What To Do If You Get A Burst Pipe Or Water Leak

When a pipe bursts or a pipe fitting corrodes, you need to know what to do to prevent too much damage to your home.






This is my bathroom earlier this week after being woken early in the morning to the sound of running water. It was the weirdest experience when I awoke and mumbled, "Who is running water in the house?" when I knew there was no one else in the house. Jumping out of bed and running into the bathroom I was confronted by water pouring from the bottom of the sink vanity. I immediately screamed at my hubby to switch off the water at our stopcock or stop valve and it was only with some quick thinking that we both managed to switch off the water and mop up the flood in the bathroom.



Thinking about this afterwards, I thought to myself that there are plenty of people out there who do not even know where their water stopcock valve is located and how, by not knowing this, they could be in a serious situation if unable to switch off the water.







Identify the location of your stopcock or stop-water valve

Every homeowner should know where their stopcock or stop-water valve is located, regardless of whether they live in a freestanding house, townhouse, apartment or flat. Knowing where the stopcock is can be the difference between water damage or not.



In a panic situation when a burst pipe happens, you need to know the location of the stopcock in advance and keep the area accessible for easy access in emergencies.



Replacing braided tap connectors

The cause of the water burst in the bathroom was a corroded fitting on the one braided connector. This shouldn't happen and I'm still not sure how it did because the vanity cabinet was dry and there was no sign of any leak beforehand. I suppose one must always keep these possibilities in mind and plan for any eventuality. Make it easy to get to the water and waste pipes behind a vanity and have a stop-valve fitted if you have any plumbing work done.




What is a stop valve?

Most houses have a water stop valve close to the toilet and its purpose is to allow you to stop the flow of water without having to turn it off at the stopcock. Many newer properties have these fitted at points throughout the house and having one fitted at every water point (such as bath, shower, sinks) would make life - and emergencies - much easier to handle.





This is the braided connector fitting that was corroded and had to be replaced. This fitting is between a braided connector to the water supply and the sink tap.









This was the easy part of the repair and involved replacing the damaged braided connector with a new one. BTW... I always keep a couple of these spare (luckily) just in case. Note: Do not screw this section together until you have completed the next step of screwing the other end of the braided connector into the base of the tap. There needs to be free movement of the cord so it does not twist as you fit.






It is a lifesaver to have a can of Action Can AC90 in your toolbox (or under the sink because you never know when you need it.





The next step in removing the braided connector is to unscrew it from the base of the tap. If the fitting is easily accessible you can unscrew the damaged connector and screw in the new one. I have a double bathroom vanity where it is not as easy to get to the taps and this meant that I had to remove the tap to remove it to get to the braided connector. Before I could remove the tap we tried several times to loosen the nuts holding the tap in place and it was only when sprayed with Action Can AC90 that it was a breeze.





Once the tap was removed, I needed to unscrew the braided connector. This is supposed to be easy to do but wasn't. Another use for Action Can AC90. Honestly, this stuff is amazing. After fitting the new braided connector the other end was screwed onto the coupling for the other pipe and everything was tested once the water was switched on.





The bottom line is that you need to know how to switch off the water in an emergency. If you live in a house, find the location for the stopcock, in a townhouse, apartment or flat know where the water stop valve is fitted.






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