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What Causes Burst Water Pipe? Here Are 6 Common Culprits

If you or someone you know is living with intermittent or constant water waste in their home, then you’ve probably heard the phrase “burst pipes” for plumbing pipes a few times. Pipes burst is a nuisance and expensive to repair, but they’re not something that happens overnight. Cases of burst pipes happen when a pipe or sprinkler valve fails, leaking pressurized water into your walls and other fixtures until it can no longer be supported by the walls inside your home.

There are several causes for burst water pipes, but there aren’t any easy solutions to prevent them from happening again if they have been previously repaired. Read on to learn more about why burst pipes happen, what causes them, and how you can prevent them from recurring in your own home.

burst water pipe

What Is A Burst Pipe?

A burst water pipe occurs when a pipe or sprinkler valve fails, leaking pressurized water into your walls and other fixtures until it can no longer be supported by the walls inside your home. The pipe bursts, causing water damage and expensive repairs. When a pipe is made of metal and has been corroded by the elements or old plumbing, it may develop weakness and break suddenly when pressurized.

When this happens in an enclosed space such as a wall, ceiling, or inside a wall or floor stud, water damage and unforeseen repairs occur. If you or someone you know is living with intermittent or constant water waste in their home, then you’ve probably heard the phrase “burst pipes” a few times. Burst pipes are a nuisance and expensive to repair, but they’re not something that happens overnight.

Cases of burst pipes happen when a pipe or sprinkler valve fails, leaking pressurized water into your walls and other fixtures until it can no longer be supported by the walls inside your home. There are several causes for burst pipes, but there aren’t any easy solutions to prevent them from happening again if they have been previously repaired. 

How Burst Pipes Form

Before we get into the details of what causes burst pipes, it’s important to understand how a water pipe forms in the first place. As water runs through the pipe, it picks up sediment like clay and minerals, which eventually harden into a layer of scum on the walls of the pipe. This scum buildup creates a weak spot in the pipe’s wall that could eventually break under high pressure. What’s more, when water pressure gets below a certain point, the scum layer can come loose in places, causing a leak.

Know When Your Water Pipe Is Bursting

If you’re living in a house with a burst pipe, you’ve probably encountered a lot of water waste in the past few months. The good news is that most burst pipes don’t happen very often. There are several things you can do to prevent them from recurring in the future. First thing’s first, though, you need to know when your water pipe has burst. You can do this by listening for water leaking out of your walls. There are also several ways to check your pipes for leaks, including using a water meter to record your water usage and a pipe locator to see where the water is leaking.

6 Causes Of Burst Pipe

When you’re living in an old house with old pipes, it’s inevitable that a water pipe will burst at some point. But it’s not a given that you’ll experience a pipe burst in your home—some of the following factors could be contributing to your water waste:

  • Corroded and Frozen Pipes: If your pipes are old and corroded or if the pipes freeze, they’re more likely to break when pressure is applied.
  • Weak Pipe: If one pipe in a system is weaker than the others, it’s more likely to burst when pressure is applied.
  • Leaky Joint: Pipes that are installed incorrectly or have loose joints could burst when pressure is applied.
  • Sunken Floor or Ground: If there’s a big dip in your yard or the ground where your pipes are buried, your pipes are more likely to burst.
  • A faulty valve – One of the most common reasons for burst pipes is a faulty valve. Like a faulty car engine, a faulty water valve can cause water pressure to build up inside the pipe until it bursts open. A faulty valve can happen for a number of reasons, like if the seal around the valve leaks or if the valve itself is dented or corroded.
  • Too much pressure – If there’s too much pressure inside your water pipes, for instance, the tree roots can cause blocked pipes of the whole plumbing system, then they can burst like a bubble. Depending on the location of the break, this can cause water damage to your walls inside and outside of your home.

6 Things To Do If You Encounter A Burst Pipe

If you live in a house with a burst pipe, you’ll need to contact a water damage restoration company to assess the damage and identify the best course of action. If the leak is severe, your water company may need to shut off the water until repairs can be made. Here are 6 things you can do to stop a burst pipe in its tracks:

  • Shut off the water at the meter and at the switch on the curb.
  • Turn off the main water valve.
  • Shut off the water to the leaking fixture.
  • Call a water damage restoration company to assess the damage and identify the best course of action.
  • Seal any cracks in the walls with an epoxy sealant.
  • Protect your belongings from water damage by moving them to a dry area. 

Conclusion

Burst pipes are a headache and expensive to repair, but they’re not something that happens overnight. If you or someone you know is living with intermittent or constant water waste in their home, then you’ve probably heard the phrase “ burst pipes” a few times.

Cases of burst pipes happen when a pipe or sprinkler valve fails, leaking pressurized water into your walls and other fixtures until it can no longer be supported by the walls inside your home. When a pipe is made of metal and has been corroded by the elements or old plumbing, it may develop a weakness and break suddenly when pressurized. These are just a few of the reasons why burst pipes happen. Now, you know what causes them and what to do if you encounter one.

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