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What to Do When a Pipe Bursts in Your Home

A broken pipe in a household is never a pleasant experience. Besides being a nuisance, burst pipes can cause severe damage to the property, send energy bills skyrocketing, and much more. If you believe there may be a leaking pipe in your home and want to know what to do, you’ve come to the right place.
This article shares everything you need to know about the issue, starting from the common signs, the causes, and tips on what to do when you notice a burst pipe.

What Causes Pipe Bursts?

One of the most common causes of the issue is corrosion. The imbalance in the water’s pH, as well as rust, causes corrosion to appear. It takes a long time for a corroded pipe to burst, and this type of issue is more common in homes with well water due to a higher iron concentration.
The next common cause for burst pipes is cold weather. Canadian winters are often harsh and cause pipes across the country to freeze. Frozen pipe burst is particularly common in Toronto households throughout the cold season.
Pipe movement can also be the reason for pipe bursts. The pipes can shift after winter due to contraction as the weather goes from cold temperatures to warm. Repairing other plumbing system parts or water pressure can cause movements as well.
Finally, clogs can also be the cause of burst pipes. When a clog forms deep in the pipe, it causes the water pressure to build around it. Since there’s nowhere else for the water to go, it starts leaking outside. And if the water pressure is too strong for the construction, it starts to burst.

Water Pipe Burst – Recognize the Signs

A 2021 study showed that pipes in Toronto waste an amount of water equal to filling 15,000 Olympic pools or supplying the daily demand of 250,000 people each year. For this reason, it’s extremely important to recognize the signs of a water pipe burst as soon as possible.

Some of the most common ones include:
  • Change in Water Pressure. A burst pipe can result in fluctuating water pressure in the house. It may seem like hardly any water comes out of the showerhead and then, suddenly, blasts all over the place.Brownish or Discolored Water. Sometimes, when water pipes burst, dirt, ground, and other contaminants can make it into your water, causing it to change colour. Or you have an undiscovered burst pipe that starts to rust. The small rust particles give a brownish tint to the water. This also creates space for bacterial breeding, which can impose severe health issues.
  • Smelly Water. Water that smells like rotten eggs could indicate a sign of a burst pipe. This could be a symptom of a hydrogen sulphide leak, which is a naturally occurring gas in sewer lines. Leaking sewage can cause several health issues and should be inspected by professional plumbers right away.
  • Dripping Noise Coming from the Walls. The sound of water in the walls is a clear sign of a broken pipe. This noise is different from the gurgling sound when the water pressure fluctuates.
  • Mould Issues. A burst pipe causes excess moisture around the household. Sometimes, this can attract mildew or mould. Should you notice an excessive amount of any of the two, be sure to contact professional plumbers for inspection ASAP.
  • Skyrocketing Water Bills. If your water bill has been skyrocketing for no apparent reason, there may be a leaking pipe somewhere in your plumbing system.
  • Water Marks on the Wall. Watermarks on the wall could be a sign that there’s a burst or leaking pipe behind. Similar signs may include squishy parts on the wall or dampness.

Need Service? Call The Plumbing Experts

Folow the steps below to limit water damage, but first get in contact with our plumbers to schedule a plumber to come and help you resolve the burst pipe

Burst Water Pipe – What to Do

So, what should you do if you notice any signs of burst pipes in your home? We’ve sorted out all the answers below.

1. Shut Off Your Water

If there’s a burst pipe in your house, the first step is to shut off the water in the house. By doing so, you’ll alleviate water damage that can incur. It’s best to completely shut off the water the moment you notice the leak – the sooner, the better. If you’re uncertain about the location of your main water valve, check in the basement, near the water heater, or crawl space.
After shutting off the water, drain the faucets to get rid of the remaining water from the pipes. This will help you reduce the pipe system pressure and prevent pipe freezing if this is the cause of the issue. When the water stops, it should also stop the leaks and alleviate immediate damage.

2. Shut Off Your Electricity

If the pipe water leak is huge, you should shut off the electricity in your house. This is an obligatory step if you believe the water may come in contact with the wires or your fuse box.

3. Identify the Burst Pipe

The next step is to locate the broken pipe in your household. If you believe the leaking has been going on for a while, be careful entering your rooms and look for common water damage signs on the walls. When you find the leak, put a bucket under it to catch the water.

4. Document the Damage for Insurance Claim

If the burst pipe caused severe damage to your home, be sure to take photos of all affected areas ASAP. Do so continually over the course of burst pipe repair. Make sure water lines and water-damaged items are included. You can use a measuring tape to show the water level and back that up by taking photos at different angles. You may also turn the water back on for a moment and take a video of the leak.

5. Start the Clean Up

If there’s been a flood in your home, you should dry the wet areas quickly. Otherwise, you risk mould buildup and more long-term damage.

6. Call the Professionals

If you suspect there’s a pipe burst in your home, you should call a professional plumber for assistance. Toronto homeowners risk spending thousands of dollars on bust pipe repair and clean-up after trying DIY burst pipe repair. There’s no substitute for professional services when it comes to this issue.

Need Pipe Burst Repair? Contact MT Drains

MT Drain Toronto has years of experience and dozens of trained plumbers who can deal with all kinds of broken pipe issues. We do water fixture repairs, leak detection, sewer system repairs, and much more.
Plus, we have liability insurance. Should any of the repairs our professionals perform fail, we’re responsible for making it right. If you try and solve the issue yourself or with the help of uninsured handypersons, you’re on your own.

If you need a reliable and affordable pipe burst repair in the Toronto area, give us a call or schedule a visit ASAP.


Paul S

Paul has more then 20 years in basement waterproofing and plumbing projects experience. Looking for an advice from an expert plumber? Make sure to read Paul's articles about residential waterproofing and plumbing projects in Toronto.

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