Unless they live in a tropical climate, most people understand that a burst pipe in the winter can be a pretty common event, although it can be avoided in many cases. However, you might not know that you can also experience a burst pipe in the summer. Here are the various causes for both summer and winter pipe issues.
- Summer – Water doesn’t just flow through the pipes of your home. There is pressure involved that is not just keeping the water going, but is also exerting force on the pipes themselves. If your home’s pipes are not in the best condition, this pressure can result in a burst pipe. The three main causes to look for if you want to avoid a burst pipe are rusty pipes, hard water, and poor pipe installation. Rust degrades the pipes over time, making them vulnerable to bursting, so you should replace any that show excessive rust. This is for older pipes, as most homes have PVC or other non-corroding materials. Hard water is also hard on pipes, causing holes and weakening over time. Installing a water softener can help avoid this problem. As for poor installation, look at connections that appear to be poorly joined. If you notice discolored water or lower-than-normal water pressure, it is a good idea to call a plumber, as a burst pipe may be imminent.
- Winter – Freezing is the number one cause for a burst pipe in the winter, although all the reasons noted for summer bursts can also happen during the winter. In fact, a burst pipe will be more likely if any of those conditions are present. When water freezes, it expands, which is why you could experience a burst pipe during the winter. It is more common in unheated areas of your home, such as the attic or garage, and is most likely when temperatures drop to below 20°F or are below freezing for several days. To help avoid this problem, you can add insulation, seal any air leaks, and use heat tape in the most susceptible areas.
If you have experienced a burst pipe or would like more information on how to avoid burst pipes in the winter or summer, give us a call at Willmann Plumbing Company Inc. We offer all types of plumbing services to resolve water leaks, and we also provide remodeling services for upgrading your kitchen or bathroom. Our family-owned and operated company has been serving the Charlotte, North Carolina area since 1884 with affordable and reliable plumbing services. Regardless of the type of pipes your home has, we’ll take care of any issues you may be having.