A burst pipe is one of the most common issues plumbers deal with. There are several possible causes for a burst pipe, but it definitely happens more often in the winter time, brought about by freezing conditions.
It goes without saying that it is imperative to repair burst pipes immediately upon discovery, hence the need to get an emergency plumber over right away. The effects of one burst pipe can be dramatic and devastating, causing immense damage to property and putting people out of their home. If it happens on the main system, it can even leave an entire neighbourhood without precious water for days.
With the increased population in the Melbourne suburbs and the more complicated modern plumbing systems, failing to repair burst pipes can lead to so much more trouble. If it happens to you, you’ll not only have to deal with the cost of repair and the inconvenience of lack of water while the problem is being fixed, but the damage to your home and possessions as well. This hits you both financially and emotionally.
If the burst pipe is in the ceiling or floor, it may take a while before it becomes evident. You’ll probably notice by the appearance of a bulge or the actual torrent of flowing water. What potential water loss do you have to contend with if you have an unaddressed burst pipe? It can be as much as 400 litres an hour. Think of it as two full baths. Let’s say you were away for 24 hours; that could mean up to 9,600 litres of water or 48 full baths. If you were away for an entire week, that would be 47,200 litres of water uselessly down the drain.
As mentioned, burst pipes most commonly stem from frozen temperatures and unprotected piping. If you don’t have the correct temperature warming up your pipes, including those located outside, they could freeze. The water in them expands as it turns into ice, eventually cracking or altogether breaking the pipes. It’s even more unfortunate that pipes are usually hidden in flooring, walls, and roof spaces, so when they burst, the damage could be really significant. This is one of the reasons why insuring your home is absolutely necessary.
There are some ways to reduce the risk of a burst pipe, but it’s going to be difficult with some pipes being underground or located some place that’s hard to reach, so the best that you can do is to let your tap drip during freezing weather and keep your house warm, drain your water system if you’ll be away, and if a pipe does burst, shut off your water mains tap right away and get your emergency plumber over.