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P.O. Box 4745
Logan, Utah 84323

What causes pipes to burst?

header Restore Pipe Systems

There are several reasons why pipes inside a home might become too stressed and burst, resulting in catastrophic flooding and damage for homeowners.

However, there are four leading causes of pipe bursts:

  • Water Pressure
  • Corrosion
  • Frozen Pipes
  • Moving Pipes
  • Let's go over some of the most prevalent causes and what to do if you find yourself with a burst pipe.


    What do you do if a pipe bursts in your house?

    Extremely Cold Temperatures

    When it comes to your home's water supply pipes, cold weather can be disastrous. Even though cold temperatures cause objects to compress, ice has a larger volume than water. Thus, when water freezes inside a pipe, it expands, increasing pressure inside the pipe. The accumulating pressure must be released, thus the pipe bursts. This can happen at a weak link in the pipe, but pressure can also burst right through the pipe wall.

    Turning on your faucets to allow a slow but continuous trickle of water to flow is one strategy to avoid water pipes from bursting during extreme cold. This will maintain the water flowing through the pipes and, more critically, prevent internal pressure from building up. Insulate exposed water supply pipes with foam pipe sleeves and keep the house temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid frozen pipes. Allow warm air to circulate pipes by opening cabinet doors beneath sinks. Consider contacting Restore Pipe Systems Service for assistance with winterizing your home.

    Movement / Water Hammer

    When water is turned on or off quickly, water pipes that aren't secured can move around inside the walls. If you've ever heard pipes rattling inside walls or floors, it's called a water hammer. The pipes move back and forth, gradually weakening the pipe's joints until one fail, allowing pressurized water to escape. The resulting damage can be devastating and costly.

    Water pressure issues

    Maintaining normal water pressure is critical for the correct operation of your water supply pipes. A burst pipe or a malfunctioning plumbing item, such as a faucet or toilet, can be caused by a significant rise in water pressure.

    The pipes will not contain the pressure as it rises, resulting in a rupture. You may check your water pressure by connecting a pressure gauge to a sink spout and turning on the faucet if you feel it is too high. The water pressure will be displayed in psi as the force moves the needle on the gauge (pounds per square inch). Most homes have water pressure of 30-50 psi, and it should not exceed 60 psi in most circumstances to avoid damage to pipes and plumbing fixtures. A plumber can install a pressure-reducing valve to lower your home's water pressure to safe levels if it is too high.


    Pipes are designed to survive a long time, and most of them have done so for many decades. That does not, however, imply that pipes will last perpetually.

    A pipe can sometimes fail because of years of sluggish corrosion. A pH imbalance in the water can cause decay, which starts as a minor issue but eventually takes its toll on water pipes. If you have hard water with galvanized iron water supply pipes, the minerals in the water gradually wear down the galvanized covering (which can cause deadly lead poisoning) and reveal the iron pipe beneath. Eventually, the iron rusts (iron oxide), and the pipe's diameter narrows to the point where water can hardly pass through. Your pipe could explode or simply block itself off, preventing water from flowing.


    Clogs, like ice buildup, can obstruct pipes and cause pressure to rise. The pipe is prone to burst if the pressure reaches too high. Hair, soap scum, bathroom products, food, and other items that wind up in a drain or toilet might clog it. If your sink or showers aren't draining correctly, you've got a clog on your hands. Call a plumber right away to clear the obstruction.


    The roots of a tree seek out moisture as it grows. Large trees near pipework will naturally be pulled to the water source, especially if there are leaks. In their search for water, roots may squeeze through even the tiniest of apertures. If they begin to permeate your pipe, it will only be a matter of time before the pipe bursts due to their development.

    Are you having problems with Pipe Bursting? Call Restore Pipe Systems! We will be there as soon as possible!

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