Two things that can cause a pipe to burst

Dealing with a burst pipe can be an incredibly upsetting experience; the stress of watching water flood your property, coupled with the expense of hiring an emergency plumber to repair the damage, is enough to overwhelm even the calmest of people. This is why it's crucial to learn about the things that can lead to a pipe bursting and to do what you can to prevent such things from happening. Read on to find out more about this subject.


Allowing hair, grime, food particles and grease to enter your home's drains can create a blockage. This can then result in water pressure building up inside your plumbing pipes. If the blockage is not dealt with, the pressure may eventually reach a point where it causes the pipe to burst open.

If you want to stop this from occurring, it's vital to address blockages as soon as you spot them. If you notice that your toilet's water levels are unusually high, or that your sink is slow to drain, emitting a pungent, unpleasant odour or making gurgling noises, use either a chemical unblocking liquid or a plunger to remove the clog from your pipes. Both of these options are effective at removing minor blockages. However, it's generally best to try using a plunger before putting chemicals into your plumbing system, as the latter are extremely abrasive and could corrode your pipes and eventually cause them to burst.

If the blockage is very large and cannot be dislodged using the above-mentioned methods, then you might need to use a drain snake to remove it. This is a piece of flexible metal wire that, when pushed into a pipe and twisted around, will grasp the materials that are causing the blockage and carry them out of the pipe as it is retracted.

A frozen pipe

When the temperatures drop, the water in your home's pipes can end up freezing. Due to the fact that water increases in size when it converts to ice, this process may result in additional pressure being placed on a pipe; this, in turn, may result in the pipe bursting.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent this from happening. Firstly, make sure to insulate the areas of your home where exposed pipes are located. Placing some loose-fill cellulose fibre or mineral wool in your loft, basement and garage will help to increase the room temperature in these parts of your property and thus reduce the chance of pipes freezing. Additionally, you may want to wrap these exposed pipes in electrical heating tape.

If you intend to leave your property for more than a few days during the winter months, it's also a good idea to leave the heating on for the duration of your absence. Whilst this may seem like a waste of money, the truth is that it could actually save you a great deal of cash (and stress) in the long-run, by keeping your plumbing system warm enough to prevent its pipes from cracking and causing water damage to your home and your possessions.

For more information about pipes or for help if your pipes do burst, contact an emergency plumber in your area, such as those at Sam's Local Plumbing.