Burst Pipes: Causes and Prevention

Prevent Burst Pipes, So They Don’t Disrupt Holiday Gatherings

No one wants to deal with a pipe bursting. This kind of plumbing emergency can ruin any holiday event or even a quiet evening at home. While frozen pipes are a common cause of burst pipes, age, corrosion, and stubborn clogs can also cause a pipe to break. This blog will discuss the causes of pipe bursts and some tips to help prevent them.

Avoid Pipes Freezing With Pipe Insulation

freezingEveryone knows that water freezes at 32℉/0℃, and unlike most liquids, water actually expands due to its crystalline structure when it freezes. This presents a danger when pipes freeze. When the weather gets cold, the water in exposed pipes can freeze and then expand, putting a strain on the line and possibly causing it to burst. Pipes exposed in unfinished basements and crawl spaces are the most vulnerable to the dropping temperatures outdoors. The best way to prevent pipes from freezing is by installing pipe insulation.  There are two main types of pipe insulation: foam and fiberglass. 

  • Foam Pipe Insulation: This is a foam tube (think pool noodle) with a split down one side. It comes in various diameters according to the size of the pipe it insulates. The foam slides over and secures the line like a bun surrounding a hot dog. A special tape is then used to seal the open side. It is easy to use and can be installed relatively quickly.
  • Fiberglass Pipe Insulation: This insulation is very similar to the insulation put on the walls of most homes. It comes in the form of a tape roll and has a metallic backing instead of the paper typically used in attics and walls. It is also suitable for directly under sinks where the pipes tend to have a lot of bends.

Avoid Corrosion and Slow Decay

corrosionWhen a pipe ages, it is often subject to corrosion, another cause of burst pipes. Corrosion is the breaking down of a material, typically metals, through chemical reactions or environmental interactions. Pipes may corrode for several reasons, including the following events:

  • Metal-to-metal contact
  • Loose fittings
  • Chemical drain cleaners
  • Inappropriately disposed chemical waste

A particular culprit of corrosion that homeowners can easily avoid is the liquid drain cleaner. They may be able to clear a clog, but they should be avoided because they usually end up doing more harm than good. The chemicals in them can corrode and worsen the conditions of a home’s pipes, leading them to burst.

Avoid Clogs

Clogs are a problem that almost every homeowner has dealt with in the past. They are one of the most common, and usually one of the easiest for plumbers to handle, plumbing issues. However, they can lead to much worse plumbing emergencies like a burst pipe if left untreated. 

Thankfully, professionals offer drain cleaning services that can clear an existing clog, keep a clog from growing too large and causing significant damage, or prevent clogs from forming in the first place. So to avoid clogs that can lead to pipe bursts, homeowners should have their pipes regularly maintained with drain cleaning.

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has dependable plumbers serving Somerset, MA, and the surrounding areas for over 15 years. They provide straightforward pricing, same-day services, and the latest technology. Call them today for drain cleaning or burst pipe repair in Somerset, MA