As far as plumbing problems go, things don’t get much worse than burst pipes. All of your pipes are under pressure, so when one bursts, pressurized water starts exploding out, soaking and damaging everything in its vicinity. We offer 24/7 emergency plumbing in Winnipeg, so if your pipes burst, give us a call right away, and we’ll come to the rescue. This article is going to explore what causes pipes to burst, and what to do if they do. Before we go on, if your pipe has burst, turn off the water immediately. Shutting off the power may also be prudent.
What Causes Pipes To Burst
There are a lot of different things that can cause pipes to burst. The most common for us here in Winnipeg is that the water in them becomes frozen. Ice takes up more volume than water, so the frozen water expands, creating more pressure than the pipes are built to handle and this pressure can cause them to burst. This problem can be exacerbated by the next issue we’re going to talk about.
That “next issue” is worn out, old pipes. Pipes are rated to handle a certain amount of water pressure, but over time, your pipes’ joints can begin to weaken. This wear and tear is common in all kinds of mechanics, aided by the constant buffering by water and any corrosives found in the water. When they are too weak, they will often begin to leak before they burst, so it’s a good idea to keep your eye on your water supply.
Pipes that aren’t properly secured will be more likely to grow weak over time due to an effect called water hammer. In brief, water hammer is when water pressure causes unsecured pipes to sway back and forth, which will eventually cause the joints to buckle.
What To Do About Burst Pipes
We’ll say it again: shut off your water. Once that’s done, it’s a good idea to run a faucet in order to clear excess water out of the system. You’ll want to shut off the electricity if the water is anywhere near wires. The next step, of course, is to call us so we can fix the breach. We’ll also investigate to see what caused the pipe to burst; you may need a new set of pipes altogether, or you may simply need us to repair the affected section. We’ll give you some tips on how to avoid having pipes bursting in the future, as well.
Before we arrive, it’s a good idea to get a mop and bucket and start cleaning up the water that’s bound to be all over the place. You’ll also want to take time to assess the damages. Hopefully, your insurance covers damages caused by burst pipes (remember, though, that frozen pipes are often not covered unless you meet a number of conditions). We’ll be there really quickly, but don’t worry – clean as much as you can before we arrive.