Bursting of pipes isn’t something you really want to get into, considering the severity of the effects that would follow. From floods or unpleasant and dangerous puddles to poisoning, these are risks you may not want to run into. Especially if there is something you can do about it.
Just like you’d take care of your gas to reduce risks of gas leakage in the house, it is also imperative that you take good care of your pipeline to make them stand the test of time. This guide explores ten common causes of pipeline problems that may make them burst and what to do about it.
1. Extreme Water Pressure
Water pressure is one of the most common factors linked to the bursting of water pipes. Ideally, if the pressure levels spike to levels that your pipe won’t contain, it will burst.
The bottom line here, therefore, is to keep checking your pipeline to ensure that the pressure levels are within the recommended ranges. This will help you avoid the risks of the sudden surge in water pressure that would cause your pipes to burst.
You can know for sure that your water pressure levels are within the ideal limits by monitoring them using a water pressure gauge. You will need to hook it up to your hose faucet to get accurate water pressure readings.
The ideal water pressure should average 30 to 50 psi and not go past 60 psi. If you notice that the pressure reading is 60 psi+, be sure to contact an experienced plumber to install a pressure valve that will help you keep the pressure levels at the ideal limits and avoid pipe bursts.
2. Freezing Temperatures
Cold temperatures are not really a concern until when the water in your pipes begins freezing. The freezing of water in the pipe increases the pressure in your pipes, thus increasing the pipes’ risks of bursting. You can manage this risk to prevent your pipes from bursting by turning your faucets on to release a steady water flow and prevent pressure buildup.
Most pipes can give you a long-term service, but this does not mean that they will never get damaged. Corrosion is a relatively common cause of pipe bursting, especially for pipes that are used for long periods.
Ideally, the risks of your pipes bursting due to corrosion after long periods of use would be high if hard water passes through the pipes. Over time, the unfavorable pH balance of the water may cause corrosion, leading to a buildup of rust and ultimately bursting of the pipe when the rust blocks it completely.
You can slow down the rate of corrosion on your pipe by ensuring that your water is chlorinated. This will help clear away harmful bacteria like legionella, which thrive in corroded water pipes.
4. Flushing Big Items down the Toilet
Flushing big items down your toilet isn’t a wise idea as it increases the risks of your pipes clogged. Again clogging in your pipes would increase the pressure inside your pipes and increase the risks of bursting.
Managing this risk is pretty straightforward and would not need an expert intervention unless you’ve noticed a leak. Simply find a way of getting rid of items that may clog your pipes, like sanitary pads, instead of flushing them down the toilet.
5. Leaving Home During Winter
If you live in a cold area and you are just coming back home from a vacation and you suspect that your pipes could have burst, the number one culprit, in this case, is freezing of the water. Just as mentioned early, freezing of the water increases pressure in your pipes, and this may make them burst.
To avoid this risk, if you stay in a cold area, leave your heat on if you will stay away for quite some time. It would help if you keep the heat just above 10ºC or 50ºF, as this would do a good job preventing the freezing.
6. Cracks or Holes in the Pipes
Cracks or holes in pipes aren’t uncommon and are also notorious contributors to the sudden bursting of pipes. The cracks or holes in your pipes will let cold air inside.
As you probably already know, this would increase the pressure causing them to burst. To prevent the bursting of pipes due to cracks or holes in them, ensure that your pipeline is sealed both inside and outside to prevent cold air from getting into the pipes.
7. Water Hammer Damages
Water hammer damage happens when your pipes bang and rattle when you turn on the water. You can detect this just from the sound whenever you turn on the water.
If this water hammer isn’t managed promptly, it will weaken surrounding pipes and make them burst. Therefore, if you hear strange sounds, have a professional examine the pipes and repair them to prevent the looming problem.
8. Frozen Garden Hose
Now, this is something that you really wouldn’t expect, but a frozen garden hose may also make your pipes burst. Ideally, when the ice in your frozen garden hose expands, it will increase pressure buildup in the pipes, something which may end up making them burst. You can prevent this problem by disconnecting your garden hoses from the pipes during cold weather.
9. Very Cold Temperatures in the Home
Very cold temperatures around the home may also be to blame if your pipes burst. If you leave in very cold temperatures, here’s what you can do to protect your pipeline.
Ensure the temperatures around the areas of your home where the lines pass through don’t drop below 32ºF. You can achieve this by directing warm air to cold areas in the home. You can also apply heating tapes to your pipes.
10. Poor Insulation
If your pipelines pass through areas like the attics or basements with poor insulation, they may also burst. A typical red flag of a frozen pipe is the molds that would form along the property’s exterior walls.
To manage this risk, you will need to get in touch with a professional who will improve the insulation of your pipes. Any exposed water pipe will need to be properly insulated.
You can make your pipeline stand the test of time by taking measures that reduce risks of damage to the pipes. Taking timely precautions will help you prevent damages that may not only be dangerous but also costly to repair.
Leon Collier is an expert blogger and academic writer based in the UK. He has expansive experience working with experts offering assignment writing services at Write my dissertation. Leon is a go-getter who doesn’t mind taking on challenges thrown at him. He loves to read books and play tabletop games with friends in his free time. Connect with him on Twitter @ LeonCollier12