A burst pipe can be a nightmare.
Locate your stopcock
AA research indicates that one in three people don’t know where to find their stopcock. It is essential for all house occupants know how to use and locate the stopcock to your main water supply – knowing this in advance allows you to act fast and minimise the damage from a burst pipe. Stopcocks are generally located under the sink, bathroom, cloakroom, under the stairs or in the garage.
Turn off the water
Drain the pipe of water by turning on all cold taps and flushing all your toilets. Then switch off the water heating system and turn on all hot taps to help drain the water supply system. Simply put, when there is no water left in the pipe the leaking will subside.
Prevent further damage
If the leak from the burst pipe is coming through your ceiling, place a bucket under the problem area to prevent the spread of any further damage.
If a leak has gone unnoticed for a period of time in the attic, upstairs floors and ceilings may become unstable due to the weight of retained water. Never walk across a bulging floor as it could give way.
Switch off the electrical mains
Never, ever touch wet electrical appliances and it is worth reminding all house occupants of this. Turn off the electricity mains without delay.
Call a plumber
Or better yet, if you’re an AA Home Membership policyholder, we’ll do it for you and pick up the bill of up to €2,000 for emergency repairs – covering up to four call outs per year including labour, parts, materials, and VAT. This applies to burst pipes but also leaks from radiators, broken exterior locks, blocked drains and more.
Open all windows and doors
to air out the affected areas.
It is worth noting that sometimes the secondary damage such as mould growth, corrosion and structural deterioration can be worse than the initial leak. A quick reaction time will help reduce the extent of the damage and the cost to restore your home.
Contact your home insurance provider
without delay to speed up your claims application process. They should arrange to send out an assessor to inspect the damage caused to your home.
Record the damage
As a major home insurance provider who has been in the business since the 1970’s, we strongly advise that you document the damage suffered in your home; take pictures of the affected areas either on your smartphone or digital camera for safe-keeping.