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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

4 Causes Of Burst Pipes

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Burst pipes are a common occurrence in the Commonwealth as the colder months set in. Many residents and workers are in buildings where the pipes are potentially older than their grandparents! When water pipes burst it may be preceded by a loud pop sound. Regardless, the result is can be major flooding in your Walpole, MA commercial or residential property. There are four main reasons why burst pipes occur:

  1. Frozen Pipes
  2. Moving Pipes
  3. Water Pressure
  4. Corrosion

Frozen Pipes

During the Winter months, serious issues can arise for the water supply pipes. Cold temperatures cause contraction to occur. Ice has more volume than water, so when water freezes inside a pipe it expands and increases pressure inside the pipe. The pressure builds resulting in a  burst in the pipe. The burst will occur at the weakest point in the pipe, with pressure bursting right out of the side of the pipe wall.

To prevent frozen pipes, make sure that the temperature inside your property stays above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Moving Pipes

Pipes can actually move around within the walls if they’re not properly secured especially when the water is suddenly turned on or off. One way to know for sure is if you can hear your water pipes making noise inside the walls or floors. If your pipes sound like they’re clanging against each other, it’s called a water hammer. What you’re hearing is that the pipes are moving back and forth due to not being held into place properly. Gradually, these pipes become weakened in the joints until one pipe fails. This causes the water pipe to break and flood your property.

Water Pressure

Water pressure must be kept at a normal setting in order for your water supply pipes to function properly. Any noticeable increase in the water pressure can translate to a burst pipe. As pressure increases, the pipes will cave in and separate, causing a rupture. Not sure if your water pressure is above too high?

  1. The water pressure in most homes is between 30-50 psi to avoid damage to pipes and plumbing fixtures.
  2. Monitor it by attaching a pressure gauge to a sink spout and turning on the faucet. The pressure will move the needle on the gauge and display the water pressure in psi (pounds per square inch).
  3. If your home’s water pressure is too high, a SERVPRO of Foxborough technician can install a pressure reducing valve to bring it down to safer levels.


Pipes are meant to last a long time and provide decades worth of reliable service, but they do not last indefinitely. Over time, buildings experience corrosion which can mean that pipes will show signs of failure or decay. Corrosion is caused by an imbalance of pH in the water. At first, this seems to be a minor issue, but it takes its tolls on the pipes over the years. 

Many water supply pipes are made of galvanized iron, the minerals inside the water slowly wear down the galvanized coating and expose the iron pipe beneath. In time, the iron turns to rust and gradually clogs the interior of the pipe which prevents water from getting through. As a result, your pipe may burst or the water flow may be stopped entirely.

If you experience a burst pipe, the first step is to turn off the Water Main. Then call the water remediation experts of SERVPRO of Foxborough to remediate the water damage. and to determine the cause of the burst pipe at (508) 533-5305. We will make it, "Like it never even happened."

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