Burst water pipes are every homeowner's nightmare. In addition to wasting precious water and increasing your household water bills, they can cause significant flood damage to your home, resulting in expensive repairs and remediation. 

But why do pipes burst?

Different factors can cause your water pipes to burst. Here are the most common culprits behind this common plumbing emergency.

High Water Pressure

While you don't want your domestic water pressure to be too low, it shouldn't be too high either. 

Water is deceptively powerful. Excessive water pressure puts unnecessary strain on your pipes, increasing the risk of leaks within the water line. If left unaddressed over long periods of time, leaking pipes can burst, causing devastating water damage to your home. 


The metal pipes that deliver water to your home become increasingly susceptible to corrosion as they age. If your water pipes are old and corroded, they can easily burst, even if water flows through them at normal pressure. 

Corrosion is not a problem for homeowners that use PVC water pipes. 

Freezing Temperatures

Have you ever wondered why burst pipes are a common occurrence in winter? Must be something to do with the weather, right? 

If your water pipes are not adequately insulated, the water traveling through them can freeze due to cold weather exposure. As the water freezes, it expands and causes pressure to build up inside the pipes. The increasing internal pressure can, ultimately, cause your pipes to break. 

Encroaching Tree Roots

High-pressure water is not the only powerful force that can damage your pipes. Tree roots also have enough power to break into your water pipes by exploiting any leak spots already existing in your water line. 

Ground Movement

Soil shifting is another reason for burst water pipes. As the ground naturally moves, it can exert unnecessary stress on your water pipes and, ultimately, cause them to burst. 


Are you aware that your water pipes can become clogged just like your drain pipes? Your domestic water supply contains dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. 

Over time, these minerals can accumulate inside your pipes and cause them to clog up. Since water flow is impeded in the clogged areas of the pipes, internal pressure builds up, resulting in pipe bursts.

Your water pipes can burst due to one or more of these problems. Regardless of the reason for your burst pipes, you need to repair the problem immediately after you see the signs of trouble. 

Contact an emergency plumbing service for assistance with your emergency plumbing needs.