What Causes Pipes to Burst?

Water pipes are designed to withstand a considerable amount of pressure. It takes significant structural damage for your pipes to burst. However, it happens, and sometimes without any type of contact. A pipe that bursts is very expensive when you consider possible damages and the repair itself. If you know what causes pipes to burst, you may prevent them from occurring and save the cost and headache of dealing with one.

Cold Temperatures Cause Pipes to Burst

The number one reason for a burst pipe across the country is freezing weather. Once the temperature drops below 32 degrees F, a pipe becomes vulnerable to bursting. Below 32, water begins to freeze, and when water freezes, it expands. Freezing water can exert pressure between 25,000 to 114,000 psi and easily rupture a pipe.

Although Florida experiences very few freezing days, it does happen. Taking the necessary steps can prevent your pipes from freezing when the rare cold snap hits. The following steps will help:

  • Keep your home’s internal temp to at least 50 degrees
  • Keep the cabinets that contain pipes open, so your home’s heat can reach them
  • Insulate pipes that are more prone to freezing, especially ones in the attic and basement
  • Open your faucets to allow water to trickle and keep the water moving through the pipes
  • Disconnect any garden hoses from faucets and cover the spigot with an insulator

Plumbing System Clogs

Aside from freezing cold weather, a clog can cause a pipe to burst. A clog in a pipe increases pressure in the pipe directly. Sometimes pipes clog because of incorrect fixtures being used during installation. If you’re experiencing clogs in a new home especially, you need to contact your plumber right away.

Tree Roots

Tree roots are notorious for causing all kinds of problems with plumbing. Roots may grow beneath your pipes and cause them to burst from external pressure. If the roots are large enough, they can disconnect segments of the piping system. They can also grow into pipes and cause clogs. This increases pipe pressure and can lead to a pipe bursting.

Old Age

Sometimes pipes just get old and degraded and can’t hold pressure anymore. This is especially true for pipes laid in the late 1960s and before. In older homes, galvanized iron was the normal pipe used. The pipes were strong but prone to rusting after a few years. They were also prone to plaque buildup that would narrow the pipes and increase water pressure. Increased water pressure in the pipe makes it more susceptible to bursting.

Would You Like to Have Your Pipes Inspected?

Top of the Line Plumbing provides plumbing services to Duval County, St. Johns County, Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, and the surrounding areas. There isn’t a plumbing job too big or too small for our team to handle. From repairs and repiping to hydro jetting and water filtration, Top of the Line has the experts to get the job done.

Contact us today! 

904-647-1221