5 Common Causes of Burst Pipes

dishwasher installation 1

Burst water pipes are one of the most common plumbing emergencies homeowners face, often leading to significant water damage and costly repairs. Understanding the main causes of burst pipes is crucial for prevention and swift action.

In this article, we’ll explore five common causes of burst pipes, from freezing temperatures and excessive water pressure to poor installation and invasive tree roots.

Knowing these causes can help you take preventative measures to protect your home’s plumbing system. Whether it’s a sudden drop in temperature or unnoticed wear and tear, knowing what can cause a burst water pipe is key to maintaining a safe and efficient water supply.

1. Freezing Temperatures

Freezing temperatures can cause water pipes to burst as water freezes and expands in the pipes. When this happens, it creates immense pressure build-up against the pipe walls, particularly in metal pipes. This pressure can cause the pipe to break, leading to significant water leaks and the need for emergency plumbing services.

What To Do…

The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to sufficiently insulate any exposed pipes and install pressure-reducing valves and hose bib gauges to regulate water flow. It’s also crucial to stop water from freezing inside the pipes by maintaining a consistent water flow during extremely cold temperatures. Regular maintenance and inspections by a licensed plumber can help identify potential weak points. It can also address any small leaks before they become major plumbing issues.

Contact an emergency plumber ASAP if a pipe bursts on your property due to freezing temperatures. Prompt attention can prevent further damage and costly repairs. Professional plumbers can also advise on additional preventative measures. They might suggest installing a water pressure regulator or using flexi hoses to safeguard your plumbing system against cold weather-related problems.

2. High Water Pressure

Excessive water pressure is a common cause of water pipes bursting. When the pressure in your plumbing system exceeds the recommended levels, it can strain the pipe walls, leading to eventual burst pipes. This can result in:

  • water leaks
  • damage to electrical appliances
  • blocked pipes and drains

Installing pressure valves and a pressure-reducing valve can help regulate the pressure within safe limits and keep plumbing problems to a minimum.

burst water pipe under the sink

Your Best Plan of Attack

Monitoring your water pressure with a hose bib gauge and checking the water meter regularly can help identify any issues early. High water pressure can lead to wear and tear on pipes, causing them to develop rust and weak points over time. In addition to rusted pipes, excess water pressure contributes to mould growth and increases your water bill due to unnoticed leaks. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent costly repairs and water damage.

Calling on a local plumber is essential for managing higher water pressure. They can assess your plumbing needs, recommend appropriate pressure-reducing measures, and fix any sub-standard installations. Regular maintenance by a licensed plumber ensures your plumbing system remains in optimal condition, safeguarding your home from the risks associated with high water pressure.

3. Corrosion and Ageing Pipes

Corrosion is a significant factor that causes burst water pipes. Over time, the minerals in hard water can cause corrosion inside plumbing pipes. It weakens their structural integrity which, in turn, can lead to a burst pipe. Corrosion is particularly common in older metal pipes. Poor water quality and lack of maintenance can drastically exacerbate the process.

Ageing pipes are prone to wear and tear; this leads to plumbing issues and eventually causes burst pipes. As your pipes age, they become more susceptible to leaks and water damage caused by internal and external factors. Regular inspections by a reputable plumber can help identify ageing pipes before they become a major problem.

4. Poor Installation

Poor installation is a leading cause of burst pipes. A poor installation can cause pipes to leak and eventually fail. Other factors that can create weak points that lead to burst water pipes include:

  • Incorrectly joined pipes
  • Improper sealing
  • Inadequate support

Botched installations often result in plumbing leading to significant water damage and costly repairs. Pipes that are not properly aligned or secured can shift over time, leading to wear and tear. This can create vulnerabilities in the plumbing system, increasing the likelihood that a pipe will eventually burst.

Fix It By Calling a Plumber Immediately

Hiring a reputable plumber for installations ensures that all plumbing work meets industry standards. Professional plumbers have the expertise to correctly install pipes, reducing the risk of future issues. Proper installation is crucial for the longevity of your plumbing system and helps prevent the common problems associated with sub-standard installation.

5. Tree Root Intrusion

Tree root intrusion is a common cause of a burst water pipe. Tree roots naturally seek out water sources, and when they find small cracks or joints in underground pipes, they can infiltrate and expand within the pipes. This intrusion can lead to blockages and eventually cause water pipes to burst.

Signs of tree root intrusion include:

  • Slow drains
  • Gurgling sounds
  • Unexplained wet spots in your yard

If left unchecked, the roots can grow thicker and stronger, exerting pressure until you’re dealing with a broken pipe. Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify early signs of root intrusion and prevent severe damage.

Get In Touch with a Trusted Plumbing Company ASAP

Preventing tree root intrusion involves strategic landscaping and the use of root barriers to keep roots away from plumbing pipes. If you suspect tree root intrusion, it’s essential to consult a reputable plumber. Professional plumbers can use specialised equipment to detect and remove roots, ensuring the integrity of your water pipes and preventing future bursts.

Underground pipes

What To Do When You Have a Burst Pipe

When you have a burst pipe, swift action is essential to minimise water damage and repair costs. First, turn off your main water supply to stop the flow of water. Next, call a local plumber immediately for professional help. Depending on the damage, they may suggest options like pipe relining or pipe replacement.

Pipe Relining vs Replacement

Pipe relining involves inserting a new lining into the existing pipe, which is less invasive and quicker. However, if the pipe bursts are extensive, a full pipe replacement might be necessary. Regular maintenance and early detection of plumbing issues can prevent burst pipes and protect your home from structural damage.

Call a Plumber for Help with Your Pipes Today!

Understanding the main causes of water pipes bursting is crucial for homeowners. Factors like freezing temperatures, higher water pressure, corrosion and ageing pipes, poor installation, and tree root intrusion can all lead to significant plumbing issues. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to potential problems can prevent water pipes from bursting.

By addressing these common causes and seeking the help of reputable plumbers for inspections and repairs, homeowners can safeguard their plumbing systems. Taking preventative measures now can save you from the costly damage and inconvenience caused when water pipes burst.

Please note: Thank you for reading our blog “5 Common Causes Of Burst Pipes”. This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See 23 Hours Plumbing’s Terms & Conditions here.

Last Edited on: 22nd May 2024

Need a Plumber?

Local Plumbers available 24/7

Recent Posts

Know what signs to look out for that suggest your hot water system needs an ...

Suffering from the scourge of the dreaded blocked drain? Find out the benefits, and the ...

Dealing with a clogged dishwasher? Find out how to unblock it here!

Dealing with a gas leak at home? Find out who you need to call to ...

Burst water pipes are one of the most common plumbing emergencies homeowners face, often leading ...