Common Causes of Burst Pipes and How To Prevent Them

Tips to Help Homeowners Avoid Burst Pipes

A burst pipe is a significant plumbing emergency for homeowners. It can be one of the largest – and costliest – problems they can encounter. A burst pipe can start as a small trickle, quickly resulting in hundreds of gallons of water flooding a home. 

Fortunately, property owners can try to avoid these major problems by following expert tips on preventing burst pipes – from eliminating clogs to avoiding frozen pipes and watching for signs of decay and corrosion.


clogsOne way homeowners can prevent burst pipes is to eliminate clogs from their drains and lines. Blockages can put excessive pressure on the pipe, leading to the weakening of the pipe and causing it to burst. 

Fortunately, clogged pipes can be prevented by following these tips:

  • Use drain guards or screens on sinks, bathtubs, and showers to catch hair, soap scum, food particles, and other debris.
  • Use a drain cleaner to remove buildups.
  • Perform hydrojet drain cleaning services on large blockages.
  • Never pour grease or cooking oils down the sink.
  • Only flush toilet paper and waste down the toilet.
  • Regularly run hot water down the kitchen sink to prevent buildups.
  • Avoid putting risky foods down the garbage disposal, including starchy foods, bones, and non-food items.
  • Use a plunger to eliminate minor clogs before they become larger.
  • Install a water softener if you have hard water. This will help eliminate buildups in pipes. 


Another common cause of burst pipes is frozen pipes. If a pipe freezes, it expands and creates pressure inside the pipe. This can result in the pipe bursting. 

To avoid burst pipes, experts recommend that homeowners take the following steps:

  • Protect exposed pipes with pipe insulation, heat tape, or other insulated materials
  • Seal any gaps and cracks in walls, floors, and ceilings that could allow cold air to seep in, resulting in freezing pipes
  • Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses and shut off the outdoor water supply for winter
  • Keep the house at a consistent indoor temperature
  • Keep the cabinet doors open under sinks in the kitchen and bathroom on extremely cold nights to let warm air circulate around the pipes
  • Let faucets trickle during very cold nights to keep the water flowing through the pipes

Decay and Corrosion

corrosionDecaying or corroding pipes can also lead to burst pipes by weakening the pipe structure. Homeowners can avoid these risks by taking the following precautions:

  • Scheduling regular maintenance and inspections of pipes, especially if they are older. These frequent inspections allow plumbers to identify pipe problems and replace corroding lines. 
  • Replacing older pipes before they start to deteriorate.
  • Improving the water quality by installing a water treatment system.
  • Insulating pipes to prevent moisture buildups and reduce the risk of decay and corrosion.
  • Scheduling repairs quickly at the first signs of a problem.

About Discount Mechanical Heating & Plumbing

Since 2004, Discount Mechanical Heating & Plumbing has provided quality heating and cooling services to their neighbors in Anchorage. A family-owned and operated company, they offer 24-hour emergency services and flat-rate pricing. Call them today for burst pipe service in Anchorage, AK.

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