving warm or no hot water? A burst on your hot water line can result in hot water being wasted and leaking into the ground. If you have a storage hot water system, your system may not be able to heat water quick enough which could result in no hot water.
- Is the floor warm to the touch? Burst pipes are a lot more common on hot water pipes than cold water pipes. If your floor is hot this could be a sign of a burst pipe.
- Is your water meter ticking over? Large burst pipes will show the meter turning over very rapidly. Smaller burst pipes can be tested by taking a reading and returning after a few minutes to see if the meter reading has risen. For this to work its important that all taps and toilets are working correctly. A dripping tap or toilet will show a reading on the meter.
If you think that you have a burst pipe, even if you are not 100% sure its always best to call a plumber. We can help you asses your situation and prevent and reduce further damage.
Locating the burst pipe
It is very important that if you have a burst pipe and you suspect it may be causing damage to your property to turn off your water and call a plumber immediately.
If you suspect you may have a burst pipe there a few quick steps you can take to you try and locate it:
- Walk around your property and look for water and damp spots. If a pipe burst underground, it can push water and sand to the surface.
- Listen for running water. It is very important to note that when you have a burst pipe all the pipes in your house will sound like running water. DON’T attempt to open walls or floor due the sound. Make a note of where you think it may be loudest and tell your plumber.
- If you have felt the floor is warmer than usual, make a note and tell your plumber.
These are just quick tips to help you find the location of you burst pipe. Leaving the water on for long periods of time with a burst pipe can result in further damage to your property and services.
How to isolate
Burst pipes can waste large amount of water and cause further damage to your property. Isolating as soon as possible is the best way to reduce the risks. Depending on which pipe has burst (hot or cold) there are different ways to isolate.
- Unsure if hot or cold water- Go to your water meter, turn it off and call a plumber.
- Cold water- Go to your water meter, turn it of and call a plumber.
- Hot water- If your burst pipe is hot water. You can turn off the water supply to your hot water system. This will stop the leak and you will still have cold water to the property. If you are unsure of how to do this or struggle to close the valve on you hot water system, turn off the water at your water meter and call a plumber.
If your water meter tap doesn’t stop the flow of water call a plumber as soon as possible.
All repairs of plumbing on your property must be performed by a licensed plumber. Call a plumber to arrange a repair.
After Repairs have been made
If you suspect you have lost large amounts of water due to your burst pipe. A licensed plumber can do a leak allowance form for you. This is submitted to water corporation who will assess your usage and may reimburse you for the wastage.