ERM Plumbing & Heating

January 6, 2023

Are you in a plumbing nightmare? You know, the kind of situation where you walk into your bathroom and hear a loud noise coming from the walls? Well, you could be dealing with a burst pipe—the bane of any homeowner's existence! 

When you least expect it, these pesky little things can wreak havoc in your home, causing serious damage and costing you a fortune in repairs. But, what’s the real cause of burst pipes? Why, of all things, do they have to burst? 

Nobody likes dealing with a burst pipe, but it’s important to understand why these plumbing disasters occur in the first place. In this article, we’ll be breaking down the different causes of burst pipes, so you can prepare and prevent them from happening in the future. From faulty plumbing to extreme weather, we’re covering it all!

The Common Culprits Behind Burst Pipes in Canada

1. Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the most common causes of burst pipes in Canada. When temperatures drop and water inside the pipes freeze, the water expands and increases the pressure on the pipes, eventually bursting at its weakest joint.

The most important thing to remember is to turn your faucets on slowly during cold weather. This will keep water moving through the pipes and prevent pressure buildup, which can cause pipes to freeze. Doing this will also ensure that any water that is present in the pipes can flow freely, and won't be trapped and freeze.

Another effective way to prevent freezing pipes is to insulate exposed pipes with a pipe sleeve. Pipe sleeves are readily available at most hardware stores, and are relatively inexpensive. This will help keep the pipes warm and prevent them from freezing.

2. Excessive Water Pressure

When the pressure in a water system is too high, it can cause pipes to become overstressed and eventually burst. This is especially true when the pressure is too high in an old or poorly maintained plumbing system.

With that in mind, it's important to check your water pressure regularly to ensure it is within the manufacturer’s recommended range, which is between 45 to 55 psi. If the pressure is too high, it can cause damage to your pipes, fixtures and appliances. High water pressure can also reduce the lifespan of your water heater, washing machine and dishwasher, and increase your energy bills.

If you suspect your water pressure is too high, you should contact a licensed plumber to check it. A plumber can install a pressure regulator to reduce the pressure and protect your pipes from bursting.

3. Old Pipes

Whether you live in an older home or a newer one, you may have pipes that are over a decade old, and these pipes can become prone to bursting over time. As the pipes age, they become more prone to cracking and splitting, which can lead to water leakage or a pipe burst.

If you live in an older home, it’s important to get your pipes checked regularly to ensure they’re in good condition. If you notice any discolouration, cracking, or corrosion, it’s important to get the problem fixed as soon as possible to prevent a potential pipe burst.

4. Clogs

Clogs can be caused by a variety of things, including hair, grease, and other debris that accumulates in the pipes over time. When these clogs become large enough, they can restrict the flow of water and cause pressure to build up in the pipes. This pressure can eventually cause the pipes to burst.

By taking the time to inspect and clear your pipes of any potential clogs, you can help to prevent burst pipes and save yourself the hassle and expense of dealing with the damage.

5. Tree Roots

Every year, water mains, sewer lines, and other underground pipes are damaged due to tree roots encroaching on them. This can be a major problem, as the roots can cause a complete blockage of the pipes, resulting in pressure buildup and a burst pipe.

The trees themselves are not the problem, but rather their roots. As trees grow, their roots spread out in search of water, nutrients, and oxygen. If a tree root is near a pipe, it can easily grow around the pipe and penetrate it, causing a blockage. 

As water pressure builds up, it can force the pipe to burst. If you do find tree roots near your pipes, call a professional to help remove them.

The Bottom Line: The Importance of Knowing the Causes Behind Burst Pipes

Pipes are an essential part of any home, but they can also be a major source of trouble if they burst. Burst pipes can cause serious damage to your home, leading to costly repairs or even a complete rebuild. This is why it's important to understand the common causes of burst pipes and take steps to prevent them.

By recognising the common culprits behind burst pipes in Canada, you can take steps to prevent them and keep your home safe.

If you are looking for plumbing services in Calgary, look no further than ERM Plumbing & Heating. We have the experience and knowledge to handle all of your plumbing needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services and to get started on your next plumbing project.

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