When a pipe bursts, it’s critical to turn off the main water supply as soon as possible and have a professional plumber remedy the problem as soon as feasible. Knowing what causes burst pipes is beneficial because it allows you to take precautions to lessen the likelihood of a pipe bursting. Pipes can rupture for a variety of causes. Let us discuss the most common causes of burst pipes.
# 1 Corrosion
Corrosion is the process of wearing away metal by chemical reactions. The most common type of corrosion, rusting, occurs when iron reacts with oxygen to form iron oxide (rust). Rusting can be prevented by applying a protective coating like paint or varnish.
Leaves and other organic material cover your outside water pipes in an acidic environment that speeds up the rate at which they corrode. Over time, this acid will dissolve the protective layers on your pipe and eventually lead to burst pipes if left untreated.
Steel pipes are prone to corroding after years of usage. Pipes can become progressively thin as they corrode, eventually opening up. This will not be an issue with plastic or copper pipes, though.
# 2 Freezing Weather
Freezing weather causes burst pipes in two ways. First, ice expands and puts pressure on the water pipe. The expansion can cause the pipe to break or it could just crack. Second, freezing water inside a poorly insulated plumbing system freezes and expands, which also puts pressure on the pipe that can result in failure.
When temperatures drop into the low 20s, pipes can burst if they haven’t been properly prepared for the cold. While freezing weather isn’t a regular threat in San Antonio, it can still happen during the wintertime and is worth keeping in mind.
# 3 Clogs
Clogs are a major cause of busted pipes. If you don’t clean out your drains and toilets, they’ll clog with soap scum, hair, lint and other yucky stuff. This can lead to burst pipes or flooded basements when the clog is severe enough and water backs up in the drainpipe.
A major blockage can cause the pressure within a pipe to rise to the point where it explodes. If anything that shouldn’t have gone through your pipes has, you’ll want to get it out before it causes a pipe to break due to a buildup of pressure.
# 4 Tree Roots
If you live in a house with clay pipes and tree roots, you will be at risk for burst pipes.
When the tree’s roots grow into your plumbing system, they can cause water pressure to drop or even stop completely. The damage is usually not noticed until there is a loud bang from inside the walls of your home and all the water drains out onto the floor. This problem becomes more likely if your house was built on top of an old creek bed where trees used to grow naturally before it was developed into residential property. It’s also more common during rainy seasons when soil expands and contracts around piping systems like clay pipes, which are brittle and fragile by nature due to their high porosity levels.
Large trees can send out large roots that can rip surrounding pipelines apart. It’s critical to find areas for trees around your home where the roots won’t cross paths with pipes as the plants grow larger.
# 5 High Water Pressure
The water pressure in a home’s pipe system should be between 30 and 80 pounds per square inch. When water pressure is high, there’s a larger chance of a pipe exploding.
If you have any pipes that are old or rusty, this could cause them to burst. This is because the metal expands and contracts due to the heat of being so close to hot water all day long. The pipe will eventually rust through and leak which can lead to a flood or other problems. You should always be careful about how much pressure you apply when using high powered cleaning tools on your faucet as well because it may damage the seals inside of them which would then cause leaks too!
# 6 Hard water accumulation
Water with a high mineral concentration is referred to as hard water. When hard water builds up in pipes, it increases the danger of blockage or breaking, which can lead to a pipe burst. A water softening system can help to decrease the accumulation of hard water.
Water is essential for life and needs to be constantly replaced. Water that accumulates in drains and pipes can cause them to burst and put your home at risk for water damage. Burst pipes leave you with the task of repairing the pipe and saving your property from ruin. You should check your pipes regularly to make sure they aren’t accumulating too much water.
If ever you experienced burst pipes in your house, just give Apex Plumbing Services a call.