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What to Do When Your Pipes Burst

Winter isn’t over yet, and that means there’s still a chance your pipes could freeze and burst. While your best bet is to prevent frozen pipes, all is not lost even if you do experience burst pipes in your home this winter.

If you see a water leak coming from a burst pipe, here’s what you need to do to keep water damage to a minimum:

Turn Off the Water

Every home has a main water shut-off valve that controls water flow throughout the entire home. To stop water from flowing out of a burst pipe, locate this valve and shut it off. Some valves are located inside the home. If this is the case, check all possible valve locations, including:


  • Basement
  • Crawl space
  • Garage
  • Next to the water heater

Once you find the valve, turn it clockwise to stop the flow of water.

If you can’t find the shut-off valve inside, look for a box buried in the ground near the street in front of your home. You might need a pentagon socket wrench, pliers or meter key to get inside. Other covers lift off with a simple twist. Once you remove the lid, turn the valve closest to your home clockwise to stop the flow of water. You may need a meter key or crescent wrench and screw driver to turn a stubborn valve.

Release Pressure in the Pipe

Residual water in your plumbing system will continue to pour from the burst pipe, so open another tap in the house to safely siphon water down the drain where it can’t do any further damage to your home.

Call Your Insurance Company

Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover leaks from burst pipes, including the cost of temporary repairs, cleanup, and permanent repairs. Find out your coverage before you jump the gun. Your insurance provider may require you to have an adjuster come assess the situation. Just in case, take pictures before any repair work is done to prove the extent of the damage.

Call a Plumber

The NJ emergency plumbers at Arctic Air Conditioning can help you recover from a burst pipe. Even if you suspect a pipe has frozen but you’re not sure if it has burst yet, contact us online or call us immediately at 732-455-9110. We can help you work through this problem and minimize water damage to your home in Central Jersey.

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