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What to do if you hit a water pipe when drilling

Using a digital detector lets you know where water pipes and electrical conduits are located in walls. But what do you do if you accidentally hit a water pipe?


Drilling into walls is a common task that needs to be done from time to time when doing jobs in and round the house, But when you need to drill into a wall where water pipes (or electrical conduits) might be located, the last thing you want to do is to hit one of these by accident.

It is never a good idea to drill a hole into any wall without first checking. But if you accidentally hit a water pipe you could be in for some very expensive repairs. In this article we let you know what must be done in the event that it happens to you.



Always check walls before drilling

Digital Detectors are devices that let you check behind tiles and inside walls to see what might be there. These devices are designed to help show the location of electrical conduits or cables, and water pipes.

The old saying that prevention is better than cure when it comes to drilling into a wall. You can never be sure how water pipes are arranged behind your walls and that's why you need to use a digital detector like the Bosch UniversalDetect.

This detection device lets you locate pipes in walls, whether they are copper, lead or any other material. Simply select the right mode on the Bosch UniversalDetect and move it over the area where you want to drill the hole. If the LED light turns red, the device has detected a pipe and you should choose another location. If it turns green, this means there are no metal pipes in this area.



What to do if you hit a water pipe

In the event that you accidentally hit a water pipe, every second counts. The more water that spurts out of the pipe, the greater the damage to the walls and fittings in your home. By taking the following steps, you should hopefully be able to keep this damage to a minimum:

1. Turn off at the main stopcock or nearest valve

Before you rush around like a headless chicken, the priority is turn off the water. Some houses have a stopcock in the bathroom or kitchen, but if not, you will probably need to turn off the main water stopcock.

2. Switch off electricity supply at the Distribution Board

To prevent electrocution, especially if there is a lot of water, turn off the electricity at the distribution panel.

3. Call an Emergency Plumber

While you have shut off the water supply, a plumber will need to attend to the damaged pipe and assess what needs to be done for the repair..

4. Get in touch with your home insurer

To cover you for any damage you need to get in touch with your insurance company. They will also advise of the steps that need to be taken. In some instances, the insurer may ask that you take a picture of the pipe and the resulting damage. If you're in rented accommodation, inform your landlord immediately.

Who is responsible for the cost of repairs?

 For any damages in a rented house or flat, your personal liability insurance will pay up – but only if it's not deemed gross negligence. For example, if you were drilling directly above or beneath the bathroom sink – where it's likely that a water pipe exists – it’s unlikely it’ll be covered. The same applies to home insurance, which will only pay out if it was not a case of gross personal negligence.



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