Reasons Why Water Pipes Burst?

Breaking water pipes is a prevalent plumbing issue for homeowners and industrialists. A plumbing network or the meshwork of supply pipes can burst without notice in a house or industry. Busting of the piping system leads to a significant improvement that needs the care of a qualified plumber. Water supply pipes are meant to endure a substantial amount of force, resist such bursting in all conditions. Bursting of piping is often the outcome of a meaningful level of fundamental damage. Here are critical common problems of rupture of the piping system:

Freezing of water present in the pipeline:

Particularly in winter, icing temperatures, i.e., below -4 degrees Celsius, can seldom dominate the water. At such low temperatures, water typically turns into a solid, whereby blocks the water flow. The substantial amount of stress accumulates at the blockage point due to the increased ice volume in this situation; pipes force the ice apart and tear. As a result, the water accumulates due to blockage in the piping system and leaks until appropriate repairs.

Old Pipework:

Pipes have a specific working life, whether they are of metal, plastic, or fibre. In short, they are designed for a limited period depending on its exposure and climate conditions. Several pipes that can work effectively for 20 years and beyond. These pipes show structural degradation and fail to withstand water pressure. Metallic pipes, when they come in contact with corrosion with time, they often get brittle. Also, plastic pipes often become brittle and result in breaking at the smallest pressure. Pipe corrosion is prevalent in copper-based water supply piping systems.

External pressure and forces:

When water pipes are subjected to external pressure, most of them show changes in its properties. The pressure may be from tree roots, and underground piping systems receive pressure after passing vehicles from the road or even construction machinery digging the ground. All such forces tend to compress the pipes ahead of their structural boundaries. The pressure causes either cracking or bursting of pipes and thereby leading to leakages. Finding such underground leakages is a hectic task and needs a professional plumber for repair as well.


Blocking or clogging is a significant problem of the piping system that consequently ends with bursting. Clogs on water pipes are due to the accumulation of minerals that solidify on the pipes’ interior surfaces with time. Some clogs can also happen in circumstances where the water takes solid material such as debris. Massive clogs’ development blocks water downstream, leading to incredible pressure on the piping system. Such clogged pipe can immediately go through cracking or bursting and ends with leakages.

Extreme pressure of water:

Water pipes are capable of withstanding a specific level of water pressure. The limit of such force is usually denoted in a technical specification also labelled on each pipe. When more water volume goes through a pipe, the water pipe crosses its boundaries set for pressure carrying capacity. It happens when the pipe shows the presence of a narrow diameter and supplies more water. The thin diameter and more volume create pressure on the piping, and when the limit exceeds, it results in bursting.

Ground expeditions:

Underground, movements create extreme changes in pipes. Several forces act on the pipe, and it results in bursting. Earthquakes, earthmovers, and tremors produce actions that affect the underground piping system. When the ground slightly moves due to natural incidences, such as sliding and heavy flood, it affects piping work, and they burst. During these events, ground pipework exposes to extreme forces and results in the bursting of pipes.

Inaccurate Pipework and Layering:

Accurate piping work requires a professional plumber. Because improper plumbing creates pressure on the pipes and blocks or damages the piping system, it is essential to ensure the pipe diameter, flow volume, and pipes’ pressure. Improper arrangements may lead to the breaking of the plumbing system.

Incorrect attachments:

Pipe connections are possibly the most exposed points of the complete pipework. When pipe connections are weak and improper, it immediately bursts even after applying slightly increased pressure. So, it is essential to form firm attachments to prevent piping issues.

Expansion of water molecule:

Water is a unique and mysterious liquid that shows the constant movement of molecules. Water molecules such as hydrogen and oxygen move with very little space in between. When the temperature goes down below the freezing point, these molecules change drastically. These particles form a robust bond and restrict movement and produce a more defined structure. These structures then require more space between them and increase pressure, which ends with the tearing of pipes.

In short, the bursting of water pipes is a common issue that happens due to improper pipework and unequal water pressure. It is also essential to avoid such events as they may cut off water flow and result in massive damage.

Related Post

Reasons Why Water Pipes Burst?

by Piping Mart time to read: 3 min