Broken Pipes: Causes and Symptoms

Broken Pipes Causes and Symptoms You Must Know

As a homeowner, you should be aware of the potential consequences of a leak. If left unrepaired, it can lead to wastewater, which promotes unwanted growth and odours in your house. However, avoiding this damage isn’t always easy (particularly for homes with little to no plumbing experience). 

One major reason for this is that much of the plumbing in your home is hidden, making it difficult to detect leaks. However, if you understand and recognise the ten most typical reasons for a leak, you can search for local plumber near me and contact plumber early and avoid a disaster.

1. Broken Seal

Not all plumbing is made out of metal pipes. A contractor will use rubber sealant around connections or areas like your dishwasher door while installing equipment to keep everything watertight. The sealing on your appliances can weaken and even crack over time as they age. You may have a cracked seal if you’ve seen condensation on your appliances or puddles surrounding them. 

2. Clogged Pipes

While a clog may not be an immediate concern, it can cause overflowing or bursting pipes. Pressure builds up behind the barrier, potentially causing structural damage. Furthermore, a clog containing corrosive elements, such as household chemicals, may exacerbate pipe damage. 

Installing hair traps and controlling what you let trickle down the rain will help prevent blockage in your pipes. Clogs can also be caused by air handler drain pans and gutters obstructions. Keep your gutters and HVAC system free of debris to avoid this.

3. Corrosion

Rust and other forms of corrosion can eat away at your home’s pipes as they age, eventually creating a hole for water to escape through. If your home is older and you are experiencing leaks, it may be time to upgrade. While brass pipes can endure up to 70 years, galvanised steel can break after 20 years. Corrosion can also occur in your pipes if your water’s pH and mineral content are out of balance. 

4. Incorrect Pipe Layering

A professional should always handle plumbing systems, especially in new residences. Many leaks that cause emergencies are caused by improper pipe laying. Because plumbing systems require water to flow against gravity, it is critical that pipes and connectors are properly installed and that backflow devices are employed as needed. If you feel your emergencies plumbing was installed incorrectly, we recommend contacting a qualified plumber to inspect your system. 

5. Damaged Pipe Joints

The joints of a pipe are one of the most vulnerable regions. Joints are responsible for routing water throughout your home and comprise curved pieces that attach to straight pipes on either side. 

Extreme temperatures and high water pressure can be hard on pipe joints over time, causing them to degrade. If your pipes are creating a ticking or banging noise (particularly when running hot water), you may have joint problems.

6. Underground Movements

Tree root growth, flooding, and even minor earthquakes can cause your pipes to shift. As the ground shifts, your pipes may twist, bend, fracture, or detach completely, resulting in underground leaks. Underground movements (or shifted joinery) could be the cause of delayed drainage or water supply problems. To avoid costly problems, look for local plumber near me and call a plumber to inspect and maintain your subterranean pipelines.

7. High Water Pressure

High water pressure feels great in the shower, but the harder your water strikes the interior of your pipes, the more likely there will be leaks. Improper pressure can lead pipelines to burst in extreme circumstances. Most pipelines and faucets can only tolerate 60 psi of water pressure. If you’re worried about pressure or have detected leaks, have a licenced plumber test it and make any necessary modifications. 

8. Tree Roots

Most common water leaks begin outside the property rather than inside. Tree roots can clog water lines, allowing moisture to infiltrate your yard. If you detect any wet areas in your yard, sinkholes, a sudden loss in water pressure, or trees growing too close to your house, you should have a plumber inspect them for encroaching roots.

9. Loose Water Connection

Hoses and pipelines that supply water to your appliances can sometimes become loose. It is frequently caused by shifting or movement and might result in a leak. For example, due to vibration during the spin cycle, your washing machine hose may spring a leak. If you see water pouring directly from the supply line or puddles accumulating around the appliances, you most likely have a loose or faulty water connector.  

10. Fixture Cracks

If you detect leaks, a tap or the pipes directly connected to it may have developed cracks. It is usually caused by a physical impact, such as a person stumbling and catching themself on the tap. It can also happen out of sight (for example, behind a sink) as a result of items being driven into the cupboard repeatedly. If you discover any damage to a fixture or its surrounding pipes, you should contact a plumber as soon as possible.

How to Spot a Broken Pipe?

While a large water leak is the most visible indicator of a busted pipe, there are symptoms of a burst pipe that homeowners may discover before major water damage occurs. 

1. Water Mark

Watermarks on surfaces such as walls and ceilings indicate that a pipe has burst. These areas are usually darker than the surrounding surface and feel colder and mushy when touched. Furthermore, paint and other coatings frequently expand due to the water accumulated from the broken pipe.

In these circumstances, the broken pipes are frequently buried beneath cement or behind plaster boards, making replacement difficult and costly. Burst pipes, on the other hand, can cause serious structural damage if left untreated.

Watermarks can sometimes be left over from a prior water intrusion. Make a note of where your watermark finishes if you’re not sure if it’s new. If it begins to grow, you’ll know it’s due to a freshwater leak.

2. Puddle Formation

This is one of the most obvious symptoms of a water leak. However, puddles can appear far from the source of the leak. It is rarely a problem because a pool generated by a leak is usually the result of an emergency or evident pipe burst.

Water from burst pipes can collect in places where pipes are exposed, such as under sinks. These puddles may spread to other locations, such as the kitchen floor.

If you detect any puddles in or around your home, you should immediately inspect them. Even if you don’t see an immediate problem, it’s possible that you haven’t identified the cause of the problem.

You might notice a puddle in your basement, for example. This puddle could have been caused by a burst pipe one or two levels above that spilt into the basement. Small pools should not be ignored because they can signify a significant problem.

3. Water Sound 

You could be at home alone, with taps and showers shut off. But there’s something wrong when you hear a drip. You close your eyes to pinpoint the noise source, which can sometimes be difficult.

Damaged pipes are the most common cause of that dripping sound. It is due to water dripping from pipes, accumulating and producing puddles. People commonly locate a burst pipe by tracing the source of the sound.

It’s worth noting that clanging pipes don’t necessarily indicate a problem. It could simply be the sound of hot water running through your system. As a result, wait to start ripping down your walls until you’re certain you have a burst pipe!

4. Fungi Growth

Mould and mushrooms thrive in damp, dark environments. Fungal growth in specific house locations, such as under the sink, may signal a faulty pipe. The fungi can get the water they need to grow from the busted pipe.

They frequently grow on wooden surfaces and feed on wood. Unfortunately, water pouring from burst pipes can cause fungal growth and damage furnishings permanently.

Algae also thrive in damp environments but require sunlight to develop well. As a result, wet surfaces inside a house, such as wet walls, may be adequate to support algae growth.

5. Fluctuating Water Pressure

Water escapes through the holes in burst pipes before reaching the intended exit point, such as a tap. As a result, water frequently arrives at the tap with less pressure than anticipated. As a result, some fixtures may continue to function regularly, while those damaged by the ruptured pipes may emit little to no water. It all depends on the severity of the injury. 

Water leaking is typically accompanied by fluctuating water pressure. As changing water pressure is generally associated with the other indicators on this list, it is one of the more noticeable signs. Burst pipes are also easier to locate since the low-pressure line attached to the fixture may be easily tracked back.

6. Water Bill 

Water pressure varies, and you’re consuming less water than ever. Despite the low water usage, the water bill is rising faster.

It means water leaks out of the system before it can be used. The damaged pipe can be easily located if changing water pressure is noted.

However, if your water costs are excessively high yet the water pressure appears constant in all fixtures, you should Google local plumber near me as soon as possible. Even if there are no other visible indicators of a damaged pipe, fixing the issue before it grows too large to handle is preferable.

Why Hire Your Local Plumbing to Fix Broken Pipes?

Entrusting broken pipes to your local plumbing pros can be your best decision for a quick and efficient broken pipe fixing solution. Our knowledge, responsiveness, and acquaintance with local infrastructure make them useful. We treat  broken pipes precisely, minimising damage and interruption from diagnosis to repair. Choosing our expert knowledge offers a dependable and speedy response to plumbing difficulties, protecting your property and effortlessly restoring performance.

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