You’re never ready for it. When a kitchen sink pipe bursts, it always catches you off guard. Whether it starts while you’re rinsing dishes or soaks floors while you’re away at work, it’s a mess that demands immediate attention.
The cost of burst pipes under kitchen sinks can add up fast. What can you do right now to get things under control and minimize the damage?
You start by being prepared for this soggy home disaster before it drenches kitchen cabinets and floors. With a few tools and the right supplies, you’re ready to tackle small plumbing problems before they turn into big homeowner headaches. We can help.
5 Things to Do When Water Pipes Burst in the Kitchen
Every DIY burst water pipe repair job starts by closing the shutoff valve at the lower end of the break. Follow up by turning on both sink taps to drain excess water. Be very careful working around electrical connections especially disposal and dishwasher outlets.
If the problem is a burst pipe under the kitchen floor, turn off the main water supply to your home, and call a licensed plumber. If you’re ready to fix a pipe under the sink yourself, one of these five DIY pipe repairs should do the trick.
1. Wrap the Pipe
For a temporary fix, dig out an old garden hose. Cut a piece 10 inches longer than the pipe’s rupture, and slice it in half lengthwise. Secure it around the burst pipe with hose clamps at each end and over the pipe break. This low-tech fix will hold most leaks until you can make permanent repairs or call a plumber.
2. Tape the Break
Use a coarse file to roughen the pipe surface. Wearing protective gloves, apply moistened fiberglass pipe tape centered over the break. Tightly wrap the pipe using the entire tape roll. If necessary, add another roll to create a half-inch thick seal around the break. When you’re done, let the tape set for 30 minutes before turning the water back on.
3. Plug the Leak
This repair job also requires scratching the pipe surface and wearing protective gloves. Multi-purpose repair putty sets up in about five minutes, so work quickly. Cut a length of putty, and knead it according to product instructions. Apply it to the pipe surface, firmly press a plug into splits or holes, and let the putty cure for 30 to 45 minutes.
4. Use a Sleeve Clamp
A sleeve clamp is one of your best choices for burst pipe repair because it’s easy to work with. You can buy the inexpensive hardware in different sizes at home improvement stores. Wrap the pipe leak with gasket material, apply the clamp’s two sleeve sections to the break, and tighten the connecting screws.
5. Replace the Line
While this fix requires more time under the sink than other pipe repair methods, it’s permanent when done correctly. Start by detaching the broken pipe’s fitting at the shutoff valve. Detach its upper end fitting, and remove the damaged line. Replace it with a flexible supply line running from the faucet connection back to the supply valve. Slowly turn the supply valve back on to check for leaks around the connections, and gently tighten as needed.
How to Clean Up After a Water Leak
When you can fix a plumbing problem quickly, cleanup can be as simple as mopping the floor. If a kitchen sink pipe burst and soaked floors, walls and cabinets while you were away from the house, start the drying process right away.
• Run several fans to create strong crosscurrents of air.
• Speed up drying in lower cabinets and walls by leaving doors open.
• Don’t open windows unless outside humidity is very low.
• Keep fans running non-stop for two to three days.
Drying out wet sheetrock can turn into a big DIY project. It has to be done quickly to minimize the risk of mold and mildew growth. If you have any doubts about taking on the job, call in a restoration contractor. Homeowners insurance usually covers this type of water damage cleanup and mitigation.
We’re Always Ready
The next time you’re at the hardware store, pick up a few pipe repair products just in case. Check your home tool box to be sure you have everything you need for handling a burst pipe in the kitchen. Bookmark our post, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from being prepared.
If you have any quick-fix tips for burst water pipe repair, share them with our online community through our Comments Section. If you need a professional fix for burst pipe water damage, give us a call here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba. We’re Chicago’s restoration experts, and we’re always ready for anything.