Why Do Water Pipes Burst?

Burst water pipes are a plumbing issue no homeowner wants to experience. It wastes precious water and causes your domestic utility bills to spike. It can also lead to basement flooding and cause significant water damage to your residential property.

What's more, the damp conditions created by burst pipes can encourage the growth of mold and other harmful microorganisms in your home. This poses a serious health risk to you and your family.

But what causes water pipes to burst? There are several reasons why water pipes burst. Continue reading to discover the most common culprits behind this frustrating plumbing problem.

Aged Pipework

How old is your house? If you live in an older house, chances are high that general wear has taken its toll on your water supply line. General wear refers to the inevitable deterioration that your residential plumbing suffers as a result of normal use.

As the deterioration progresses over the years, your water pipes weaken until they can no longer withstand the demands of everyday use. When this happens, you may end up with ruptured pipes that will have to be replaced.

Freezing Temperatures

Ever wondered why pipe bursts are a common problem in homes during the winter season? There is a good explanation for this.

Extreme winter temperatures can cause the water in your water supply line to freeze. To prevent this from happening, it is recommended that you insulate your water pipes. If you don't insulate the pipes, the water will expand as it freezes, exerting internal pressure on the pipes. The increasing pressure can result in pipe bursts. 

Ground Movement 

You might not realize it but the soil on which your house is built is constantly shifting. As the soil shifts, so does the water buried outside. Every time the ground shifts, it exerts external pressure on your water supply pipes. The external forces may eventually cause the pipes to burst.

High Water Pressure

Your water supply pipes have a water pressure rating to ensure safe and efficient delivery of water to your house. If the water flow rate through these pipes is set higher than the pipes are rated for, the increased pressure buildup can result in pipe bursts.

Tree Root Intrusion

Trees have ecological value and can increase the curb appeal of any home. But they can also be a cause of trouble with your water line. If you have mature trees that are growing close to your underground water line, they can encroach the water pipes and cause damage.

What might have started off as a small leak in your water supply line may exacerbate into a serious pipe burst when the roots of nearby trees get drawn to the water leaks in your pipes.

Pipe bursts can happen unexpectedly, leaving you confused about what to do. One thing is for sure though — you can't leave the problem unaddressed. If you have a burst water pipe in your home, contact a local plumber right away.

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