Unfortunately, plumbing problems don't always occur during normal business hours. While an after-hours emergency isn't exactly a convenience, it also isn't the end of the world. This is especially the case if you have a pipe burst. Knowing what to do in this instance can help minimize damage and significantly reduce your level of stress.

Turn Off The Water

The best thing you can do when you have a busted pipe is to shut off the main water supply. Don't notify someone else in your home of the flood; don't even call for emergency plumbing assistance yet. The first thing to do is to turn off the water.

The longer the water remains on, the more water that will flow from the busted pipe and the greater the level of damage you will experience. Simply head to the main water valve and turn it to the off position. For future protection, make sure everyone in your home knows where this valve is located.

Locate The Break

Your next task is to locate the pipe that has burst. Even after you have turned off the water supply, this does not mean that all the water that was already flowing through the pipes will just evaporate. Instead, much of it will come flooding through the opening in the pipe.

Once you have located the damaged area, grab a bucket so that the water can drain inside it instead of on the floor or onto some other surface where it will only cause greater damage. Make sure you don't try to manipulate the pipe, as this can cause further damage.

Learn What Happened

After you have a professional assess the busted pipe, it's a good idea to get details on why the issue occurred in the first place. Having this information can help you prevent this type of issue from happening again in the future, which can save you both time and money.

For example, if the pipe busted because it was frozen, you can then use this information to ensure you are properly insulating your pipes in the future when the temperatures drop below freezing.

While you're performing these steps, it's a good idea to have someone else in the home contact a repair professional. Your efforts will only represent a temporary fix. With your efforts and having an emergency plumber en-route, you can significantly minimize structural damage to your home as well as damage to your belongings.