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Why Do Pipes Burst?

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You need water pipes as part of your plumbing to assist in the smooth and effective travel of water throughout your property. Without perfect pipework, you are faced with problems that can affect your whole property. Leaks, flooding and damage to other areas of the home can occur. This can mean extensive repair work that will cost you.

Like all man-made items, pipes do have a shelf life. Even though they are created to be durable, they eventually do fail due to a number of reasons.

Why Do Pipes Burst? Photo

When your home experiences a burst pipe, it can set off a chain reaction to other potentially hazardous and costly plumbing problems for homeowners. Issues caused by a failed water pipe could be an indication of other plumbing problems such as a blocked drain in your home. Let's look at some causes of burst pipes.

6 Reasons Why Your Water Pipes Burst

Think you may have a burst pipe? Here are some common causes of having your water pipes may burst at your home.

1. High water pressure

Water flows through your pipework at various speeds and pressure. The constant or sudden change in pressure can cause instability in the pipe joins and that is where collapsed and burst pipes occur. A licenced plumber will inspect the water pressure in and around your home to ensure the pressure stays at the Australian Standard. Water pressure should not exceed 500 Kilopascal (kpa) for residential properties.

Flowing water that goes over 500 kpa is deemed unsafe and could potentially cause a break in the pipe.

2. Blocked Pipes

A blockage somewhere inside the pipework can put a lot of strain on the plumbing. If a build-up of hair, soap, food and oil gets too much, it can form a barrier and slowly prevent smooth water flow. If the water has nowhere to safely travel, it has no choice but to break through and relieve the built-up pressure.

3. Corrosion

Rust and corrosion are a high risk of creating a break in the water pipes. Pipes are built to last but with some things, they will start to break down. Rusty pipes become weak and that is where you get leaks and pipes bursting. You may also experience brown water coming from your taps due to rust.

4. Tree Roots

A reason for a clogged pipe can be tree root intrusions. Tree roots thrive in moist environments, and if there is slight damage in the pipeline that allows water to escape, roots will grab hold and begin to grow internally. Think of how strong a tree root is and then imagine it growing in a confined space of a water pipe. The strength of the root will cause the pipe to block up and collapse under the high pressure of the root.

5. Moving Soil

Shifting soil can contribute to pipes bursting underground. If a property is undergoing renovations where the outside landscape needs to be moved around, you risk compromising your water pipes.

6. Freezing Pipes

When outside temperatures drop in winter, water freezes and sets inside the pipes. The more water that freezes, the possibility of a burst pipe is greater. Frozen pipes will be under a lot of pressure and expand with the growing amount of ice.

How do you stop pipes from bursting?

A burst pipe issue can be daunting for a homeowner. The damage can be quite severe and often the problem will be very costly and time consuming to repair. Taking good care of your plumbing will prevent burst pipes and major catastrophes such as flooding.

Lady Fixing Burst Pipe

In the colder months, you typically experience frozen pipes. Below are a few tips and suggestions you can implement at home to save your property from burst water pipes.

Keep the faucet running

You can keep some outside taps turned on slightly to a drop to keep the flow of water moving through the water pipes.

Leave cabinet doors open

Leaving doors to the cabinet open will let warm air inside the cabinet area. Keeping your faucets at a nice even temperature.

Heated tape

Ask a licenced plumbing team about Heat Tape. They can help with insulation to the pipes and prevent pipe freeze.

Seal leaks

Any leaks that can allow cold air to enter a room should be sealed up to avoid freezing cold air from coming into the property.

Keep your home warm

When the temperature drops, install a heating device for your property. A gas heater is ideal to keep your home and fixtures at a warm temperature.

Disconnect hose from the outside tap

Make sure that you do not leave the garden hose attached to the outside faucet. Eventually, water will begin to freeze up and damage the outside tap.

Install Insulation in your house

You can have insulation inside the building to protect your household from the harsh elements during the colder winter months.

At what temperature do pipes burst?

There is no certain temperature that will cause a bursting pipe. Changes in water pressure and a significant drop in the weather can all add to pipework failure. Also, the condition of your pipework can contribute to how they react to sudden changes in temperature.

Can pipes burst in warm weather?

Yes, the heat can cause your water pipes to expand. Not just from the high degrees but also from the strain that you place on the pipes. In warmer weather, we use water from the kitchen sink a lot more, we take more showers and we typically like to stay hydrated during the summer heat. More strain on your water pipes can see higher possibilities in your pipeline bursting from changes in pressure.

Call a plumber

If your pipe has already burst you will need a professional to fix the problem quickly. Plumbers are experts and replacing cracked pipes and carrying out any repairs to burst pipework.

You may need to contact a plumber if one of your pipes has burst. Make sure you call a team of professional, reliable and experienced plumbers and ask them for tips to keep your plumbing system in perfect condition.

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