A clogged drain, leaking faucet, or continually running toilet can all be annoying, but when it comes to plumbing problems, few can incite panic the way a broken pipe can. Water can cause a lot of damage to the interior of a home, so being horrified is a natural reaction to seeing water flowing out of a pipe and onto your floor. Use the following tips to deal with a broken pipe in your home:
Immediately Turn Off the Water
It is not uncommon for a person to freeze up and not know what to do when a pipe breaks, but the easiest way to halt the damage is by immediately turning off the water. This can be done by turning the water main valve, which will shut off water to your whole house. In many homes the water main valve is located outside near the hose faucet and other utility boxes, but if you can't find it there, it may be located in a basement. Once the water is shut off, you can begin to deal with the broken pipe in your home.
Depending on the severity of the crack in your pipe, you may be able to temporarily fix it so you can turn the water back on in your home. Common fixes include heavy duty plumber's tape or pipe cement which can be used to seal the crack. These items can usually be found in home improvement stores; if you opt for a quick fix, make sure you follow the directions carefully and ensure that the crack is sealed before restoring water to your home.
Call a Plumber
A quick fix for a cracked pipe should only be thought of as a temporary measure. It may work for a little while, but if you patch up your pipe and neglect to get it repaired, there is a good chance that it will break again in the future, causing further water damage in your home. In the case of a broken pipe, it is in your best interest to call a plumber as soon as possible to have the pipe inspected and repaired or replaced. While the plumber is at your home, ask him or her to inspect other pipes in the vicinity of your cracked pipe to see if there are any signs of problems; a cracked pipe can be a fluke or it can be a sign that your plumbing system is getting old and is in need of repair. It is better to take care of issues in advance instead of having to deal with a plumbing emergency.