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Why Do Pipes Burst?

14 July

Having a burst pipe is a nightmare for many homeowners in Australia. The dread of losing valuable property and cost of repairs are reasons to be concerned about pipes bursting in your homes.

Keep reading if you want to know why, how and what to do when there’s a plumbing issue caused by a burst pipe.

Why Do Pipes Burst?

A Pipe can burst open for many different reasons. The most common reason water pipes burst is rust in the case of metal pipes.

Metal pipes tend to corrode over time and become weak as water surges on the walls, which in most cases lead to bursting. Poor installation and hard water are other factors that also contribute to pipes breaking.

Pump problems cause surge flow which leads to high-pressure buildups in valves and pipelines or causes disasters to the plumbing systems in your homes.

What Is The Normal Water Pressure For Your Home?

The maximum water pressure for residential buildings in Australia is 550 kPa. If you are not satisfied with the water pressure in your house, you can choose to increase it.

When adjusting the water pressure, you have to be careful not to damage other appliances. Warranty on appliances damaged due to increased water pressure may become void.

Homes with water-wells as their source of water supply tend to suffer low water pressure. If the water pressure is low, get a plumbing company to check and service the components. You may need to have a new constant pressure system installed in your plumbing system.

To find out if the water pressure in your homes is high, all you need to do is observe. In cases where the water running in your taps seem to have too much force, then the water pressure is high. Damaged appliances and leaking taps are also signs of high water pressure.

Preventing Burst Pipes

Let’s go back a bit and understand why water pipes burst in the first place.

Pipes bursting is often caused by pressure buildup in pipelines or channels that are not eased. Now, most valves are rigid because they are either metallic or PVC and can withstand pressure. On the other hand, the materials used for flexible pipes are made from rubber and is not as sturdy as other pipe materials.

Quality of materials and skill of the plumber

The first thing you have to do is go for pipes of the best quality. Low-quality pipes fail faster than those of high quality. Also, damaged pipes can’t withstand the pressure of flowing water for a long duration.

The experience and skill of the plumber also have a role to play in preventing pipe burst. So if you want to avoid bursts, you must go for high-quality products and skilful plumbers.

How to Prevent Flexible Pipes from Bursting

There are two main reasons why the flexible pipes or hoses in our houses bursts are water pressure and weak points in pipelines.

Flexible pipes develop weak points as they go through manufacture, transportation and installation. The weak points are micro holes which cause leakages and usually develop during installation.

The leaks often cause the flexible connection pipes to bursts. Plumbing services recommend that you always check for leaks in flexible pipes like those under the kitchen sink to prevent them from bursting.

Flexible pipes don’t last as long other pipes. Most last for about five years, while some can last up to 10 years. You should check the flexible pipes in your homes for signs of wears and tears even if it’s not up to the expiry date.

What to Do When You Have a Burst Pipe at Home

Shut the water off

The first step is to turn off the water supply immediately. Leaving the water running can cause damage to your property. Turning off your water supply is important, so water doesn’t get to your sockets and cause fatal accidents.

Open your Taps

The reason pipes burst is because of pressure buildup in the channels and opening your taps eases that pressure.

It would help if you started with the cold water taps first. After draining the cold water taps, turn off the heating system and drain the hot taps too.

Clean up and call your plumber

Remove the water by mopping it up to prevent other things in your house from water damage. Call your plumber so they can fix the pipes, and prevent further damage. Professional plumbers will inspect, find the cause, fix and put in measures to prevent a reoccurrence.

What Are Possible Causes Of Burst Pipes Leading You To Call An Emergency Plumber?


Blockages in pipes are the most common cause of pipes bursting.

stop the flow of water, which causes pressure buildup in pipelines. The pressure buildup expands the pipes and eventually causing them to burst.

If you have a main pipe burst, it is best to call a plumber immediately. Further delay may lead to irreparable damage to property. It can even put you and your family out of your home for a while.

Damaged mains can leave an area without a supply of water, so fix them immediately they burst.

Poor Workmanship

Asides pressure in pipes, shoddy workmanship is a leading cause of burst pipes. Pipes get damaged from botched installation to mishandling and sub-par workmanship.

It is best if you always get qualified and experienced plumbers when installing your pipes.

Wear and tear

Pipes wear over time and lose their strength. If you notice tear signs on your pipes, call your plumber immediately to have it fixed. Worn out pipes can cause leaks and burst anytime.

You may suffer damage to property if you are not home when a pipe breaks, so regularly inspecting the pipes in your home is a good habit.

Tree roots

Tree roots can burst pipes, so before installing pipes, get an expert and inspect nearby trees. Water pipes are very sturdy, but they may have tiny cracks where roots enter from and grow, causing them to burst.

What damage do burst pipes cause?

Structural Damage

Structural damage is the most significant damage done when pipes burst in a building. It weakens the load-bearing elements of buildings, therefore endangering the life of occupants. Ignoring or not properly attending to pipe breakages can result in loss of property and life.

Loss of property

Asides structural damage, you can lose important things to the excess water flowing. The floor finishes are also damaged alongside the structural components.


Pipe bursts can be an unpleasant sight for homeowners. But you can prevent most cases of pipe burst by proper maintenance and using good grade pipes.

Professional plumbing and quality pipes will keep you from losing money and property. Be sure that a qualified and experienced plumbing company handles your plumbing.

At the Gold Coast Plumbing Company, we offer you the best plumbing service around with skilled and experienced plumbers. Book your Burst Pipe and Water Leak Repair now and enjoy the best quality of service.

For more plumbing tips from Gold Coast Plumbing Company, check out our blog here.