As a homeowner, the last thing you want is for your water pipes to burst. Burst pipes can cause a number of different problems in your home, costing you a great deal of time, effort, and — most importantly — money. It’s for this reason that you must do everything in your power to prevent water pipes from bursting.
Of course, in order to prevent bursting, you must know what causes bursting in the first place. Below, we’ll discuss this very thing. Here are 6 reasons why your water pipes burst.
Why Do Pipes Burst?
Water pipes burst for a range of reasons, from the weather to environmental changes, to physical trauma, and more. Let’s get into the specifics of burst pipes, shall we?
If you live above the Mason-Dixon line, you need to be cognizant of freezing water pipes.
When the temperatures drop down to around 0 degrees Fahrenheit, the water which runs through your pipes is actually capable of freezing in place. As more water freezes and accumulates in one area of a pipe, more and more pressure is applied to that area. When the pressure becomes too much, the pipe will burst.
Fortunately, you can prevent pipes from freezing by putting your faucets on a drip. By keeping the water moving, you don’t allow it to freeze in one place.
2. Tree Root Encroachment
Another reason for water pipe bursting is tree root encroachment. As trees grow larger and larger, their roots extend further and further in the soil. In some cases, these roots will grow until they make contact with other underground entities (ie. water pipes).
In the vast majority of cases, water pipes are not strong enough to stop tree roots in their tracks. Instead, tree roots will continue to apply pressure on said pipes, pushing them until the crack.
To prevent this from happening, you must plant any new trees as far away from your water pipes as possible. After all, there’s not much you can do to prevent root growth after a tree has already been planted.
In some cases — particularly when they’re made out of steel — your pipes will burst quite simply because they’ve taken on too much water abuse over the years. When this occurs, said pipes will corrode, narrow, and slowly bust open.
There’s not much you can do to avoid corrosion in steel pipes. However, by replacing them with copper or plastic pipes, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about corrosion again.
4. Soil Shifting
On some occasions, water pipes will burst because the soil around them shifts. This typically happens when construction is being carried out in close proximity to said pipes.
The most you can do to protect your pipes in this situation is to ask the construction crew to be mindful of where it’s distributing soil. By strategically dumping displaced dirt, the crew might be able to save your pipes from any undue strain.
5. High Water Pressure
The optimal water pressure for most home water pipes is 40 to 45 psi. At the most, your water pressure should never exceed 60 psi. If it does, your water pipes are vulnerable to bursting.
Water pressure rises for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s simply pumped into your home at too high a speed. In other cases, impairments in your pipes can cause water to slow down and speed up at inopportune times.
Regardless of the reason for your high water pressure, you’re going to want to utilize the services of a plumber. He or she can assess the problem and make any necessary repairs.
One last reason for bursting water pipes is the existence of a clog. When a clog exists in your pipes, it can cause undue pressure to build up within those pipes. At some point, this pressure will become too much for the pipe to bear; at which point it will crack.
Water pipes can become clogged by just about anything, from hair to bathroom products, to food, and more. Be cognizant of what you’re throwing down your drains.
Consequences of a Busted Water Pipe
There are a number of reasons why you want to avoid busted water pipes. If left alone for long enough, they can essentially destroy your entire home. Three of the primary consequences of burst water pipes are mold growth, compromised structural integrity, and irreparable damage to your possessions.
It’s simple: mold grows rapidly in damp areas. Therefore, if your pipes burst and flood your house, your house is going to be overrun with mold in no time.
Compromised Structural Integrity
Nothing ruins the structural integrity of wood quite like water. If your water pipes bust and water floods into your home, everything from your doors, to your doorways, to the frame of your home can become warped and misshapen.
Unfortunately, the repairs needed to fix problems such as these can come at an astronomical price.
The fact of the matter is that, when put in the wrong place, water is destructive. It can destroy everything from your carpet, to your insulation, to your electronics, to your heirlooms, and more. In most cases, after coming into contact with water, these entities will not be able to be repaired.
How to Fix a Burst Pipe
Repairing a burst pipe is far from a simple task; especially if you’ve never done it before. While you can try to do it on your own, we highly recommend utilizing the talents of an experienced plumber.
A reputable plumber will have all of the knowledge, experience, and resources needed to properly patch up or replace a damaged water pipe. By hiring such an individual, you can rest assured that your water pipes are operating at their optimal levels.
Have Your Water Pipes Burst?
Have your water pipes burst? Are you looking for a reputable plumber in the Lehigh Valley region? If so, look no further! The experienced plumbers here at Edwin Stipe, Inc. have you covered.
We provide both standard and emergency services, allowing us to help whenever help is needed.
Contact us today to schedule service!