Burst water pipes can cause extensive damage to homes and businesses in a short period of time if left unattended. If you suspect you have a leaking pipe, make sure you have it rectified quickly. Mould, destroyed insulation, rotten timber framework, damaged kitchen cupboards and plaster can all add up to an expensive repair job.
Our emergency plumber, Amanda, received a call from a distressed client in the Melbourne suburb of Essendon at 3am on the 26th of March during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The client suspected he had a burst pipe in the wall behind his kitchen cupboards.
Below are plumber Amanda’s notes from the job:
I was the on-call emergency plumber and received a 3am call from Oliver who is a tenant at a unit in Essendon. He had found water pooling out from below the kitchen cabinetry underneath the oven area. Oliver advised the power had tripped to his unit supplying the fridge.
I asked Oliver a series of health questions relating to our COVID-19 risk assessment and because he answered NO to all questions, I accepted the job and proceeded to the site.
Arrived at Site:
I arrived on site and located the water meter supplying the unit, and found the meter was ticking over very slowly over a period of 15 minutes, so I Isolated the water to the unit. Then I went back inside and isolated power to the oven, removed the oven to gain access to the cabinetry but found no obvious signs of a leak.
I then removed the kickboards to the kitchen cabinetry and found large amounts of water pooling underneath. Once I mopped up all the water and completely dried the area, I then turned the water back on and found water pooling directly below the oven. So, I isolated the water to the property again.
Isolating the Leak:
I then found a section of the wall behind the oven that had previously been patched up with mortar, I was told from previous electrical works. Using a Hamer drill with a chisel, I removed the patched-up section of wall and found water mains running behind to several other units. Inside the wall I could hear water spraying.
Whilst I was on site, the body corporate’s leak detection service arrived to investigate the exact location of the burst pipe. I was advised another plumbing company had attended the previous week and pressure tested all the mains and the leak appeared to be coming from unit 3.
The leak detection read unit 2’s supply as being the one most likely to be leaking and tested all the exposed pipework but could not pinpoint the exact location.
I used my stethoscope to investigate further into the leaking water pipe and found the leak on unit 2’s cold main. I removed a larger section of the brick wall to access the pipework for repair. The copper pipework appeared to be C grade and has a small pin hole burst at the welded join.
Repairing the Water Pipe:
I then removed the damaged section of pipework and installed a new piece of copper. Then turned the water back on to test and found another section of pipework further along had split on a joint behind the brick wall. So, I jackhammered another section of brickwork out, removed the damaged joint and fed a new piece of copper pipe through the wall and pressed it into position.
Then I turned the water back on to test the repairs and found no further drops in pressure and NO noticeable leaks. I cleaned up all the mess and left the oven out of the cabinetry so an electrician could fix the blown fuse. Oliver (the tenant) advised he would repair the two holes I had made in the cabinetry and the walls.
Another Happy Customer!
Locating leaking water pipes and leaking drainage pipes is often a process of elimination, and an experienced local plumber is your best bet to find and fix your leaking pipes, without causing unnecessary damage to your home. As you can see from Amanda’s notes above, fixing burst and leaking pipes is the easy part, locating and exposing them is the time-consuming difficult part, which is where your licensed plumber comes to the fore.
Essendon Plumbing Services has an experienced team of licensed plumbing professionals ready to find and fix your plumbing problems. Whatever your plumbing issue, if you’re looking for a fast reliable 24/7 plumber in Melbourne, then call us on 1300 231 976, you’ll be amazed at the service.