Coming home to a burst water pipe… it’s something you hope never happens and one of the single, most costly home repairs possible. The good news? This is often preventable. Here’s the 411 on why pipes burst and how to prevent this from happening to you.

Why do pipes burst?

Cold Weather

Burst pipes are most common in the winter when water freezes and expands within the pipe. To get you through the cold front… wrap exposed pipes, direct warm air to cold areas of your home, and leave faucets running at a trickle.

Water Pressure 

High water pressure can stress your pipes and increase the chance of leaks. Normal psi is 30-80. (PSI stands for pounds per square inch and is the unit used to measure water pressure.) Areas like Stone Oak, Sonterra, and Helotes are notorious for having high water pressure. In these areas, we recommend installing regulators to reduce the amount of water coming in from the municipal water supply as well as a thermal expansion protection tank that sits on top of your water heater to protect valves and pipes from catastrophic flooding. Thermal expansion tanks are required by San Antonio code but are rarely present in most homes and businesses. They are a quick and cost-effective addition to protect your home.

Rusted Pipes

Over the years, rust can wear down your pipes and cause leaks. Make sure that all installations are performed with top-quality pipes and call your plumber for a preventative inspection to identify any weak spots.

Hard Water

Calcium and magnesium can build up within pipes and faucets, slowing the flow of the water and causing corrosion which can lead to holes in your pipes. San Antonio is notorious for its extremely hard water due to its primary water source: The Edwards Aquifer. Consider installing a water softener to prevent this damage. Here’s what you need to know before installing a water softener.

Bad Installation

Pipes can leak when they are poorly connected. This is another reason to make sure you hire highly-rated plumbers who use top-quality materials.

Warning Signs That a Burst Pipe Is on the Horizon:

  1. Stains on the wall near pipes
  2. Discolored water
  3. Lower water pressure

If You Have a Burst Pipe:

  1. Shut off your water supply immediately.
  2. Make sure you know which plumbing company to call in advance. Shafer Services Plus is here for you. You can call us or book appointments online.

Another way to stop massive water damage—install a leak protection system that automatically turns off your water supply and notifies you when a leak is detected.

Did you know… that if a licensed plumber encounters a water heater that is not code compliant, they are required to bring it up to code? At Shafer, we always make sure your plumbing is safe, top-quality, and code-compliant.

Schedule a preventative plumbing maintenance appointment to have a licensed plumber evaluate your pipes today.

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