Why do pipes burst?

08 April 2014

Busted pipes are two words that every homeowner dreads to hear. One it is discovered that a water pipe has busted the water must be cut off and repairs must begin immediately. It can turn into a real mess, and if there is water damage then there is also a mold risk. The job demands immediate attention and can be really costly.

You need a plumber, and you need to call them right away. It is a good idea to have a trusted and available plumber on speed dial anyways. There are a few things that you can do to prevent your pipes from bursting, but even this is not foolproof.

Pipes burst most times when it is freezing. It can in some instances be prevented. May old timers leave water dripping in freezing weather, while others wrap their pipes? Still, busted pipes are not always avoidable.

Water actually expands as it freezes, and pipes are not meant to expand and shrink when it melts. It expands and bursts leaving havoc when it melts. Pipes cannot withstand the pressure in many instances that freezing water expansion places on them. This includes, lead, PVC and plastic water pipes. Maybe they won’t burst the first time, but over time the material will weaken making the chances of busted water pipes more probable.

Many homes with the covered pipes are pretty much in a safe zone. Insulating pipes is the best and most practical way to keep your pipes from freezing.

Some pipes break because their inner walls freeze and this can cause blockages. Of course there is expansion that adds pressure to the walls and can ultimately lead to the pipe bursting. This can happen out of the blue, and there is no warning.

That is why even those with the insulated pipes will fall back on grandmas trickle trick. If the water is allowed to trickle in very cold temperatures then the water inside is not remaining still and vulnerable to freezing. Water moving at even a trickle simply will not freeze.

Oftentimes it is not until a large accumulation of water or reduced pressure that the homeowner realized there is a problem. At this point a lot of external damage can be done to the environment. This is not to include the cost of repairs to the plumbing. Have your pipes wrapped and keep water to a trickle in cold weather. It can really make all of the difference and save you a ton of money!

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