What to Do If Your Water Main Bursts?

Plumbing Repair

What are you going to do if you discover that your water main burst? The initial reaction would be panic. When you see water gushing everywhere in your home you know that it’s going to destroy your property. When this unfortunate event happens the best thing you can do is to hire professional plumbing repair experts. But, while you wait for them to arrive, there are a few things you need to do to lessen the damage.

This post offers a bit of knowledge so you can handle the problem on your own while waiting for help. It’s important to mention that these tips will not replace the expertise of a plumber, which means you’ll still need their services.

So what’s the action plan then? What are you going to do when you encounter unfortunate burst water main? The first thing you should do is to shut off the main water valve of the entire house. Where can you find it? That’s a good question. If it’s in your house, it’s your responsibility to be aware of its location. Don’t wait until an emergency happens to you before you’ll find the main valve. While everything is dry and okay, locate it now so that if you’ll need to shut it off, you’ll know where to find it.

Knowing where your main water shut-off valve is can be a real lifesaver!

The next step is to drain all of your faucets. Most of these water main burst problems happen during the winter season when the water inside the pipes freeze and expand. Removing the excess water from the pipes will relieve your plumbing system of pressure especially if some of the water is frozen. When draining water, turn on all the cold water faucets to release extra water. Also, don’t forget all the toilets in your house. They too need to be drained and flushed several times and check for clogged drains.

Your next action plan is to turn off the hot water heater and then proceed to drain the hot taps. Allowing warm air to pass through frozen pipes will help circulate them. You can place a hairdryer on the frozen pipe or you can turn the thermostat up.

Now that you’ve already stopped the water from causing more damage to your home, the next step is to inspect the areas that have been damaged by the water main burst. We know you’re itching to clean up but that’s not the priority in your action plan right now. The reason why it’s more important to document the damage is for insurance purposes.

You should document every area in your house that has been damaged by the water main burst including your possessions. It’s best if you take photos and videos of everything. This is also helpful as it serves as a record of your home and the plumbing problems you’ve experienced. The next time it happens you can show it to your plumber.

After you’ve all those it’s now time for your favorite part – the clean-up!

Can you prevent water main bursts? Surprisingly, you can! Since water main bursts are usually a result of frozen pipes, you need to take extra measures to prevent it from happening. If you’re not motivated enough, knowing how much it will cost you to replace frozen pipes will probably change your mind. Taking precautionary measures will save you a great deal of money!

You can stop your pipes from freezing by allowing warm air to reach the pipes. When you’re not at home, set the temperature so that it’s above freezing. You can also apply heat tape or pipe sleeves on exposed areas of your pipes to serve as insulators. It’s also helpful to hire professional plumbers to inspect pinhole leaks as also result in frozen pipes.


In a nutshell, whenever you experience water main bursts, time is of the essence. The faster a plumber gets to your place, the lesser the damage. It’s also important to stay calm and keep focused so you can take the necessary actions while you wait for the plumber to arrive. As early as now, while your pipes are still in good working condition, take good care of them. Don’t wait until your plumbing system freezes and you experience burst pipes.

Make sure you find reliable plumbers. They have to have skills and experience because if you wind up with inexperienced plumbers, the damage is only going to get worse and the cost of the repairs is going to double.

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