Everything You Need to Know About Burst Pipes and Their Repair


Plumbing problems are probably the messiest of house repair problems. Waterflooding, broken pipes, burst pipes, these problems can cause quite a mess both inside and outside a house. Sometimes, residents may not be aware of the plumbing damage till it is too late. Burst pipes are one of the most troublesome plumbing problems. They can cause more issues like flooding and water damage, which increases costs and inconvenience. Pipe bursts occur for many reasons, and depending on the severity, burst pipe repair can take around 1 to 3 hours.

Pipe bursts usually signify other underlying problems with a property, for example, a tree root intrusion into the foundations. Detecting a pipe burst can be difficult, but understanding why pipes burst helps prevent such situations.

Pipe Bursts: Why They Happen

There are six major reasons for a pipe burst to occur:

High Pressure Build up

The main principle behind most pipe bursts is the build-up of pressure. Pressure build-up can occur due to several reasons, for example, increased flow of water. Even irregular flow of water could cause pressure build-up that puts undue strain on the plumbing. Other factors could increase the pressure within the pipes, and when pressure builds up to more than 60psi (40 to 45 psi is the recommended pressure), it is most likely to burst.

Freezing Temperatures

Freezing temperatures can cause water to turn to ice within the pipes. Water that runs through can also freeze, and as this water accumulates, the pressure also increases. The increased pressure causes the pipe to burst. People residing in less cool or tropical climates don’t have to worry about this issue.

Pipe Corrosion

Steel and metal pipes can corrode over time. With continuous water flowing through these pipes, the internal part of the pipe is susceptible to corrosion. After some time, the corrosion will cause the pipe to narrow and burst eventually. Since most pipes are made of plastic, it is not a common issue today. People living in old buildings, who are yet to renew their plumbing, should do so immediately to avoid these issues.

Encroachment of Tree Roots

Roots of large trees tend to spread far underground, and they are usually sizable to bear the weight of the tree. These roots can go so far underground that they break the pipes and extend into them. Tree root encroachments are one of the most common causes of pipe bursts. Burst pipe repair for root encroachments is not necessarily permanent. It is easier to plant trees farther away from the plumbing to avoid these problems. Even if the plumber repairs the pipe, there is a possibility that another root could encroach and press the pipe. 

Shifting of Soil

The soil is made up of layers, and over time these layers tend to shift. Soil shifting can put undue pressure on pipes. Additionally, if construction is underway close to the residence, their activities and dumping of waste could also affect the soil. They could cause the soil to shift as well, as it involves activities like drilling the ground, which disintegrates the integrity of the soil.

Clogged Pipes

Another common cause for a burst pipe is a clogged pipe. When a pipe gets clogged, it interrupts the water flow. As the clog gets larger, it obstructs the water flow until the pressure starts to build. The pressure builds until the clog covers the entire pipe and causes it to burst.

Whenever one detects a pipe burst or suspects a pipe to have burst, it is best to call the plumbing service. Those burst pipe repair services have the experience that allows them to detect the source of the burst and conduct repairs efficiently.