Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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What Do You Do If a Pipe Bursts? How to Handle Water Emergencies in Multi-Unit Buildings

A building’s plumbing is foundational to tenant life and standard operations. Any flaw or interruption in service can create headaches and blowback for property owners, which is why routine maintenance and inspections are vital.

A small leak is one thing, but a line break is a significant issue that disrupts building operations and imposes severe inconveniences on tenant life. Consequently, as a property owner, what do you do if a pipe bursts?

What Do You Do If a Pipe Bursts?

Shut Off the Supply

To circumvent significant property loss, maintenance staff or property owners must immediately shut off the water supply. Focus on the shut-off valve nearest the break. With any luck, cutting the supply to the break is sufficient.

For an in-unit break, the valve is usually near a water heater or under a sink. If the rupture occurs in a main supply line, the shut-off is likely in the basement or boiler room of the property.

If you cannot locate the valve, you may need to request the city shut off the main supply to the building. Sanitary Plumbing can send a licensed plumber to locate the leak and shut off the correct valve.

Turn Off the Electricity

While not always necessary, turning off the electricity after a water disaster is an excellent idea. Electricity and water don’t mix, and the combination can result in electrocution and possible death. Water can also cause electrical systems to malfunction, causing potential fires.

As with shutting off the water supply if a pipe bursts, building owners or staff can focus on cutting the power to only the affected areas or the entire property. Some professionals suggest that, depending on the severity of the pipe break, the primary focus should be on shutting down electrical systems and then water supplies.

Open the Faucets

Typically, temperature changes are responsible for a pipe burst. Colder temperatures can cause water to freeze in the lines resulting in increasing pressure that eventually breaks the pipe. As the temperatures warm, the break becomes apparent as water pours out of the line.

Still, temperature fluctuations are not the sole cause of pressure building in the system. Objects, gunk, and debris can also cause pressure buildup.

Regardless of the cause, once a break occurs, property owners need to help relieve the pressure in the system. The best way to relieve the pressure is to open the lines at the faucets. For localized breaks, you can focus on turning on the taps nearest the damage. More significant or central breaks may require opening every faucet in the property.

Also, if a pipe bursts for temperature-related reasons, focus heat on the water lines and open any cabinet doors that may interfere with piping receiving warmth. The objective is to melt any remaining ice in the pipes.

Notify Staff and Residents

After shutting off the water supply, building owners must focus on notifying residents and staff of the situation. Let all essential personnel know first so they can help you spread the word to tenants. Then, contact the people directly affected by the issue and inform them of their options.

When a pipe breaks, it can lead to significant damage that may take days or more to fix. Tenants cannot go without water for that long, so they may need to find alternative living arrangements during plumbing repairs. You may have a few available units in other buildings in your portfolio to provide temporary housing.

If there is an immediate safety risk to the building, staff must notify all tenants to evacuate the property. Sometimes, it is easier to pull an alarm than knock door-to-door.

Contact Your Insurer

After following standard safety protocols, the next thing you do if a pipe bursts in your building is to call the insurance company. You want to start the claims process as soon as possible to avoid coverage and financial delays.

Insurance adjusters are busy individuals, and their priorities may differ from yours. To streamline the claims process, you must understand the damage and your policy. While quick notification is one way to move the process along, you want to ensure the adjuster is not trying to speed through a report without all the proper knowledge.

A qualified plumbing service, such as Sanitary Plumbing, can act as a liaison between you and your insurer. They can ensure all parties understand the damages and repair necessities.

Mitigate Further Property Damage

Many property owners fear touching anything after experiencing property damage, especially if a pipe bursts and floods specific building areas. Still, most insurance companies require that policyholders mitigate further property damage.

Mitigation is not the same as repairs or restoration. To mitigate further water loss, remove excess water and dry the area. The previous steps of turning off the supply and turning on faucets are also part of the mitigation process.

Many insurers will not cover damages that result from poor mitigation practices or neglect. Talk to your insurance provider to determine basic mitigation practices, and contact Sanitary Plumbing for help cleaning up after a disaster.

Notify a Professional

Finally, with your insurance adjuster’s approval, you will notify a licensed and local plumbing service to repair the damage. The company will send a qualified team to replace breaks and test fixtures. Also, the team can help with the property’s restoration.

Most contractors in the emergency response market either possess the industry knowledge and tools to restore a property or have contacts for other contractors and partners. Either way, professionals ensure the repairs occur fast and on budget, returning your property to full operations and occupancy.

What Do You Do If a Pipe Bursts?

Take Action and Secure Your Property Against Future Loss

What do you do if a pipe bursts in your building? The only option is to become reactionary, following the above steps to ensure safety, coverage, and timely repair. A better option is to adopt proactive behaviors, like adhering to maintenance and inspection schedules to prevent breaks and freezing. Contact Sanitary Plumbing at 212-734-5000 to discuss service contracts and plumbing maintenance schedules.


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 Antler.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 Antler.nyc). We may collect and store the following personal information:

  • Name, email, address, telephone number, and (depending on the service used), move-in dates;
  • Transactional information (such as lease terms, lease parties);
  • Computer sign-on data, statistics on page views, and traffic to and from the Website; and
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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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  • 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 Antler Pump & Motor Corporation, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

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The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Antler Pump & Motor Corporation. 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.

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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).

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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 Antler.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.