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List: Posted: 03/18/11
A burst pipe in your home can be a real emergency and there isn't always time to call a plumber. If your pipes burst when you are not home, your home can fill with many feet of water within minutes, damaging not only your possessions, but the internal structure of your house. Water damage leads to mold and other problems, and burst pipes need to be shut off as quickly as possible.
When a pipe in your home bursts, you need to know where the source of the water is. If the pipe is in your kitchen, for example, shutting the water off under your sink may be enough to stop the problem. The same holds true for bathroom pipes. If, however, the pipe is in the basement of your home, you will most likely find that you need to locate the main water valve in your home and turn it off as quickly as possible.
Knowing the location of this shutoff valve ahead of time is highly recommended. It is usually located on the outside of your house, or between your house and the street under a removable plate in your garden or patio. Take some time to look for it before you need to find it in an emergency!
When the water is turned off, use a pipe repair clamp to help stop the leak until a plumber can come. These kits include a plastic sleeve that will wrap the pipe as well as a clamp to hold it firmly in place. Rubber from a bike inner tube can be used in an emergency.
Remember that patches are only temporary, however, and call a plumber as soon as possible. A burst pipe is considered an emergency, and even the best repair job can rupture at any time. You need to get it fixed immediately, and the cost will be cheaper than replacing all your carpets and furniture.
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