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What is The Usual Cause For a House's Plumbing Pipes to Burst?

The Common Causes of Burst Pipes

While burst pipes are most commonly an issue when the temperature outside dips below freezing, that’s not the only reason that they occur. Rusty pipes or improper installation of the pipes are some of the most common causes of the expensive, frustrating issue of having a pipe burst in the home. Knowing how to recognize and prevent the most common causes of burst pipes can only benefit the homeowner in the long term.

Frozen Pipes Can Lead to Burst Pipes

frozen pipesFrozen pipes are by far the leading cause of burst pipes. As the temperatures drop below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) for an extended period of time, the water in the pipes also starts to freeze.

Frozen water is heavier than water in its liquid state, and it also expands which makes it push pressure on the walls of the pipes. Both of these things cause an increase in the pressure in the pipes, which causes it to burst.

To prevent a burst pipe in extreme cold weather conditions, leave the cabinet doors open to allow the pipes to stay as warm as possible. It may even be wise to leave the faucets open to a very slow drip, so that water continues to travel through the pipes and doesn’t have the opportunity to stay still and freeze.

Following those simple tips can pay off in the form of pipes that last the life of the home, and don’t require emergency burst pipe repairs in the middle of the cold, Ontario winter.

Rusty Pipes Cause Burst Pipes

Another common cause of burst pipes is the rusting of old, ageing pipes. However, this is also a fairly obvious thing that a homeowner who is paying attention can catch and fix before they burst. Rust is caused by pipes that have exposure to higher levels of oxygen.

The combination of oxygen and water leads to oxidation, which is not only a cause of burst pipes but also one of the leading causes of general home water leaks.

rusty pipes

Routine inspection and maintenance of the pipes, both by the homeowner and by a plumbing professional, can help catch rust in its early stages. Repiping the home can stop a burst pipe or water leak from happening, as well as helping water taste better and be less discoloured.

Rusting happens most commonly in pipes made from cast iron, copper, or galvanized steel. This is why you should always know what the pipes at home are made of, and what to do if the pipes burst

Burst Pipes Can Be Caused By Improper Installation

wrong installation When buying a house, sometimes issues that may become bigger problems down the line aren’t always apparent. One of those issues is the improper installation of the plumbing system, specifically the pipes.

Poor soldering or incorrectly fitted connections between the pipes can ultimately fail, which changes the water pressure in the rest of the pipes. This increase in pressure, combined with weak spots in the pipe, is a recipe for a burst pipe and massive water damage to the home as well as a massive expense to the homeowner.

This is also why homeowners should never skimp on paying trained professionals to install pipes or repipe the home. While it may be tempting to save money in the short term, proper installation leads to far less heartache in the long term.

About Guardian Plumbing and Drain

With fast 24-hour emergency plumbing services, free on-site estimates, and a 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy, the team at Guardian Plumbing and Drain, in Cobourg Ontario, promises customized service unique to every customer’s situation. They understand the impact the elements can have on your plumbing, and go above and beyond to keep your home safe.


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