Home Insurance

Reduce the damage caused by burst pipes

A close up of a burst copper pipe, with water spirting out.

A burst pipe can cause serious damage

Water escaping from a burst pipe can cause serious damage to your home and possessions.

However, if you follow these steps and act quickly you may be able to reduce the scale and cost of any damage.

1. Turn off the water supply

  • Switch off your stop-cock to prevent more water from feeding into the pipes and causing further damage
  • Once the water is off, turn on all of your cold taps to drain any excess water out of the system.

2. Consider turning off the electricity

  • If there is any chance that water could have leaked onto any electrics, you should turn off the electricity supply immediately at the fusebox
  • You may be able to just turn off the affected areas, but if in doubt just turn everything off – make sure you have a torch if it’s dark. Electrical wiring or sockets that may have got wet can be dangerous so do not touch them.

3. Turn off the heating system

  • Turn off any immersion heater and central heating system to prevent heating the system while it is empty, as this could cause damage. Turn on all hot water taps to drain any excess water out of the system.

4. Check for water damage

  • Check ceilings for bulging caused by water pooling above. Stay clear of any ceilings which are bulging significantly, in case they should collapse
  • For any ceilings starting to bulge, and providing it is safe to do so, you could make a small hole to allow the water to escape slowly into a container below.

5. Consult a professional

  • For your own safety, try to have another person with you when you move around the property
  • In addition, make sure you consult a plumber and electrician before the water and electricity are turned back on
  • Check your Home Insurance or Home Emergency Cover policy for your escape of water limits.