Go Back

What Causes Burst Pipes Inside my Home & How to Prevent It

Tips for Avoiding Burst Pipe Emergencies

Burst pipes repairs are more common in the colder, winter months, but the pipes can actually burst all year round. Situations like frozen pipes, rusty pipes, and even poorly installed pipes can all eventually lead to an emergency situation. Knowing what causes this situation as well as what signs to watch for can ultimately save the homeowner time, money, and frustration.

Routine inspection of the pipes in the home can also stop burst pipes before they occur, which should be done by both the homeowner or a trained professional.

Frozen Pipes Can Easily Become Burst Pipes

frozen pipesWhen the weather in Michigan starts to cool down, many homeowners’ thoughts turn to how to prevent their pipes from freezing. Knowing exactly how and why that happens can be the first step in the prevention or early treatment of frozen pipes, before they become more costly, burst pipes.

As the water inside the pipes cools down and reaches the freezing point (32 degrees Fahrenheit), it starts to slowly freeze. Many homeowners miss this initial warning sign, as water can still pass through the pipes (although at a much slower pace).

Ultimately, as the water starts to fully freeze, it also expands exponentially which ends up with burst pipes. Pipes in the home that are most likely to freeze are those more directly exposed to the cold (water sprinkler lines, for instance), pipes in unheated or underheated areas of the home, or those that run parallel to the external walls.

To protect the home from burst pipes, homeowners should always run the water in a slow trickle when the temperatures will be significantly below freezing.

Rusty Pipes Can Lead to Burst Pipes, Too

Another home situation that can lead to burst pipes can be a natural occurrence in older homes… rusty pipes. Other than noticing the physical rusting (which is a red flag that homeowners should call their local plumbing company as soon as possible), other symptoms of rusting pipes include noticing physical flakes of rust from the tap water, discoloration of the tap water, or a metallic odor in the drinking water.

rusty pipes

Eventually, rusty pipes can become burst pipes as the material wears out which leads to small leaks, larger leaks, and full rupture. The speed that pipes start to rust depends on the material they are made out of and their age. Pipes should be inspected regularly to avoid rusting and burst pipes.

Improper Installation Is Also a Problem

wrong installationAnother, less-known cause of burst pipes isn’t actually a physical pipe defect. Burst pipes can also be caused by poor installation, which can happen when they are installed by people who don’t have professional training.

The pipes can leak and burst if they have been soldered together poorly, or if the connection between them was not fitted appropriately.

Homeowners who notice issues with their pipes should contact a professional plumbing company to schedule an evaluation. Some pipes may be able to be salvaged but, in many cases, they will have to be fully replaced and installed by a professional tradesman.

Rooter MD Plumbing LLC Is Your Local Service Company

Rooter MD Plumbing LLC opened its doors in 1981. The knowledgeable staff offers personalized plumbing services to Livonia and many of the surrounding Southeast Michigan area, focusing on full transparency and outstanding customer service.