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What Reason Will Cause Pipes Burst?

Dec 03,2023 | Kitchen, Bathroom, Bathtub, Shower Faucet - Wovier

Pipes can burst due to various reasons, with freezing being a primary factor. When water freezes inside a closed environment like a water pipe, it undergoes expansion. The pressure exerted on the inner walls of the pipe material, whether it's iron, lead, or PVC plastic, can become substantial. Even if a pipe is initially strong enough to withstand occasional stress from frozen water, the cumulative effect weakens its structural integrity, eventually leading to a burst.

While pipes are often insulated or located in areas protected from freezing temperatures, certain sections may be routinely exposed or compromised if insulation fails. Pipes can break when the air temperature causes water to freeze along the inner walls, creating a blockage. The pressure from expanding ice on a weakened section, combined with the pressure of flowing water behind the blockage, can result in a sudden break.

To prevent freezing, some experts recommend allowing a trickle of water to flow through home faucets during cold weather. Continuous water movement, even in a small amount, prevents the water from freezing within the pipes. This precaution is particularly important for pipes exposed to freezing temperatures or those at risk of insulation failure.

In cold weather, hot water pipes may be more resistant to freezing than cold water pipes. If a pipe bursts due to freezing, homeowners may not realize it until there's a flood or a noticeable reduction in water pressure. In such cases, shutting off the main water supply is crucial to minimize further damage. Seeking professional plumbing assistance promptly is essential to locate and repair the burst pipe caused by freezing.