Picture it: you arrive home from a long day at work on a Friday afternoon.
The kids are screaming in the back of the car, and all you want to do is head inside, pour a glass of wine, and order take-out.
Except this time when you arrive home, it’s to a flooded kitchen. For one reason or another (and right now, you frankly don’t care how), a pipe has burst, and you’re suffering.
The surprise has left you shell-shocked, but it’s more common than you might think!
While plumbing is not your thing, water pipes in your home can burst anytime. Can you do something to prevent them from bursting? And importantly, what should you do in the unfortunate case that this occurs?
Our plumbers in Bayside are sharing some of the most common causes of burst pipes, and how we can solve your water woes.
Common causes of burst pipes
The water pipes in your home are carefully positioned and installed during the time that your property was built.
If you weren’t involved in the original build, or are a new tenant, you likely have no idea about your home’s piping system or where the major pipes are located.
In fact when it comes to any outdoor plumbing or piping, the most you likely know is where your main water supply is connected.
In a pinch? Suffering a burst or leaking pipe? Call our emergency plumbers now for rapid-response plumbing solutions: 1300 156 650.
Which pipes are most likely to burst?
In our experience, there are a few factors that can influence the likelihood of burst pipes. Damaged pipes, for example, are an obvious one. Damaged pipes often (but not always!) correlate with age; older pipes are also more susceptible to damage.
Pipes that experience very high water pressure are under a lot of strain, and as such, can suddenly burst.
Additionally, freezing cold temperatures as well as clogs can lead to burst pipes. Let’s explore each in more detail below.
Pipes are designed to work well without any issues – provided they’re in good condition.
While they can remain in good condition for many years, the truth is that they are still prone to damage and general wear and tear.
If your home’s pipes are made of galvanised steel, the coating will eventually erode through wear and tear. The pH imbalance in the water slowly rips off the coating and exposes the iron pipe, turning it into rust.
Rusty pipes could either block the water or leak them out. Whichever way, the pipe is susceptible to bursting.
The sheer power of water can never be underestimated.
A loose valve controller can throw your water pressure into chaos, and more water gets pushed into pipes. This can lead to an unwarranted rise in water pressure which can put tremendous strain on your pipes.
Pipes routed to your sink and bathroom have certain diameters and are designed to accommodate a certain pressure. Strong pressure will damage the pipes.
And most of the time, damaged pipes from strong water pressure are a disaster waiting to happen, and you need a rapid solution.
In such cases, only a licensed and qualified plumber has the tools and know-how to identify the issue and provide the right solution.
Pipes get damaged in time due to varied external and environmental causes.
Tree roots are probably the most cited example. Attracted to water, these tiny roots penetrate even the smallest of cracks or openings, and once they touch water, have found the perfect growing environment!
Before you know it, these tree roots have manifested into large obstructions in your pipes, impeding the normal flow of water.
Science 101 tells us that water expands when it freezes.
When the water inside (and outside) the pipes solidifies, it will create more pressure on the pipe, leading to a burst once the water thaws.
Though not common here in Australia, it’s one of the major causes of burst pipes across colder climates like North America or Europe.
Poor pipe engineering
This issue goes well beyond pipe damage, and back to the time in which your pipes were originally laid.
In such cases, pipe replacement may be a viable solution. While it’s a bigger job than the others listed above, it’s critical to fix the error at the source and reduce the chance of further damage in the future.
Can a clog cause a burst pipe?
Clogs in pipes can cause a serious build-up of pressure, potentially leading to bursting.
This usually happens when there is an obstruction such as a buildup of grease, soap scum, hair, toilet paper, and other materials blocking part or all of the pipe and impeding the proper flow of water.
If too much water builds up in the space behind this clog, it will not be able to flow freely and the pressure will begin to increase. Eventually the increased pressure causes split or burst pipes and can result in significant water damage. Clogs must be addressed quickly because even a small blockage can become critical if left unaddressed.
Our plumbers in Cheltenham have access to sophisticated tools designed specifically for managing clogs and preventing burst pipes.
How do you know if your pipe is about to burst?
Knowing the signs that your pipe is about to burst can save you from costly plumbing repairs and a big old mess!
Look for the following five indicators of impending doom:
- Unexpected rising water bills
- Discoloured water
- Strange noises coming from the pipes
- Decreased water pressure
- Any pooling or flooding near your piping in the walls or floors
If you recognise any of these issues, act quickly by contacting a plumber. Time is of the essence when dealing with bursting pipes!
Solve your pipe troubles with our Bayside plumbers!
Burst pipe disasters are annoying and difficult to deal with – we understand!
So if you’re facing an unexpected flood in your home, it’s critical you call a licensed emergency plumber ASAP.
The first thing you can do is shut off your home’s main water supply, and then give us a call immediately.
We understand how difficult these situations could be especially if there’s no one around to help.
You might be tempted to speed up the process by trying to fix it yourself, but we can’t stress this enough: never attempt your own plumbing. Not only is it dangerous (and potentially illegal!), but it’s likely to lead to even more trouble.
Masterful plumbing services across Bayside
From Melbourne CBD to Mt Eliza, Watermaster’s plumbers are out and about every day, saving Melbourne homes and businesses from major (and minor!) plumbing problems.
If you’re concerned about burst pipes in Melbourne, get in touch today.
Call our friendly team and we’ll dispatch one of our qualified plumbers: 1300 156 650
Got a question or a less urgent issue? Fill in this form and we’ll be in touch!