What happens if a water pipe breaks?

Water pipe leaking under a sink

What causes a broken pipe?

If you have a broken water pipe what does it mean?! Well, water goes everywhere!  Or it may be just a small broken pipe and the water just trickles out forever. What happens for sure, a broke pipe water bill is not your friend. So, if it is a small break that is trickling, if that broken water pipe fix doesn’t happen soon, you’ll notice it on the water bill later. 

Maybe not all homeowners, but many have experienced a broken pipe during the winter. Cold weather can be rough on water pipes with the freezing temperatures, frozen ground, and blustery cold northern winds. If there is any water left in the water pipe, it will freeze, expand the water pipe then burst.

Then when the temperature reaches above the freezing mark, the pipes thaw and water is gushing everywhere.  Sometimes it is underground, under the house, and unfortunately, many times, a broken pipe happens in the house too. 

Did you know that you could experience a broken pipe during the summer too? Or any time of the year!  Here, we have a list of some common non-cold weather broken pipe causes: 

The most common reason that water pipes bust is because of frozen water within the water pipes is because of the below-freezing temperatures.  The following are other likely reasons why a water pipe could burst that you should be aware of:

  • Rusted Water Pipes:  Water pipes don’t last forever, over time, they become worn out and rust. Too much rust, wear, and tear will lead to a broken pipe. How long do they last? There are few factors that determine that, with the first one being how much and how often the pipe used, what is the water quality, and what are the water pipes made from? 
  • Hard Water: While they are safe for humans and animals, f your water has a high level of calcium and magnesium, it can wear your water pipes out faster from corrosion, and you’ll end up with a broken pipe and water everywhere.
  • Poor Installation: A poor fitting can cause a broken pipe or soldering job. The moment you detect a leak, call a professional plumber to have it tightened up or replaced.

What are the signs of a broken water pipe?

A broken pipe doesn’t have to be a surprise. With regular inspections around your home, you can spot water pipes that look old, weak, worn out and could be a risk of bursting when under the pressure of water flowing through them.  Here are some warning signs that will let you know a pipe is about at its end of life.

  • Water Stains on Walls: If the walls around or near the water pipe have water stains, you probably already have a broken pipe with a small leak. No matter how small, it can damage your home and the sooner you have a professional plumber on the job, the better.  
  • Water is Discolored: Are you getting brown or yellowish water out of your pipes?  If yes, then you probably have a broken pipe somewhere between the main water connection and your house.
  • Low Water Pressure: Water pressure can drop for several reasons, and some may have nothing to do with your home. However, water pressure drops can also be from a mineral buildup in your water pipes and after some time of that building up, you get a broken pipe. If you’re noticing a drop in water pressure, call a professional plumber to inspect your pipes. 

How long does it take to fix a broken water pipe?

Well, that depends on what type of broken pipe it is, the size, and where it is. A water main break can take hours, even days to fix. If it is a water pipe inside your house, that will usually take just a few hours, but again, what type of pipe, the size and where it is located could turn a two-hour job in an all-day job.

dug up and repaired pipe

How do you fix a broken pipe?   

Are you trying to fix the broken water pipe outside of your house? If it is underground, you may need a backhoe to get to the broken pipe. If it is inside your house, follow these steps to fix the broken pipe:

  • Cut sections of the damaged drywall out with a saw.
  • Wrap the broken pipe with a sheet and move the pipe around until the sheet is wet.
  • Place something under the broken pipe to catch water.
  • Cut just below where the broken pipe is leaking.
  • Wipe the pipe dry.
  • Cut just above where the broken pipe is leaking.
  • Now clean the pipe and mount a copper sleeve to join the cut pipe together.

Is a broken pipe covered by homeowner’s insurance?

All homeowner’s insurance policies are different, and it is to your best interest to check with your agent or your policy to see if yours specifically covers broken pipes. Typically, if there is damage because of a broken pipe that was unexpected and unforeseen, then it will be covered.  If, however, there is water damage from a broken pipe, leaky pipe, or rusty pipe, that is deemed homeowner neglect, they will not cover it. 

No matter how small a water leak may be from a broken pipe, it is essential to the wellbeing o your home have it fixed promptly. A small leak from a broken pipe can do more damage than a major broken pipe. Get your leak repaired today! Calll True Plumbing at 817-542-1980!