You never know when a pipe in your home or business will burst. It can happen suddenly and without warning, causing significant damage to your property. Burst pipes are a common plumbing emergency that can stem from various factors – which will be explored here. By understanding the causes of burst pipes, you can prevent the chances of you needing to call an emergency plumber to fix it.
Common Causes of Pipes Bursting
1: Age, Wear, & Tear of Pipes
Pipes are not designed to last forever. Over time, they can become damaged and worn out. Since they don’t have the strength they used to have, older pipes in homes or businesses are more likely to burst. Beyond just the age of the pipes, another factor is the material the pipes are made of. The material significantly affects their lifespan since some are weaker or stronger for longer. Galvanized steel pipes, for example, are more likely to rust and corrode over time, leading to leaks and burst pipes.
2: Extreme Temperatures & Weather Conditions
Extreme temperatures can cause pipes to burst. When water freezes, it expands, and if it is trapped in a pipe, it can cause the pipe to burst. It is not just the cold weather that can cause pipes to burst, but also the sudden temperature changes. For example, if the water in a pipe is heated too quickly, it can cause the pipe to expand and burst.
3: Poor Installation or Maintenance
If pipes are not installed correctly, they are more likely to burst. Poor installation can cause stress on the pipes and lead to leaks and burst pipes. Similarly, if pipes are not maintained correctly, they can become damaged and worn out, leading to burst pipes. Regular maintenance ensures that any issues with pipes are identified and addressed before they become a more significant problem.
4: Tree Roots & Other Obstructions
Tree roots can grow into pipes and cause blockages, leading to pressure buildup and eventually burst pipes. Other obstructions, such as debris or foreign objects, can also cause blockages in pipes, leading to burst pipes. It is important to be aware of what is going down your drains and to take steps to prevent tree roots from growing into your pipes.
Signs of a Potential Pipe Burst
There are several signs that you may have a potential pipe burst. Some of the signs include:
- Low water pressure
- Discoloured water
- Unpleasant smells
- Wet spots or puddles
- Strange sounds are coming from your pipes
If you notice any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately. Ignoring the signs can lead to a more significant problem and, potentially, a burst pipe.
What to Do in Case of a Pipe Burst
If you have a pipe burst, you must act fast. The first step is to turn off your water supply to prevent further damage. Then, call an emergency plumber to fix the problem. It is important to choose a plumber who is available 24/7 and can respond quickly to your emergency. While waiting for the plumber, try to remove any items that may be damaged by the water and open windows and doors to ventilate the area.
Importance of Hiring a Professional Emergency Plumber
Hiring a professional emergency plumber is crucial when dealing with a pipe burst emergency. A professional plumber has the knowledge and experience to identify the cause of the problem and fix it quickly and efficiently. They also have the necessary tools and equipment to handle any plumbing emergency, ensuring that your property is not further damaged. Hiring a professional plumber can save you time and money in the long run.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Pipe Bursts
There are several preventive measures you can take to avoid pipe bursts. Some of these measures include:
- Regular maintenance of your pipes
- Insulating your pipes in cold weather
- Fixing any leaks or drips immediately
- Being mindful of what goes down your drains
- Planting trees away from your pipes
Taking these preventive measures can help you avoid the inconvenience and expense of a pipe burst emergency.
Burst pipes are a common plumbing emergency that can cause significant damage to your property. Understanding the causes of burst pipes and taking preventive measures can help you avoid a plumbing emergency. Regularly maintaining your pipes, being mindful of what goes down your drains, and hiring a professional emergency plumber when necessary are all essential steps to prevent pipe bursts. If your pipes burst, turn off your water supply and call a professional emergency plumber immediately.