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An exposed pipe spraying high-pressure water from a burst on the side of the pipe.

8 Signs You Need Burst Pipe Repair in Ottawa and What to Do About It

The plumbing system in your Ottawa home is kind of an unsung hero—it takes a lot of use and abuse and just keeps on giving. But as durable as your water and sewer lines are, they aren't going to last forever. Eventually all homeowners have to deal with plumbing problems like a leaky faucet, a clogged drain or burst pipe repair in Ottawa.

When a pipe bursts in your home, it might feel like it's you against the world. Luckily, you don't have to struggle with this stressful, aggravating damaging problem all by yourself. Your local Ottawa plumber is standing by to provide expert burst pipe repair services and get your home back in comfortable, fully functional condition so you can breathe a sigh of relief.

If the worst has happened and you need burst pipe repair in Ottawa right now, don't panic! Shut off your main water supply valve and call the team of skilled Ottawa plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa. We have dealt with many burst pipe repair situations in Ottawa and the surrounding areas, so we know exactly what to do to get the issue resolved fast and prevent further damage to your property.

How Do You Know If You Need Burst Pipe Repair in Ottawa?

Even a tiny pinhole leak could cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home, and anyone who has ever had to deal with moisture damage mitigation will tell you it is well worth your trouble to avoid it. If you know the signs that there is a burst line in your house, you can catch it as soon as possible and save yourself a lot of time, money and stress by calling a professional plumber for repairs right away.

1. Moisture Damage on Walls, Ceilings or Floors

Are there brown moisture stains on your wallpaper, patches of softened drywall on your ceiling or rotting boards and soggy patches of carpet on your floors? It may seem like that surface damage just came out of nowhere, but it definitely has a source—and a broken pipe is a key suspect. If you see signs of moisture damage on this side of your surfaces, chances are there is much worse lurking behind your wall, ceiling or floor.

2. Sound of Running or Dripping Water

It's normal to sometimes hear liquid moving inside your walls, like the whooshing sound of a lot of liquid moving when a toilet is flushed or your shower is turned on. But a constant sound of dripping or running water, even when fixtures aren't being used, can be a cause for concern. There is occasionally an innocent explanation such as dripping condensation inside a vertical stack, but if the sound just started up one day and is continual or very frequent, it needs to be investigated.

3. Mold and Mildew Growth

Mold and mildew only begin to grow under the right conditions, such as having access to moisture. If you notice mold or mildew growing in your home and you're not sure why, it could be that a leak is encouraging growth inside wall cavities and it is spreading into your living space. You may not actually see anything, but instead smell a musty, moldy odour in the air that you can't place. Unexpected mold or mildew growth is a sign that there's excessive moisture in your home and you may need burst pipe repair.

4. Puddles Near Plumbing Fixtures

The connections where pipes attach to a plumbing fixture such as a sink are a common location for burst pipe repair in Ottawa. If you spot puddles forming under or near fixtures, check and see if there are any visible leaks directly under the fixture, and examine the wall nearby as well. The burst might be right after the point where the line enters the wall, and liquid can seep through the wall to make it seem like the problem is actually with the fixture.

5. Intermittent Water Pressure

Fluctuating pressure levels from your faucets and other fixtures like shower heads can be one of the more irritating symptoms that can be solved with burst pipe repair in Ottawa. A leak can cause all sorts of issues with pressure, so it feels like a weak little trickle one moment and then the next thing you know it's far too strong.

6. Discoloured Water

If you're noticing that your water has a brownish hue, or there are particles of dirt and rust in it, it could be caused by a pipe that has sprung a leak underground. That's a serious problem for a number of reasons. It's contaminating your drinking water, eroding soil underground that could cause structural stability issues for your home, and costing you a lot of money on your utility bill. It's also possible that the pipe is intact but has corroded on the inside and is leaching rust into the supply.

7. Smelly Water

If liquid is coming out of your tap with a musty smell, it could be contaminated with mold or mildew spores caused by a broken line. If it smells sulfurous, like rotten eggs, it's possible it has come into contact with sewage or sewer gasses. If the smell comes from both hot and cold water and you rely on well water, your water source could be contaminated. If the smell is only coming from your hot water, it could also be an issue related to the anode rod in your hot water tank.

In any case, unusual smells are a red flag. Your water should, of course, be odourless, so if you do notice a smell, don't drink it or bathe with it. Call a qualified plumber to make sure your system is intact and safe to use.

8. Excessive Charges on Water Bills

When you have a burst pipe that is leaking into the ground or behind your walls, it can waste a surprising amount of water in a very short time and cause your monthly utility bill to skyrocket. If the water charges on your bill seem unusually high all of a sudden, even though your usage is the same as always, that could mean you need Ottawa burst pipe repair services.

Pro Tip: Check Your Water Meter

If you're not sure whether you have a leak in your water line, there's a test you can do to help confirm. Right before you go to bed, shut off all plumbing fixtures and plumbing-related appliances, then go take a look at your water meter and note the position of the indicator. The next morning, before you flush the toilet or use any other water, go check it again. If the indicator has changed position or is actively moving, it's quite possible you are dealing with a leak or burst pipe.

What Should You Do When You Discover a Burst Pipe in Ottawa?

So you've discovered a burst pipe—it's time for decisive action. Here are the steps you should take to help minimize the damage until you can get burst pipe repair in Ottawa.

Shut Off Electricity: Water and electricity are never a good mix. If you have an uncontained burst, it is safer to shut off the electricity at your circuit breaker box. But if there are puddles near or under the breakers, just avoid touching the breaker box at all and call your energy company to shut it down remotely.

Turn Off Your Main Supply Valve: The sooner you can get the water shut down, the better. Turn it off at the source to prevent any more from entering your system. A main shutoff valve is usually located beside your hot water tank or near your water meter.

Open Faucets: After the water is completely shut off at the main valve, go through the house and turn all the faucets in your sinks to an open position to help vent excess pressure out of the system.

Call an Ottawa Plumber: Once you've done what you can to stop the leak from spreading and damaging your property, pick up the phone and give us a call. An experienced Ottawa emergency plumber will be at your door with a smile as soon as possible to provide burst pipe repair service. We offer emergency Ottawa plumbing repair services 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Whenever you need us, we'll be there!

How Can You Avoid Burst Pipe Repair in the Future?

Some of the factors that create burst pipes in Ottawa, such as tree roots or ground tremors, are virtually impossible to avoid. But many of the common causes of issues with your lines can be avoided with some care and attention. Here are a few ways you can help ensure you don't have to deal with burst pipe repair again any time soon.

Insulate Pipes

Freezing is a major cause of burst pipes, especially in our climate. There's always some standing water in pipes, and when the thermometer dips way down during a winter cold snap, that water can freeze and expand, putting enough pressure on the line to cause a crack. You might think this happens a lot with buried pipes, but those lines are usually deep enough to avoid the frost layer. It's actually a lot more common for freezing to create burst pipes inside your home, and the best way to avoid that is by making sure they are adequately insulated. That may be as simple as fitting the outside of the pipe with a “sleeve” of insulating foam that will help it hold in thermal energy so it doesn't ice over.

Keep Your House Warm

You can also avoid burst repairs by keeping your house warm during colder months. If you go on winter vacation, for example, you may want to leave the heat on in your home, or have a house-sitter drop by and turn it on if the weather gets cold while you're away. It can also help to open doors, including cabinet doors under faucets, so warm air can circulate through the house and some of the lines aren't locked away in a freezing room or cupboard. Taking those extra precautions helps prevent needing burst pipe repair in Ottawa’s winter months. Learn more about how to deal with and prevent frozen pipes in your Ottawa home.

Replace Old Lines

Your pipes are built to last a really long time—but not forever. If it has been several decades and they're showing signs of trouble, replacement might be your best option to ensure you don't have to deal with a burst pipe repair debacle or a whole host of other unpleasant plumbing issues. You may be worried that a replacement or repair will involve ripping your walls open and digging a big trench across the lawn, but we use non-invasive, trenchless repair technology that allows us to line your pipes with a cured-in-place sleeve, or break up burst pipes and replace them altogether by threading a new pipe through the space that is left behind.

Schedule Annual Maintenance

The best way to avoid burst pipe repair in Ottawa and most other stressful, nasty plumbing problems is by scheduling annual maintenance and drain cleaning services from a qualified professional. Annual maintenance services give your Ottawa plumber the chance to make sure your system is running at peak efficiency, and correct any small issues before they spiral into big headaches that cause a disruption in your system. Regular maintenance and drain cleaning can actually save you money in the long run because you can avoid the expense of major repairs and keep your system in great shape for longer, so you won't need replacements as frequently.

Searching for Burst Pipe Repair in Ottawa?

Wherever you are in the greater Ottawa area, including Russell, Stittsville and Gatineau, you can trust the team of service professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa for efficient burst pipe repair in Ottawa and other reliable plumbing repairs, maintenance and installations.

Pick up the phone and call us today at 613-746-0000 for emergency service or to schedule a convenient appointment time. We would love the opportunity to show you why we are considered Ottawa's best choice for experienced, trustworthy plumbing services.