Dealing with burst pipes at home, minor repairs and adjustments can aggravate most people. However, things like burst water pipes are major headaches that can ruin your home and possessions.
A burst pipe can end up costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace items that are damaged by the pipe rupture, as well. That is why you need to know the signs and causes of pipes breaking and what you can do as you await a professional to handle the burst pipe repair.
The Top Six Causes of Burst Water Pipes
- Invasive Tree Roots – That lovely little sapling Gran planted in the yard years ago can cause massive problems after decades of growth. Tree roots are famous for seeking our water lines as they grow. Even the best water pipe cannot keep the roots from gaining hold, and once this happens, the roots will continue to exert pressure on the line until it ruptures.
- Freezing Pipes – It is easy to expect that freezing pipes will never concern you if you live in a warm climate. However, water in underground pipes can quickly cool below freezing, causing an increase in pressure and resulting in a burst water pipe.
- Accidental Damage – Even the most cautious person can make a mistake that leads to a pipe bursting. Often this happens during home repairs or landscaping work. However, something as simple as hanging laundry to dry from an exposed water pipe in the basement can be enough to break the line over time.
- High Water Pressure – Pipes are built to withstand a specific pressure. Once that level is exceeded, the pipe will burst. Malfunctioning pressure valves or clogs can cause excessive water pressure leading to a burst pipe.
- Corrosion, Rust, and Old Age – While we all would like the devices we depend upon to last forever, water pipes will eventually experience corrosion and rust simply because they have constantly been exposed over decades. In addition to weakening the pipe, these elements may contribute to clogs that increase the water pressure, leading to an eventual rupture.
- Shifting Ground – You do not need to experience a significant earthquake for the ground around your pipes to move. Excessive rainfall, rapid and extreme temperature changes and nearby construction can cause enough soil shift to lead to burst water pipes.
How Do I Know I Have a Burst Pipe?
There are several indications you have a burst water pipe. Not every burst pipe will send water blasting throughout your home. In many cases, the damage is slow and happens over time. Some signs of a burst pipe include:
- Discolored Water – Even if you have PVC or PEX pipes, a ruptured pipe will begin to corrode. Your water will start to have a brownish hue because microscopic rust particles are in the water due to the corrosion. Additionally, bacteria may also contaminate discoloured water.
- Variable Water Pressure – If you notice your water pressure is fluctuating, it could be a sign that you have a burst water pipe somewhere in your home. This happens because the pressure changes overwhelm the pipes and fittings, causing inconsistent water pressure.
- Dripping, Hissing, Or Gurgling Noises When No Water is On – These noises are the sounds of the water responding to the variances in water pressure. Typically, you will hear them on your walls.
- Puddles Under Your Sink – If you have tried to stop a leak that is causing puddles under your sink, but the puddles keep coming back, it could be a sign of a burst water pipe.
- Rotten Egg Smell – If you notice the smell of rotten eggs in your home, it may be because hydrogen sulphide is leaking from the sewer lines and is coming into your home.
What Should I Do If I Believe I Have a Ruptured Water Pipe?
- Turn Off the Water – Your priority is to stop the water that is coming into your home. The fastest way to do this is by using your main shut-off valve. Ideally, you will know where it is before you must use it to shut off the water supply.
- Shut Off Electricity – Even though you may not receive a shock, shutting off the power supply falls under the better safe than sorry category.
- Call For Professional Help – Burst pipe repair requires the skills of an experienced and licensed plumbing professional. Expand Plumbing and Gas are your experts in repairing ruptured pipes in Perth. You can reach out for emergency assistance 24/7, and rest assured one of our skilled pros will be at your door as quickly as possible.
- Begin Cleanup – While you wait for help to arrive, your best course of action is to start cleaning the mess associated with the pipe rupture. Immediate cleaning will prevent the multiplying of mould and mildew. Be sure to dry all puddles and wet spots thoroughly.
- Allow Warm Air Into the House – This is especially important if freezing is the cause of your burst water pipe.
- Document Damages – While you hope there will be no need to prove your plight to your insurance company, it is wise to photograph or video all of the damage your home sustained.
If you suspect you have a burst pipe (or other plumbing or gas issues), do not hesitate to contact Expand Plumbing and Gas Group. We offer emergency services 24/7 and arrive swiftly to remedy your problems. You can also feel free to schedule non-emergency services to make certain all is well with your plumbing and gas.