Why Do Pipes Burst

  • William Demirdonder
  • December 26, 2020
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Why Do Pipes Burst?

What causes pipes to burst? There are a number of potential reasons why pipes inside a home can experience too much stress and break open, causing major flooding and damage problems for homeowners. But there are four chief causes of burst pipes:

  • Frozen Pipes
  • Moving Pipes
  • Water Pressure
  • Corrosion

Let’s review some of the common causes and go over the steps to take when you encounter a pipe that has burst.

Extremely cold temperatures

Cold weather can cause serious issues when it affects the water supply pipes in your home. Although cold temperatures generally cause things to contract, ice has more volume than water so when water freezes inside a pipe, it expands and increases pressure inside the pipe. The built up pressure needs to escape so it literally bursts right out of the pipe. This sometimes occurs at a weak joint in the pipe, but pressure can burst right out the side of the pipe wall.

Movement / Water Hammer

If water pipes aren’t secured, they can sometimes move around inside the walls whenever water is suddenly turned on or off. If you’ve ever heard pipes clanging inside walls or floors, it’s called a water hammer. The pipes move back and forth and gradually can weaken joints in the pipe until one fails and allows pressurised water to escape the pipe. The resulting damage can be catastrophic and expensive.

Water Pressure Issues

Maintaining normal water pressure is vital for your water supply pipes to function properly. A significant increase in the water pressure can lead to a burst pipe or a failed plumbing fixture such as a faucet or toilet. As pressure increases, the pipes won’t be able to contain it, causing a rupture.


Pipes are meant to last a long time and the vast majority of them provide many decades of reliable service. However, that doesn’t mean pipes will last indefinitely. Sometimes years of slow-building corrosion will cause a pipe to fail. Corrosion can be caused by a pH imbalance in the water, a minor issue at first that over time becomes more takes its toll on water pipes

What to do if you have a burst pipe?

At Proximity Plumbing, we have been helping Sydney locals with emergency plumbing problems such as burst pipes for over 10 years. We offer an immediate response at any time of the day or night. If you have a plumbing emergency call us now.

    1 reply on “Why Do Pipes Burst”

    I didn’t know that especially cold temperatures can eventually cause your pipes to burst. My wife and I have noticed that our basement has started to flood ever since one of our pipes burst during a storm last night. We should find an emergency plumber that can help us take care of our issue.

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