A burst pipe is never good. The walls are wet, carpets are soaked, and it can all get worse. That’s why you have to fix the problem right away. But depending on the severity, some people tend to wait several hours before calling for help. As you wait for the repair crew to be on their way, you probably have a few questions that you want to be answered. What may have caused the burst pipe? How could you miss signs even though some of them were right under your nose?
Causes of a Burst Pipe
Broken water pipes cost money, not just for their repair or replacement but also for the water damage they can cause. However, you’re one step closer to averting these headaches if you know why pipes burst in the first place and among the most common reasons are:
- Freezing: When water freezes, it expands, which then causes expansion inside the pipes. No matter how sturdy the lines are, the mounting pressure can become too much for them to bear. This ultimately results in bursting.
- High Water Pressure: Whether it’s the utility company’s fault, clogged pipes, or malfunctioned pressure valves, high water pressure can lead to burst pipes.
- Corrosion: Old pipes can become corroded, which weakens them. They can no longer tolerate the maximum pressure. Additionally, corrosion can clog your piping, which also causes increased water pressure.
- Ground Movements: Flooding, heavy rainfall, and earth tremors create ground movements that affect buried pipes.
Sometimes, pipes just burst out of nowhere. In that case, it’s often caused by improper installation and lack of maintenance.
Signs That You Have a Burst Pipe
Not all busted pipes instantly flood the house. Occasionally, there is just a slow leak that causes water damage over time. Let’s face it; this plumbing issue is not very dramatic, but it can become severe if you continue ignoring it. That’s why you should be on high alert for these burst water pipe symptoms:
1. Fluctuating Water Pressure
When water pressure is inconsistent, don’t blame it on the city right away. It could be due to a busted water pipe in your house. As mentioned, pressure changes can overwhelm your pipes and cause damage to the fittings, creating unreliable water pressure.
2. Water Discolouration
A hidden burst water pipe will start corroding, even if you have PVC or PEX pipes. There will be microscopic rust particles in the water, giving a brownish tint to the water. This unhealthy biofilm allows bacteria to thrive.
3. Rotten Egg Smell
If you detect rotten egg odour, no matter how faint it may be, it should be a cause for concern. It’s often a sign of hydrogen sulphide leaking, the gas that can escape from the sewer lines and make its way to the inside of your home.
4. Puddles Under Sinks
You have tried your best to stop leaks under the sinks, but it’s like puddles always come back. Check the wall above the pipe cover plates. If you see damp spots, you have a burst water pipe.
5. Dripping Water Noises
Do you hear gurgling or hissing noises even when water isn’t running in the house? Usually, these noises are inside the walls. That’s water reacting to the inconsistent pressure. The sounds are often louder in small diameter piping.
5 Steps to Burst Pipe Repair
If you suspect that you have a burst water pipe, here are the things that you need to do:
1. Turn Off the Water Supply
One of the most important things you should do before you even begin cleaning up the leak is to stop the water flow. You may not directly locate a burst pipe, but turning off the water supply at the main shutoff valve will make it much easier.
You can then drain water and pressure by opening up all the taps. Remember that you should keep the water supply off at this point. It will also help speed up cleaning, so you do not have to keep removing puddles every hour or so.
If you’re dealing with a frozen pipe, you should also turn off your electricity, especially if you want to check or perform a simple burst pipe repair.
2. Call Perth Local Plumbing & Gas
Contact the most trusted plumbers in Perth to take care of your burst pipe problem. We recommend that you reach out to us as soon as you notice a broken pipe. This way, we can get to your location quickly and minimise the damage to your property.
When you hire us, we will send a licenced plumber to diagnose the cause and give you solutions immediately. You can then decide the best fix for your home according to your budget. It’s always a good idea to start the repair process right away to avoid other issues.
While waiting for our plumber to arrive, you can do the following steps below.
3. Wipe and Clean Any Leaks
If you find the leak, it’s time to mop up excess water. Don’t leave puddles on the floor, walls, or under the sinks so you don’t encourage mould and mildew to build up. Unfortunately, some water damage may be unavoidable in this situation. Nevertheless, if you clean up the water as soon as you spot them, you will less likely have troubles with irreparable damage.
Fast clean-up is the key, especially in avoiding mould and mildew growth. The quicker you clean and dry the area, the less chance for these substances to multiply. Make sure that you remove any of your possessions, so they don’t get wet.
4. Let Warm Air In
If the cause of your burst pipe is freezing, you need to keep them warm to present further damage. Thawing is easy by simply letting warm air into your home. All you need to do is turn the heat up in your home. Make sure that you do not change the temperatures drastically; otherwise, it can cause more issues.
If the pipe is exposed, you can use a hairdryer but set the heat to the minimum or medium heat. It may be a slow process, but it helps avoid any more breakage. Allow warm air to circulate by keeping doors and windows open.
5. Document the Damage
If there’s damage, always document it. This will help insurance claims less of a headache. Take photos of affected areas and continue doing so every step of the way. Don’t wait for your possessions to dry before you snap some pictures. A close-up photo of damaged items, including your water lines, will help your case.
You may also measure how high the water is, ensuring that you have photos at every angle. Don’t forget to provide pictures of the areas in your home where there is damage. You can turn the water back on for a few minutes so that you can document the leak on video.
Burst pipe repair should be done by a professional. Contact Perth Local Plumbing & Gas to fix or replace your busted water pipes. We offer emergency services if you require plumbing solutions after-hours. Our licenced plumbers will find the source of the leak and fix the burst pipe in your Perth home. Give us a call today!