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Burst Pipes – Quick Overview, Symptoms & Prevention Tips

Burst pipes can be a real nuisance, particularly if you have numerous electronic devices at home. Not fixing them right away might result in costly damage to electrical systems and building components like flooring and ceilings.

People often assume that frozen pipes can only burst in the winter. However, this is not always the case. Due to normal wear and tear, pipes can rupture at any time of year.

Follow this blog in case you ever find yourself dealing with a burst pipe:

Warning Signs Of A Burst Pipe!

Initially, as soon as a pipe bursts, you will be alerted. But there are symptoms you may watch out for to determine if you have a leaking pipe. Pipe leaks often go undetected for quite some time, but if you observe any of the following problems, you should contact Swell Emergency Plumbing to schedule a leaky pipe repair or burst pipe detection service:

  • A leaky ceiling.
  • Particularly stinky odor.
  • Reduced water pressure.
  • Irrationally high water costs.
  • Holes appearing on the walls.
  • Poorly functioning electrical outlets.
  • Moldy or damp spots on your walls, ceilings, or flooring.
  • Water trickling or running when no faucets are open.
  • External concrete damage, such as cracking or loose pavers.

Turn off all of your taps and water fixtures, then examine your water meter box and record the current readings to see if you have a leaky pipe on your property. If you want to see an accurate reading of your water usage, wait 15 minutes before doing anything else (including flushing the toilet). When the numbers rise, it’s necessary to call a plumber since it looks like there’s a water leak.

What Causes Burst Pipes?

As the cooler weather sets in around Australia, bursting pipes become a typical problem. Many people live or work in structures where the pipes could be older than their grandparents. When these water pipes explode, there is a loud pop, similar to the sound of a car backfiring. As a result homeowners face severe issues with water and structural damage. We have listed the five most common causes of pipe ruptures below:

1. Water Pressure

In order for the pipes that provide your home with water to work, the water pressure must be kept at a consistent level. Increases in water pressure, even little, can cause pipes to burst. It may also provide access to a bathroom with a washbasin, commode, or bath. It is inevitable that the pipes would burst as the pressure rises extensively.

You may keep an eye on the pressure by turning on the sink faucet and connecting a gauge to the spout. The water pressure measured will be indicated by the movement of the needle on the gauge (pounds per square inch). Household water pressure is typically set between 30 and 50 psi to protect plumbing systems. Moreover, a pressure lowering valve can be installed by a plumber if the water pressure in your home is too high to be safe.

2. Frozen Pipes

The water pipes in a house often have severe problems during the winter. When temperatures drop, most things shrink. Since ice has a greater volume than water, freezing water inside a pipe causes the water inside the pipe to expand, leading to an increase in pressure. Due to the increasing internal pressure, the pipe would eventually explode. Pressure will burst right out of the side of the pipe wall, shattering the pipe at its weakest spot.

In order to keep your pipes from freezing, maintain a constant temperature in your home of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You may do the same thing by opening the cabinet doors under the sink to let warm air circulate around the pipes.

3. Corrosion

Pipes are built to survive and should provide dependable service for decades, but their lifespan is limited. With time, the building’s pipes may show evidence of failure or disintegration due to corrosion. Corrosion develops when the water’s pH level is off. This may seem like a minor problem at first, but it will eventually wear down the pipes.

Since the minerals in the water gradually wear away the galvanised coating, revealing the iron pipe beneath, many municipal water systems use galvanised iron pipes. Rust forms on the iron, which then slowly fills the pipe’s inside and blocks the flow of water. Consequently, the water supply to your home could be cut off or a pipe could burst.

4. Moving Pipes

It’s possible for pipes to shift about behind walls if they aren’t properly fastened, especially if water is quickly turned on and off. If the water pipes are making noises behind the walls or under the floors, that’s your cue. Water hammer is the banging and rattling of pipes against one another. Pipes that aren’t securely fastened to the wall are swaying back and forth, producing the audible noise. The couplings between the pipes deteriorate over time, creating a weak point through which pressurised water can leak. As a result, the water pipe bursts and floods the entire floor.

5. Sudden Ground Movements

Pipe bursts due to ground movements are relatively rare but nevertheless possible. Earthquakes and other types of ground tremors frequently involve such forces. It might also occur when the ground shifts ever-so-slightly upward, downward, or laterally, as it often does after a sudden rainstorm. Inadvertent pipe bursts have become mainstream as a result of the enormous stress applied by the Earth’s rotational movement.

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What Are The Initial Preventive Measures For A Burst Pipe?

You must shut down the water main as a first step. It is normally managed by a stopcock that might be found outside, behind the sink, or the boiler. Also, remember to turn off the furnace.

After turning off the water supply, open all the taps to drain the system and then close them again. You should call an emergency plumber once you’ve mopped up the water and checked that the electricity is safe.

How Can We Prevent Bursting Pipes?

Keep an eye on the plumbing and the temperatures in the area around pipes to make sure they don’t rupture. Following are some more measures one can take to avoid a water pipe bursting.

Keep one or two taps running very slowly if the temperature outside is really low. Most pipe breaks happen when temperatures drop below freezing or rise over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, so this can prevent that. Preventing the pipes from freezing requires further insulation. The deterioration in your pipes can be stopped in its tracks by having them replaced.

Certain rooms or hallways in your home may be considerably chillier than others. To prevent pipes from freezing, be sure to circulate warm air to less used rooms. In the winter, frozen pipes often burst near an outside wall or window, so it’s important to keep an eye on those places. Look for pipes in your basement near the building’s exterior first.

A second simple plumbing tip is to always leave the cabinet doors slightly ajar. It’s common to find the kitchen sink installed on an exterior wall; if this is the case, you can let some fresh air in by opening the cupboard doors. If you have a hose attached to your outdoor faucet, you need to take it off. Water won’t be able to escape the hose bib if it’s still connected. Consequently, the water inside the hose will freeze and burst. The use of heat tape helps insulate pipes and keep them toasty warm during the colder months. 

Make sure the air gaps that let the chilly air into your home are sealed, too. Try to find these cracks in close proximity to anything that uses electricity, including pipes and dry vents. The application of insulation or caulk can help prevent draughts. A little hole allows enough cold air in to freeze the water pipe under extreme cold.

To prevent even a trickle of water from freezing in the pipes, keep inside temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). It’s important to get in touch with a plumber in your area for any work involving water pipes, whether it’s emergency work or routine maintenance to avoid undesirable events.

Final Thoughts!

A burst pipe can cause a catastrophic situation if one ignores urgent action. Fortunately, after reading this blog, you now know what to do if it happens to you while you are inside your house. Calling a plumber right away should be a no-brainer, especially if you can’t find the water turn-off valve.

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