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Household Plumbing Emergencies





Plumbing emergencies are not as catastrophic as natural disasters, but they can still do a lot of damage to your home and possessions.  The most common plumbing emergencies occur when pipes break.  All pipes get old and are susceptible to breaking.  If a pipe breaks while you are not at home, your house may flood.  Typically a house will fill up with 1-2 feet of water in a week.  After that the pressure of the water will force it through doors and other small openings.
Insurance does not cover the pipes in your home. It only covers the resulting sudden and accidental damage. It is your responsibility to maintain your pipes.



  • Change the water hose to your washing machine so that it doesn't get brittle and break about every five years.

  • Contact your insurance company immediately when you have water in your home. Water mitigation companies have machines that can quickly remove the water. If they get to it quick enough most of your household items can be saved, and water mitigation services are usually covered by your homeowner policy, subject to the deductible of your policy.

  • Keep your roof in good condition.

  • Caulk around bathtubs.

  • Use bath mats.

  • Periodically check the pipes under sinks.

  • Turn the water off to your house at the street when you leave on vacation.

  • Keep the wrench handy to turn off the water to your home.

  • Make sure all family members know how to use the wrench to turn off the water to the house.


If a house has standing water in it for a week, you will have mold and mildew problems. If you catch the problem within a couple of days, everything above the water will be unharmed, and many of your possessions will be able to be salvaged.


One other note about water and broken pipes.  The pipes that run between your home and the street are underground. In most homes they are under the lawn. However, they are still your responsibility.  If one of them breaks, you may end up with a huge water bill.  Keep an eye on your water meter.


Insurance Coverage

Again, your homeowner policy will cover the damage done by a pipe that breaks suddenly, as opposed to a leaking pipe. Homeowner policies do not cover the repairs or the replacement of failed plumbing.   Your policy does cover the cleanup and drying of your home and possessions.







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