What Happens When a Pipe Bursts in Your Apartment?

Having a water pipe burst in an apartment is one ugly accident. A burst pipe not only creates a lot of mess but also damages the furniture, walls, and everything there is.

Sometimes, you may be able to identify signs that something’s wrong with the pipe, but at other times, it may happen all of a sudden. When that happens, you may not know what to do.

Let’s look in detail at what happens when a pipe bursts in your apartment.

What Happens When A Pipe In Your Apartment Bursts?

When a pipe bursts, expect a lot of water! By a lot, we mean numerous gallons! If you don’t turn off the main valve immediately, the water will flood the entire apartment.

The water from the burst pipe will flood the apartment and damage the furniture, walls, and floors.

If you’ve got any low-lying electrical points, the water may get in and might cause a serious short circuit if you don’t turn off the main electricity supply as soon as the water pipe bursts.

The water will take its time to dry fully. You can have professional flood remediation service providers get rid of the water from your apartment, but it’ll be a while till it fully dries.

The water will seep into the floors and walls, and as a result, they’ll stay moist for some time. If you don’t take the right measures to dry your apartment thoroughly, it might result in mold growth.

In short, you can expect a huge mess when a water pipe bursts in your apartment.

What To Do When A Pipe Bursts In Your Apartment?

Nobody ever expects the water pipes in their apartment would burst. It just happens. Knowing what to do in such a situation will help you deal with the situation better.

If a pipe in your apartment ever bursts, here is what you should do:

Shut Down The Main Supply Line

The first thing that you should do when a pipe bursts in your apartment is shut down the main supply line. This will prevent any more water from getting wasted and control any further damage.

In case you don’t have access to the main supply line, get in touch with the landlord immediately and have them do the needful right away!

Shut Down The Electricity Supply

Once you’ve taken care of the main water supply line, the next thing that you should do is shut down the main electricity supply.  

The water may get into low-lying electrical points or electronics and lead to severe consequences. If the current gets in the water, you can’t stand in water. You might get electrified, which is usually fatal.

If you don’t know how to shut the main electric supply off, you shouldn’t get into water unless an electrician does it.

If you’ve done it yourself but suspect that the water is already electrified, don’t get into the water unless your electrician gives you a green signal.

Open The Faucet

After you’ve shut down the main water supply, open the faucets to allow any water remaining in the pipe to drain.

In fact, if you’re lucky and you detect a pipe that’s about to burst, opening the faucets will release the pressure and prevent the pipe from bursting.

Unfortunately, not many people are able to detect it sooner, and the pipe just bursts when they least expect it.

Call The Plumber

The next thing that you need to do when a water pipe bursts in your apartment after you’ve taken care of the main water supply line and electricity is to call a plumber.

The plumber will identify the leak and check what caused the pipe to burst. They’ll repair the pipe and also fix the root cause of the pipe bursting.

Call A Water Damage Restoration Company

You’ll need the services of a professional water damage restoration company if a pipe has burst in your apartment.

As we said earlier, you may get rid of the water, but the remaining moisture can lead to mold growth. And this is precisely what you need professionals for.

A water damage restoration company will be equipped with the right tools and equipment, and their staff will be trained in the right techniques it takes to restore the water damages following a burst pipe.

Most water damage restoration companies operate round the clock, so whatever time the pipe burst accident has occurred, you can give them a call right away!

Start The Initial Clean-Up

You can’t just wait for the professional cleaners to come to begin the basic cleaning. You can start the cleaning yourself till the professionals come.

You can start with collecting your belongings and keeping them in secure, dry places in your apartment.

If you can move the furniture yourself or with the help of friends and neighbors, we suggest you move as much furniture to a dry spot as you can, especially if it’s made of wood.

The longer the wooden furniture stays in the water, the greater the damage will be.

In short, you should do as much cleaning as possible because the damage will only worsen when you’re waiting for professional cleaners.

Also, open the fans, turn on the heaters if you’ve got any, and open the windows and doors to allow adequate ventilation that will speed up the drying process.

Document The Damage

Water damage restoration can cost a lot.

If the cause of the pipe bursting goes back to what a landlord can be held accountable for, you won’t have to pay for the restoration.

And for this purpose, you’ll need documented proof showing the extent of damage caused by the accident.

Take pictures and show them to the landlord. Have a word with the landlord and discuss the timeline of water damage restoration.

Also read: Apartment Carpet Replacement Cost

Why Do Pipes Burst?

Burst pipes are a nightmare for everyone. They cost you not only a lot of trouble but also a lot of money.

When a pipe bursts in an apartment, you may not understand what exactly happened that caused the pipe to burst. Below are some possible reasons why pipes burst in apartments.


One of the most common reasons why a pipe may burst is freezing. When the weather becomes cold, and the temperature falls as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit, the water flowing through the pipes may freeze.

As more and more water freezes at a particular point in the pipe, the pressure on the pipe in that region increases, and when the pressure exceeds what the pipe can bear, it bursts.

The thing with apartments is that not all pipes can be underground. The pipes have to run across the height of the building, which means a major portion of the pipes is out in the open.

This increases the risk of water running through the pipes to freezing and, therefore, increases the possibility of the pipes bursting.


If the pipes are made of steel, they’ll corrode over time, and there’s not much that you can do to prevent corrosion in steel pipes.

When steel pipes corrode, they become narrow and weak, and even the slightest increase in water pressure can result in the pipe bursting.

Excessive Water Pressure

Another reason a pipe may burst in your apartment is excessive water pressure. The maximum pressure that residential pipes can withstand is about 40 to 45 psi.

Ideally, the water pressure shouldn’t exceed 60 psi. If the water pressure exceeds 60 psi, the chances of the pipe bursting increase exponentially.

The water pressure in the pipes can increase for numerous reasons. It could be due to the water being pumped at a very high speed, or it could be due to sudden fluctuations in the pressure.

Whatever the reason for increasing water pressure may be, you’ve got to ensure it doesn’t cross the 60 psi mark.


If there’s a blockage in the pipe, the chances that the pipe can burst are high.

The clog will disrupt the water flow through the pipe, resulting in an excessive pressure build-up in the pipe.

If the pressure exceeds what a pipe can withstand, the pipe will burst.

Accidental Bursting

The pipe in an apartment may also burst accidentally.

If you or the contractor accidentally drills or breaks into a pipe during renovation work in the apartment, the water pipe will burst.

Faulty Air Conditioner Lines and Broken Fire Sprinklers

Faulty air conditioner lines and broken fire sprinklers can also cause the pipes to burst in apartments.

Bottom Line

When a pipe bursts in an apartment, you can expect a lot of mess and a lot of loss in terms of belongings and money.

However, you shouldn’t panic. You must keep your calm and do what’s needed at that moment. Start with shutting off the main water supply and the electric supply.

Get in touch with a water damage restoration company right away and have them start the restoration process right away.

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