4 Common Causes of Burst Pipes & How to Avoid Them

When a pipe bursts in your property, it causes a major water loss and a need for water extraction services. Many property-owners assume that broken and busted pipes are the result of extremely cold temperatures. But in reality, there is more than one cause of burst pipes. ServiceMaster Restore is sharing helpful information to protect your pipes from damage. 

Causes of Burst Pipes

As a homeowner, it pays to be aware of and anticipate potential sources of damage and the solutions for these issues. Preventing burst pipes is one such issue. The four main causes of broken pipes include: 

1. Freezing

leaking pipe water damage

Temperatures are unpredictable in Oregon and can get chilly. Water expands when frozen, and this expansion, in turn, places an enormous amount of pressure and stress on pipes, exerting up to 40lbs of pressure per square inch. The water inside can expand up to 10%, creating a major problem for your property. Although the break can occur at a weak joint, the pressure can also burst the pipe at any point along the pipe wall.  

2. Unsecured Pipes

Another potential pitfall for pipes is a lack of security behind the wall. When not properly secured, pipes may move when water turns on or off. Banging or clanging metal sounds while the water is on is indicative of what is known as “water hammer”. The danger of water hammer is that the pipes continue to move, weakening joints in the process. The pipe becomes compromised, allowing pressure to escape by bursting the pipe. 

unsecured pipes

3. High Water Pressure

water pressure burst pipe

Water pressure is a critical factor for maintaining the health of your pipes. However, high pressure can cause plumbing to fail as it cannot contain the pressure, breaking the pipe. If you believe there is a pressure issue, attach a pressure gauge to the spout, turn on the faucet, and take the reading. Pressure should not exceed 60 psi, however 30-50 is an acceptable range for homes. 

4. Corrosion

Pipes are built to last, but they aren’t invincible. pH imbalances, hard water, and galvanized iron pipes can lead to rust. The rust narrows the inside of the pipe, preventing water from flowing freely, and leading to a burst.  

corroded burst pipe

Consider the Causes of Burst Pipe Water Damage

In the event that your property has a burst pipe, you’ll need to determine the cause to thoroughly address the issue. A professional plumber is able to complete this inspection and address plumbing problems. For any water damage, rely on ServiceMaster Restore. We respond 24/7 to your water restoration needs.