Quick Remedies for Burst Pipe Emergencies

Plumbing - Craig Campbell - February 21, 2024
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Dealing with burst pipes in your home can be an overwhelming experience, causing not only immediate water damage but also leading to potential long-term structural issues and mold growth if not addressed quickly. Quick remedies for burst pipe emergencies are essential to minimize damage and restore your home’s safety and functionality.  You can do this by following the steps:

  • Turning off the water supply

  • Draining the remaining water

  • Locating the burst pipe

  • Applying a temporary patch

  • Opening doors and windows

  • Calling a professional plumber

Let’s discuss them in detail:

Turn Off the Water Supply

The first and most crucial step in remedies for burst pipe emergencies is to shut off the main water supply to your home. This action prevents further water from flowing through the damaged pipe, thereby minimizing the extent of water damage. Locate your main water shut-off valve, which is typically found in the basement, garage, or near the water meter, and turn it clockwise to close it.

Drain the Remaining Water

After shutting off the water supply, turn on all cold water taps and flush toilets to drain the remaining water from the pipes. This step helps to relieve any residual pressure in the pipes, reducing the risk of additional bursts. Remember to turn off the water heater and open the hot water taps to drain the hot water lines as well.

Locate the Burst Pipe

Identifying the location of the burst pipe is crucial for applying quick remedies for burst pipe emergencies. Check for visible signs of water damage, such as damp walls, ceilings, or pooling water on floors. Once located, assess the damage to determine if it’s a small crack or a significant burst, as this will influence your next steps.

Apply a Temporary Patch

For minor cracks, applying a temporary patch can be an effective quick remedy for burst pipe emergencies. You can use commercial pipe repair clamps or even a piece of rubber (e.g., an old garden hose) and a jubilee clip to secure the rubber over the crack as a makeshift clamp. Remember, this is a temporary fix to buy you time until professional repairs can be made.

Open Doors and Windows

To help dry out the affected area, open doors and windows to increase air circulation. This step is essential in preventing mold growth, which can start within 24 to 48 hours in damp conditions. If the damage is extensive, consider using fans or a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process.

Call a Professional Plumber

Once immediate measures have been taken, contact a professional plumber to repair the burst pipe. Professional repair is necessary to ensure the integrity of your plumbing system and prevent future bursts. Provide the plumber with as much information as possible about the burst pipe’s location and the damage to expedite the repair process.

Preventative Measures

1. Insulate Your Pipes

One of the best quick remedies for burst pipe emergencies is prevention. Insulating your pipes, especially those exposed to cold temperatures, can prevent them from freezing and bursting. Use foam pipe insulation sleeves available at hardware stores to cover your pipes, focusing on vulnerable areas such as crawl spaces, attics, and exterior walls.

2. Regular Maintenance Checks

Conducting regular maintenance checks on your plumbing system can help identify potential issues before they lead to burst pipes. Look for signs of corrosion, leaks, or significant wear and tear, and have them addressed by a professional plumber. Regular maintenance not only prevents emergencies but also extends the life of your plumbing system.

3. Know Your Plumbing System

Familiarize yourself with the layout of your plumbing system, including the location of pipes and the main water shut-off valve. This knowledge is invaluable in quick remedies for burst pipe emergencies, allowing you to act swiftly to minimize damage.

4. Monitor Water Pressure

High water pressure can strain your pipes, increasing the risk of bursts. Use a water pressure gauge to monitor your home’s water pressure, ensuring it stays within safe limits (typically between 40-60 psi). If your water pressure is consistently high, consider installing a pressure regulator to protect your pipes.

5. Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners can corrode pipes over time, leading to weak spots that are prone to bursting. As part of quick remedies for burst pipe emergencies, opt for mechanical methods to clear clogs, such as plungers or plumber’s snakes, or use enzyme-based cleaners that are less harsh on your pipes.


Quick remedies for burst pipe emergencies are critical in protecting your home from extensive water damage and the subsequent headaches of repairs and restoration. By following the immediate steps outlined above and implementing preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the impact of burst pipes on your home. Remember, while temporary fixes can buy you time, professional repairs are essential for a long-term solution. Stay prepared, and don’t let burst pipes disrupt the comfort and safety of your home.

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