Burst Pipe Causes, Prevention, and Repair
A burst pipe is a plumbing emergency that can cause considerable damage to your home and potentially lead to costly repairs. It occurs when a water pipe freezes and expands, causing it to crack or rupture. As water flows through the damaged pipe, it can cause flooding and water damage that can affect your home’s structure, electrical systems, and personal belongings.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the causes of burst pipes, how to prevent them, and what to do if you experience a burst pipe in your home.
Causes of Burst Pipes
The most common cause of burst pipes is freezing temperatures. When water freezes, it expands, putting pressure on the pipe’s walls. As a result, it can cause weak spots or fractures in the line, eventually leading to a burst.
Other causes of burst pipes include:
- Corrosion: Over time, pipes can corrode and weaken. It is widespread in older homes with galvanised steel pipes.
- High water pressure: Excess water pressure in the pipes can cause them to burst.
- Clogged pipes: When pipes become clogged with debris or mineral buildup, water pressure can build up and cause a burst.
Prevention of Burst Pipes
Preventing burst pipes is all about preparing for cold weather and protecting your plumbing system. Guidance on how to avoid a burst pipe:
- Insulate pipes: Insulate pipes located in unheated areas like basements, attics, and crawl spaces. It will help prevent them from freezing.
- Seal gaps and cracks: Seal any holes or cracks in your home’s foundation to prevent cold air from entering and freezing pipes.
- Keep your home heated: Keep yours.
Home heated to at least 55°F (12°C) even if you’re away for an extended period. It will help keep the pipes from freezing.
- Open faucets: Water expands when it freezes, so it’s a good idea to open the faucets slightly to allow water to drip. It will relieve pressure and reduce the likelihood of a burst pipe.
- Disconnect outdoor hoses: Disconnect and store outdoor hoses before the temperature drops below freezing. It will prevent water from freezing in the hose and potentially causing a burst.
- Maintain water pressure: Make sure your water pressure is manageable, which can stress your pipes unnecessarily.
- Get a plumbing inspection: Have a professional plumber inspect your system to identify potential issues and recommend prevention.
Repairing a Burst Pipe
If you experience a burst pipe, quickly minimising the damage is essential. Here are the steps to take:
- Turn the water supply off: Locate the main shut-off valve and turn off the water supply to your home.
- Turn on the faucets: Open all the faucets in your home (hot and cold) to relieve pressure and allow water to drain.
- Contact a professional plumber: Call a licensed plumber to repair the burst pipe immediately. Please do not attempt to fix it yourself, as this can be dangerous and may cause further damage.
- Assess the damage: Check your home for water damage, and take steps to dry out the affected areas. Mould can develop quickly in moist environments, so acting fast is essential to prevent further damage.
In conclusion, burst pipes can be a significant plumbing emergency that can cause severe damage to your home.
However, by taking preventative measures to protect your pipes and knowing how to respond in the event of a burst pipe, you can minimise the potential for damage and protect your home.
Always consult a licensed professional plumber for any plumbing issues, as attempting to fix a burst pipe yourself can be dangerous and may result in further damage to your home. In addition, stay aware of the weather conditions and take the necessary steps to prevent burst pipes, such as keeping your home heated, disconnecting outdoor hoses, and maintaining water pressure.
Being prepared can reduce the risk of costly damages and potential health hazards from a burst pipe. Stay safe and protect your home with preventative plumbing maintenance and quick action. Call an Emergency plumber from SM Heating, a local plumber in Glasgow and are 247 Emergency Plumbers.