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What Causes Pipes to Burst?

A correctly installed pipe can last for decades if it’s well maintained. However, there are some scenarios that can cause a pipe to burst. Here are the main ones you need to watch out for.

Freezing If water freezes inside a pipe, it results in ice buildup that prevents water from flowing at a normal pressure. Excessive pressure in the pipe can eventually cause the pipe to burst. This often occurs at a weak joint. One way to prevent freezing in pipes is to turn on your faucets slowly during cold weather to keep water moving through the pipes and prevent pressure buildup. Insulating exposed pipes with a pipe sleeve is also a good precaution. High pressure Excessive water pressure can occur even if there’s no ice buildup. Often the issue can be traced back to the municipal water supply. If this is the case, a pressure reducing valve needs to be installed to adjust the pressure to safer levels and prevent pipes from bursting. You can check the water pressure levels in your home by attaching a pressure gauge to a sink spout. Ideal water pressure is between 45 psi and 55 psi. Old pipes All pipes have a lifespan. If you have old pipes, or if you’ve neglected their maintenance, they may be susceptible to bursting. Plastic pipes can get brittle with time, while metal pipes can begin to corrode. If your pipes are old, have a qualified plumber inspect what condition they’re in. Clogs Like ice buildup, clogs can block pipes and cause pressure to build. If this pressure becomes too great, the pipe is likely to burst. Clogging can be caused by hair, soap scum, bathroom products, food or other materials ending up in a drain or toilet. If your sink or showers aren’t draining well, this is a sign that you have a clog on your hands. Don’t wait to call in a plumber to unclog the blockage. Roots As a tree grows, its roots seek out moisture. If you have any large trees near pipework, the roots will naturally be drawn to the water source, especially if there are leaks. Roots can wriggle into the even the smallest of openings in their search for water. If they start to infiltrate your pipe, it’s only a matter of time before their growth causes the pipe to burst. Need a reliable plumber in the GTA? At Black Forest Plumbing, we offer a full range of plumbing services, including pipe replacement and repair. We also provide 24/7 emergency services, as a burst pipe can happen at any hour. Contact us for more information or to schedule a service call. Book A Service Appointment




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