July 3, 2022

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Nine Reasons That Cause Burst Pipes

5 min read
cause burst pipes

Burst water pipes are one of the most prevalent plumbing problems homeowners face. Water pipes can burst without warning in either your house’s plumbing network or the supply pipes, requiring a professional plumber to handle it. On the other hand, water supply pipes bear a significant force, preventing such bursting at all costs. Burst pipes are frequently the result of extensive structural damage. Between 2013 and 2017, homeowners incurred over 10,000 water damage losses. According to claims submitted with insurance companies, water damage is the most significant loss for homeowners. Mould and mildew can grow in leaking or burst pipes, destroying personal belongings and compromising the structural integrity of your home. Water damage protection for your home and property should be a top priority.

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Causes of burst pipes

Water pipes that burst waste money, cause water damage and generate many other problems. If you know why your pipes burst in the first place, you’ll be one step closer to preventing water pipe damage. The following are some of the most common causes of water pipe bursts, and avoid them.

 Freezing

Even people who live in more temperate regions can have frozen pipes occasionally. The water inside pipes begins to freeze as the temperature cools and reaches the freezing point of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Since water can still pass through a frozen pipe, it’s easy to miss the initial warning signs of a frozen pipe at a much slower rate. The pressure builds in the pipe as the water freezes in one spot. Pressure increases as water freezes in one part of a pipe. The pipe will eventually explode if the pressure keeps rising. Sprinkler lines, pipes in unheated crawl spaces or attics, and parallel pipes to poorly insulated external walls are all susceptible to freezing. You should monitor the pipes and adequately protect them when the temperature drops.

Roots of Trees

Growing roots in your yard can pressure your pipes, especially in compacted soil. Excessive pressure can cause pipes to break and leak. Their roots penetrate deeper into the ground as trees increase, attracting underground water and sewer pipes. The strength of water pipes is rarely sufficient to prevent invasive tree roots from taking hold. Once roots have access to an underground pipe, they will continue to grow and exert pressure on it until it explodes.

To avoid this, it’s critical to plant trees and plants as far away as possible from underground water pipes. If you fear roots have already infiltrated, a plumber can use a camera probe to inspect your water lines for clogs and breaks.

Corrosion, rust, and old pipes

Regular exposure to the pipe elements can cause corrosion of metal pipes. Metal plumbing pipes corrode with time, causing pipe walls, joints, and seals to deteriorate. Corrosion eats away at pipelines, causing microscopic cracks that can eventually lead to a burst. Discolouration or warping in pipes indicates corrosion. Another indicator of rusty plumbing is yellow or brownish water pouring out of your faucets. When you notice discoloured water, you should immediately call a plumber.  

Clogs

When a clog develops inside a pipe, pressure can build up. Water continues to back up since it can obstruct the water line. This increases the pressure in your pipe system, which can easily result in minor leaks and, finally, a full rupture. If left unattended, even a small obstruction can cause significant damage. If you can’t get rid of a clog o your own, hire a plumber before it becomes a more expensive problem. In showers, tubs, and sinks, readable mesh drain covers assist in preventing clogs from occurring in the first place.

Hard water

Several naturally occurring minerals can be found in water. “Hard water” is defined as water with an excess of magnesium and calcium. Although hard water usually is safe to drink, it can cause problems with plumbing and appliances. Minerals can accumulate inside p pes, slowing water flow and eventually corroding and weakening pipes. Installing a water treatment system that eliminates calcium and magnesium from water is the best method to avoid the harm caused by hard water.

Changes in Soil Conditions

Changes in soil conditions can cause damage to underground water pipes, which frequently occur throughout the construction or landscaping process. Seismic activity can also displace pipelines, putting pressure on them and increasing the chance of a pipe burst. Temperature fluctuations can also cause pipes to expand and contract rapidly, potentially causing damage. This is most likely when underground pipes are not buried deeply enough.

High-Pressure Water

Excessive water pressure is a leading cause of pipe breakage, leaks, and squandered water in the home. Water pipes are made to sustain a specified amount of water pressure at a particular time. If you think your water pressure is too high, use a hose bib gauge, which you can buy from any hardware store. Open the line and connect it to the outdoor spigot. The average pressure ranges between 50 and 80 PSI (pounds per square inch). A plumber can install a pressure reducing valve to lower your home’s water pressure to safe levels if it is too high.

Accidental Damage

A simple human mistake can sometimes cause a pipe to burst. Hanging objects from exposed pipes in basements and utility rooms are never suitable. Even the most minor items can strain pipes, causing cracks or entire ruptures. When undertaking house renovations or gardening work, it’s also common for people to break a water line inside a wall or underground. It’s critical to find and mark subterranean pipes before beginning any home improvement or landscaping projects.

Installation Errors

Poor installation, which can occur when pipes are placed by someone who lacks professional training and experience, is a lesser-known cause of burst pipes. A burst pipe can easily be caused by poor soldering or loose connections. You should always call an expert in case of any installation or repair of pipes or plumbing issues. 

What to do if a pipe bursts inside your home?

If a pipe in your home bursts, it’s critical to act quickly to limit the damage. The first step is to turn off the main water supply to your home. Turn off electrical appliances n ar the leak if it is safe to do so. Remove any personal property and clean up any excess water. And, of course, seek expert assistance straight away.

A burst pipe necessitates both plumbing and soldering abilities and the appropriate tools. Hiring an expert plumber is cost-effective to ensure that repairs are completed quickly and accurately.

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