Burst water pipes can cause significant water damage in residential properties, transforming a peaceful dwelling into a site of plumbing chaos. This disruption creates a sense of panic and an immediate need for resolution, often resulting in a frantic call to emergency plumbing services. 

This is one of the most common plumbing emergencies that homeowners face. It can be a daunting experience, with the sudden rush of water causing havoc and the affected area rapidly turning into an indoor pool. The urgency to stop the water flow and limit damage to the property becomes the top priority.

But why do pipes burst? This is an important question that every homeowner should understand to prevent such a situation from occurring. Understanding the causes behind burst pipes plays a crucial role in proactive maintenance and in making informed decisions about the care of your home’s plumbing system. It’s not just about reacting to the problem; it’s about knowing how to prevent it. 

Join us as we examine the causes of pipe bursts and offer insights into how our everyday water usage can impact the longevity and functionality of our plumbing infrastructure.

The Role of Water Pressure

Water pressure plays a crucial role in why pipes burst. Normal water pressure allows water to flow smoothly through your plumbing system. However, high water pressure in your water pipes could lead to plumbing problems, including burst water pipes.


Excessive water pressure can stress plumbing pipes, causing them to weaken over time. It’s like a water hammer effect, where the high pressure from the flowing water can be too strong for the pipes to handle, leading to burst pipes. Regularly monitoring your home’s water pressure can help prevent these plumbing issues. If the water pressure is too high, a licensed plumber can install a pressure reducer to bring the water pressure to a safe level.

Corrosion, Clogs, and Tree Roots

Corrosion: A Silent Threat to Water Pipes

Corrosion is a common yet often overlooked reason for pipes bursting. Over time, water pipes, especially made of metal such as copper, may corrode due to the constant interaction with water. 

This degradation process weakens the pipes’ integrity, increasing the likelihood of a bursting pipe. Damaged pipes due to corrosion are a common issue in residential buildings, leading to the need for pipe replacement or extensive repairs when a water pipe bursts.

The Impact of Clogs on Water Pressure

Clogs or blockages in your pipes are another significant cause of pipe bursting. These can occur due to a build-up of minerals or small objects lodged in places like the kitchen sink or shower drain


When a pipe is blocked, the water pressure increases due to the restricted water flow. This increase in pressure can place undue stress on the pipes, leading to a bursting pipe if not addressed promptly.

Tree Roots: An Unseen Cause of Burst Pipes

Tree roots are a less obvious but surprisingly common cause of burst pipes, especially in residential buildings with extensive greenery. As tree roots grow, they can invade your underground water pipes, searching for water. This invasion can cause the pipes to crack and eventually burst. 

If you notice a sudden increase in your water bill or signs of water leaks, this might be due to tree roots interfering with your plumbing system. It’s crucial to seek professional help immediately to address this issue and prevent further damage from a potential water pipe burst.

Poor Installation and Lack of Maintenance

Poor installation is a key factor leading to burst pipes. Improperly installed plumbing can place undue stress on the pipes, potentially causing them to burst over time. 

If the pipes are not correctly aligned or the joints are not adequately sealed, the system’s overall integrity can be compromised, leading to a higher likelihood of bursting. Regular checks and maintenance by professional plumbers can help detect small leaks, leaking taps, and other early signs of a potential pipe burst.


The Role of Maintenance in Plumbing Health

On the other hand, lack of regular maintenance can also contribute to pipes bursting. Regular maintenance not only includes fixing apparent issues like leaks but also involves inspecting the overall health of the pipes. This could mean checking for signs of corrosion, assessing the water pressure, and ensuring no blockages.

Insulation can also protect your pipes from extreme heat, especially if exposed to direct sunlight, and prevent thermal expansion from causing damage. Similarly, for hot water pipes, insulation can help maintain the water temperature, reducing the energy required to heat the water and reducing the stress on the pipes caused by extreme temperature differences.

Secure Your Plumbing System

Understanding the causes behind pipe bursts is a significant step towards preventing these plumbing emergencies. Proper maintenance, water pressure monitoring, and professional assistance are vital in keeping your plumbing system in optimal condition.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. If you suspect any plumbing issue, it’s crucial to call upon a reputable plumber immediately. Don’t wait for a burst pipe to wreak havoc in your home and cause expensive damage to your property and possessions. Be proactive and maintain the health of your pipes.

Burst pipes can occur anywhere, from the pipes under your kitchen sink to the water supply line for your shower. Being prepared and knowledgeable about the causes can help prevent such incidents from ruining your day.

Don’t let the fear of plumbing emergencies like burst pipes keep you up at night. With some knowledge and the aid of experienced professionals, you can prevent such disasters.

If you’re in the Brisbane area and need reliable, expert plumbing services, don’t hesitate to contact The Brisbane Plumbers for all your plumbing needs. They are experienced in handling all plumbing issues, including preventing and repairing burst pipes. Keep your plumbing system in top shape with your professional local plumber at The Brisbane Plumbers.

Burst Pipe FAQs

What are the common causes of a burst water pipe?

The common causes of a burst water pipe include freezing temperatures, wear and tear, water hammer, poor installation, lack of regular maintenance, corrosion in metal pipes like copper pipes, blockages, and thermal expansion. External factors such as tree roots invading underground pipes can also lead to a burst pipe.

Why do burst pipes occur more often in metal and plastic pipes?

Burst pipes occur more frequently in metal pipes like copper due to corrosion over time, weakening their structure. Plastic pipes can become brittle due to extremely cold temperatures or warm air, causing expansion and making them susceptible to bursting.

What should I do if I have a burst pipe in my home?

If you have a burst pipe, the first step is to turn off the main water supply to prevent further water damage. Then, call an experienced plumber immediately to repair the broken pipe. It’s also essential to document the damage for insurance purposes.

How can I prevent water pipes from bursting?

To prevent burst water pipes, insulate exposed pipes and plumbing leading outside to protect against freezing temperatures. Keep the heat on in your home, even when away. Consider installing a pressure-reducing valve and inspecting pipes regularly for signs of corrosion or wear and tear. Routine plumbing maintenance is also recommended.

What can I do if I suspect my pipes are blocked?

If you suspect your pipes are blocked, it’s best to call a professional plumber. They can use specialized tools to diagnose and resolve the issue without causing further damage. Attempting to fix a blocked pipe yourself could lead to a burst pipe.