Home Improvements

How Stuff Works: What To Do if Your Geyser Bursts

Ideally, you’re reading this article well before you actually need it. Geysers are one of the most important features in any modern home, and they’re generally very low maintenance. But every now and again, things go wrong, and if (when) they do, it’s important that you know what to do if your geyser bursts. 

From acting quickly to preventative maintenance, here’s a basic guide of everything you need to know for this unfortunate emergency. 

Room that has been destroyed by water damage. To avoid this sort of damage, it's important to know what to do if your geyser bursts.

Signs of a Burst Geyser

A geyser bursting isn’t something you need a plumber to diagnose. The biggest sign of a burst geyser is usually gushing water from your ceiling or down the walls. 

But there are some signs that a geyser is about to burst, and if you catch them early enough, it can drastically reduce the damage to your home: 

  • Leaking water (with or without steam) from pipes around geyser
  • Geyser making funny noises
  • Water marks on ceilings
  • Brown or rusty water coming out of hot taps

Grey pipes in an interconnected plumbing system.

What To Do if Your Geyser Bursts

The most important thing to remember is to act quickly. The longer you leave, the more water is going to pool, damaging your property and putting the people in the house at risk. 

1. Turn off your electricity 

As in any situation where you’ve got a lot of water and electricity in the same space, safety is a top priority. You don’t want the water to damage the rest of your electrical system, and you don’t want your electrical system to conduct electricity through the water. 

Go straight to your electricity board and turn off the switch linked to your geyser. Once a plumber has checked everything out, they’ll advise when it’s safe to turn it back on. 

Remember, if you happen to be loadshedding when you notice the geyser has burst, you still have to turn your power off at the switch! This way it can’t come on again when you don’t expect it. 

Small grey pipes connecting to a larger one with a pressure valve on it. Pipes connected to a brown brick wall.

2. Turn off your water main supply

Most homes have a tap on the property that shuts off their supply to municipal water. If you have this, go turn it off. If you’ve got some other personal water system connected to your house, then go disconnect that. 

By turning off the water supply, you’re reducing the amount of water that is actively flowing into your geyser and coming out and damaging your house. 

3. Call a plumber

It’s vital that you call a plumber immediately. Geyser repairs are not something you can handle yourself, and the longer you wait, the more damage the burst can cause to your home. 

Most plumbers offer emergency repair services and same day solutions. 

4. Open all hot water taps

It may seem counterintuitive to encourage running water, but this is a vital safety step when your geyser bursts. Letting the hot water run reduces the hot water pressure inside the geyser, meaning it’s safer for the plumbers to work with, and less dangerous for your home. 

Hot water running out of a tap, steam coming off of it. Letting hot water run is an important step in what to do if your geyser bursts.

5. Start cleaning up where you can

While you might not be able to fix the burst geyser, you can start addressing the damage. Get buckets to catch water where it’s still leaking, and use mops and towels to start removing water where it has pooled. 

The amount of damage to your home is linked to how much water leaks, and for how long it sits. Reducing both of these will help with the restoration process. 

Also, remove any other electronic appliances from the range of the water. This reduces the chance of other emergencies or damages. 

6. Call your insurer

Home emergencies are expensive. It’s helpful to contact your insurance immediately to start getting ahead of the claiming process, so you’re able to pay the plumbers and any other contractors you need. 

Large portable drain with water running out of it into a public road.

Ways to Prevent Future Geyser Problems

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee of avoiding problems with a geyser. But there are some preventative measures you can take to drastically reduce the chance of something going wrong:

  • Use a geyser blanket in winter (this reduces extreme temperature fluctuations)
  • Place a drip tray under the geyser with a pipe to the outside (reduces the amount of water damage if the geyser does burst or leak)
  • Yearly inspection (preferably going into winter, as this is when the geyser is most vulnerable due to high temperature changes)
  • Service your geyser every 3 to 4 years (keeps it in a good condition)

Yellow pipes against a dark blue wall.

Knowing What to Do With a Burst Geyser

At some point in your life as a homeowner, you’ll probably have to deal with a burst geyser. But knowing what to do if your geyser bursts makes all the difference in a stressful situation. 

Act quickly and get the professionals in, and you should be fine. If you need a plumber or other home contractors to restore your home after your geyser bursts, contact us.

You’re in good company