Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Burst Pipes in Buildings – What to Do Before Calling Your Plumber

As master plumbers serving New York City, we often get service calls for burst pipes in buildings. What owners and property managers do in those first few minutes after a pipe bursts can mean the difference between minimal disturbance and disaster for the property. Here are seven things to do before you call your plumber.

Shut Off the Water

Prevent further damage

One of the first things you should do after a pipe bursts is to shut off the water supplying that area. Depending on the location of the incident and the size and plumbing anatomy of your building, you may need to shut off the water supply to the entire building, or you may be able to shut off the supply to one area only.

It’s imperative that any staff members at your property who would deal with a water emergency know where the water shutoff valve is located and how to operate it. It’s probably a good idea to post this information as well for new workers and visiting tradespeople. If you rent a small property that is not supplied with a superintendent, make sure tenants also know how to shut off the water in an emergency.

Turn Off the Electricity (If Needed)

Eliminate the risk of electric shock

In some instances, shutting off electricity may also be necessary, either to the entire property or to certain areas. This is to prevent the risk of electric shock or even electrocution to anyone nearby. Remember, water conducts electricity, so standing water where wires, outlets, or fixtures are exposed can precipitate hazards. Just like with the water shutoff valve, make sure anyone who might need to knows how to turn off the electricity.

In case of a massive pipe burst, where water is pouring out of a large pipe, shutting off the electricity may be even more important than shutting off the water, so tend to that first. Use whatever circuit breakers are needed to kill power to the area or to the building. If access to your circuit panel can only be gained in areas with standing water, however, do not shut off the electricity. Exit the building, evacuate any people in harm’s way, and call the fire department via 911.

Turn on Taps

Drain remaining water

You need to remove any water left in the pipes once the main water supply has been shut off. Often, there are drain valves at the bottom of a riser. You can also do this by turning on taps affected by the burst pipe. Run the hot and cold water at all faucets, and give every toilet a flush as well.

Notify Tenants and Staff

Let them know what to expect

Having a water emergency in a multi-unit building is different than in a single-family home. You will need to communicate with people as quickly as possible about what is happening. First, get anyone in danger out of the building. You may have to use the fire alarm system if the danger is life-threatening.

Next, talk to people who are going to be inconvenienced by the situation. Let them know what happened, why the water (and possibly electricity) is out, and when they can expect service returned. Talk to building staff too, and let them know if they need to be pulled from other tasks or will need to work overtime.

Start Mitigating Water Damage

Mop, bail, or vacuum

Depending on the scenario, you may want to start cleaning up before even calling your plumber. It will make it easier for them to work, it will minimize damage to the property’s structure, and it will reduce the loss of tenants’ belongings. You’ll have to figure out how to get rid of the water. A small amount can be cleaned with a mop or a shop vac, but you may need a water removal specialist for deep water or water that’s seeped into walls and carpeting.

Call Your Insurance Company

Start a claim

In some cases of negligence or downright vandalism, a tenant may be responsible for a burst pipe and the damage that ensues. However, in most cases, you will be responsible. Therefore, it’s important to contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible and start a claim.

Locate the Leak

Know where to direct your plumber

It’s best if you can locate the leak before you call your plumber. Why? Because they’ll have a better idea of how long to schedule for the job, how many people to bring, and what tools or parts they’ll need.

Clearly, there will be some cases where a pipe bursts inside a wall, and it will be hard to pinpoint the source. But whenever possible, try to get a handle on it before the plumber arrives. If the burst pipe was caused by ice in a frozen pipe, you may want to try thawing the area prior to the plumber arriving. Open cabinet doors, turn up the heat, or use portable heaters or hair dryers when possible to melt the ice.

“An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure”

The benefits of routine plumbing maintenance

You can often prevent burst pipes by paying attention to your plumbing and heeding warning signs before little issues turn into big, expensive ones. Insulating pipes can keep them from freezing, and replacing old, worn pipes can stop leaks before they happen.

Whether you want to schedule an appointment for a yearly check or do some planned plumbing upgrades, Sanitary Plumbing is here to help. Call us at 212-734-5000 or reach out online to leave us a message or schedule a service call. And if you do have a burst pipe or other plumbing catastrophe, we’re available 24/7 for emergency assistance.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of omniagroup.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with omniagroup.nyc).

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
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  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your Sanitaryplumbing.com password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since omniagroup.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.