image of burst pipe Northbrook Illinois

Unexpected Water Leak in Northbrook, Illinois: How to Identify a Burst Pipe

It’s winter in Northbrook, Illinois and you’re feeling the cold breeze. You go to turn on your faucet and nothing comes out. Water is leaking from your pipe! What do you do? Could it be a burst pipe?

A burst pipe can be a frustrating problem for homeowners, but it doesn’t have to be a major one. Our customer, a homeowner in Northbrook, Illinois, experienced this problem, but we came to the rescue!

Northbrook burst pipe

This was an emergency call that happened on the weekend during the late-night hours. The customer informed us that the ceiling of their utility room was leaking water.

Concerned the problem would get worse and create damage in their home, the customer made sure they didn’t attempt to fix the problem without help.

This burst was located in a difficult spot in the ceiling of a utility room. The leak was not exposed, as it was being blocked by the duct and drywall. This was no match for Rescue Plumbing!

Removing the damages

We got straight to business, by removing some ductwork and drywall to make sure the burst was more accessible for repair. After we got to the pipe, we found the burst on a 90-degree fitting. 

We removed the 90-degree fitting and replaced it with a new one. After that our plumbers ensured the 90-degree fitting was secured tightly to prevent any further leaks.

Finally, our plumber inspected the piping for any other cracks or bursts and found no additional issues. We were able to get water service restored to our customers within a couple of hours.

Causes of burst pipes

Bursts are very common in the Chicagoland area during the winter months.  We recommend Chicagoans be vigilant whenever the temperatures drop below freezing. 

The cold wind is usually the culprit: wind finds its way to the pipes, freezing them, and after they thaw, a burst is occasionally revealed. 

The best thing you can do to avoid bursts is to insulate your home properly so that the freezing air does not reach your water piping and leave your water running.   

How to find the source of water leaks

The first step in dealing with a leak is to identify the source of the problem. Leaks can be found in many places, including under the sink or near your bathtub.

Water may also leak from a toilet when it is flushed or even from an air conditioning unit located outside on your roof.

Here are some tips for finding the source of leaking water:

Look for water damage

Leaks will usually cause damp areas around sinks and appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters.

For exposed piping (not hidden behind walls), dripping will be visible and cause a musty smell due to moisture. These exposed leaks can be found in the crawl spaces, basements, attics, and elsewhere.

Remember, leaks can be detected by looking for condensation in the area surrounding your water supply.

Meter the water levels

In some cases, you might notice your water meter reading is unusually high. High meter recordings are often an indicator that you have a leak.

Not only will our plumbers repair the leak, but they will take the extra step of checking your meter and ensuring that it is functioning properly so that it can accurately indicate any future leaks.

burst pipe leak site

How to fix leaking water pipes

Creating accessibility to the broken pipe

Once you have identified the location of the leak, you can now begin to take the necessary steps to repair it.

If the leaks are not exposed (meaning it is behind a wall and you can not access it), you will have to first cut out a section of your wall.

If the pipe is physically visible, there is no need to complete this step. Be cautious as you cut into the wall; you want to avoid any further damage and avoid hurting yourself.

Removing and replacing the burst pipe

Now that the leaks are visible, double-check that you can identify the leak. Make sure the water supply line is shut off so you can begin work and remove the leaking section of the water pipe.

Cut out the burst area using pipe-cutters or a hacksaw. This should be done slowly and carefully as there is a high chance that it will break and make more work for you.

Once removed, measure out the waterline so that you know how long your new piece needs to be.

Purchase new piping and be sure that it is the same size and material as your old one. Use a hacksaw or pipe-cutter if necessary to cut the end of the piece so it fits snuggly back into place.

To connect copper lines you would either use a pro press tool or torch to join plumbing joints together for the water lines.

You will need to fully restore water pressure to the water plumbing system for several hours to make sure there are no leaks.

new pipe replacing burst pipe

Why you should have your pipes checked for leaks regularly

Leaks are very common, especially during the winter. The cold temperatures of winter cause your water supply line to freeze. As the water freezes, it expands creating leaks and bursts in your piping.

Excessive water pressure is another common cause of leaking pipes. Blockages in your plumbing system can lead to an increase in pressure, as blockages do not allow for regular flow.

In some cases, corrosion over time of your plumbing system leaves your water supply pipe more susceptible to leaks and their causes.

However, by regularly checking for bursts you can solve the issues right away and avoid the following.

Risk of mold

Water leaks make your home more susceptible to mold and other risks. While you may not yet notice there is a water leak inside your walls, the humidity of the water dripping begins to create mold.

Flooding and water damage

A leak over time can become uncontrollable, if not treated immediately. The leak can flood your home causing major damage, like ruining furniture, walls, and floors. This should be of concern, as it can add extensive costs to the damages leaks can create.

High water bill

Leaks waste up to 20% of the water you use every day as well. When you have a leak you can expect your water bill to be unusually high.

Our customers usually become aware of leaking water when they receive unusually high water bills or see high measures in their water meter.

image of burst pipe Northbrook Illinois

When should you call in an expert plumber? 

Northbrook residents, you should never attempt to solve any plumbing issue on your own. The steps to fix a leak may vary depending on your specific situation.

People often think they can tackle any problem and while it can seem like an easy problem to fix, our plumbers will have expert knowledge of how to patch things with no complications.

While you can take up a leak repair as a home project, there are certain conditions in which you should not. These include:

  • if the leak is high up on a ceiling
  • when the leak is near an electrical appliance
  • if the leak is dripping an excessive about of water
  • when you do not have the adequate tools to repair the leak
  • if you can not identify the source of the leak
  • when the leak is behind a wall
  • if the water meter is high and you are unsure of why
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Call Rescue Plumbing Now!

Located in Northbrook!

Here at Rescue Plumbing, we know what to do when you experience a water leak in Northbrook, Illinois. Our plumbers will be at your home in no time!

Protect your household and call us when you are in need of help! We are experts at identifying and repairing leaks of all kinds. Our licensed plumbers will leave your home having solved the issue.

Remember you should never attempt to solve all your plumbing problems on your own. All Northbrook residents, give us a call a (773) 799-8848 and we will come to the Rescue!

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