Mint Plumbing & Heating

Burst Water Pipes Cause & Prevention

M: 07763 801818
T: 01737 352962

Helping get the most out of your plumbing...

What causes a burst water pipe?

It is still the case that the majority of household water pipes are made from copper, which you would think would be quite durable, however, they are still prone to leaks. But how, you would think that a metal pipe would be able to withstand a lot or a very long time without cracks appearing in it? That is correct, but a lot depends on the water that is running through the pipe and leaks can start to appear even after only a few years of use.

So what actually causes these leaks?

The two main causes for burst pipes and leaks are internal corrosion & high water pressure - Corrosion is the act of a gradual destruction of the surface by a chemical reaction and in this case the reaction would be caused by the acidity of the water. Water that is very acidic will definitely cause corrosion, however on the opposite side, alkaline water will cause a limescale build up in the pipes.

However, this limescale build up can actually decrease your chances of pinhole leaks as the limescale acts as a kind of internal coating whereas the acidic water starts to wear away the pipe’s internal coating very quickly therefore decreasing its strength and longevity.

That’s one cause of burst pipes, but another is water pressure.

It is important that the diameter of the pipes should be roughly matched to the pressure of the water going into them. If the diameter is too small then the pressure will increase which causes excess strain on the pipe and over time this strain will just become too much for the pipes to handle and then cracks will start to appear. The higher the water pressure, the wider the pipe should be.

In freezing cold weather pipes can obviously freeze and if the water that is inside of the pipe freezes up that's when then blockages can occur, and like the limescale build up it can result in more water pressure than the pipe can handle.

So, those are the most common causes of pipes developing leaks. Corrosion is definitely more common with older pipes, so if you have just had some plumbing work done and you notice a leak then it is most likely down to poor quality workmanship.

Be prepared this winter and don’t let the weather beat you to it,
give us a call now on 01737 352962 / 07763 801818

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