What Causes A Pipe To Burst In Summer?

What Causes A Pipe To Burst In Summer

When it comes to household maintenance, there’s a widespread belief that pipe issues are exclusively a winter ordeal. However, as summer rolls in and temperatures soar, a new concern emerges – the risk of pipes bursting under the heat. Many homeowners search for sound answers to the question. “What causes a pipe to burst in summer?”.

This is where Robinson Plumbing steps in. For preventive plumbing concerns, we are known for our reliable experience tackling all plumbing challenges, including those specific to summer. In this article, we’ll explore why pipes in your homes can burst during the warmer months and what you can do about it.

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Understanding Pipes and Summer Stress

Below, we discuss some aspects of plumbing pipes and heat expansion.

Overview of Plumbing Pipe Materials 

pex plumbing pipe

Various materials are utilized in plumbing, each with its own properties and strengths. Common materials include PVC (polyvinyl chloride), copper, and PEX (cross-linked polyethylene). 

PVC pipes are known for their affordability and resistance to corrosion, while copper pipes boast durability and are often preferred for their ability to withstand high pressure. However, despite their resilience, all pipe materials are susceptible to the effects of summer conditions.

Extreme heat during the summer can exert unique stresses on these materials. PVC pipes, for instance, may become more susceptible to warping or weakening under prolonged exposure to high temperatures. On the other hand, copper pipes can expand when subjected to heat, potentially leading to leaks or bursts in areas with limited expansion space.

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The Science of Heat Expansion

At the heart of the matter lies the phenomenon of thermal expansion. Simply put, when materials are heated, their particles gain kinetic energy, causing them to move and spread out. 

This expansion can damage pipes and plumbing systems, particularly in hot weather. When exposed to heat, the molecules within pipe materials start moving more vigorously, causing the pipes to expand. 

While this expansion is usually minimal, it can become problematic in confined spaces or when pipes are tightly fitted. As temperatures rise, the potential for pipes to expand beyond their intended limits increases, raising the risk of leaks or bursts. 

Understanding the interplay between pipe materials and heat expansion is crucial for maintaining the integrity of your plumbing system, especially during the sweltering summer months. 

By knowing these factors, homeowners can take proactive measures to mitigate what causes a pipe to burst in summer and the risks to ensure their pipes remain in optimal condition throughout the year.

Common Causes of Pipe Bursts in Summer

Increased Water Usage

With the arrival of summer, households often witness a surge in water consumption. Whether watering the garden, filling up pools, or simply taking more frequent showers to beat the heat, the demand for plumbing systems can skyrocket. This increased usage stresses pipes, which may need help to keep up with the heightened flow. Over time, this strain can weaken pipes and make them more prone to bursts, especially in older or deteriorating plumbing systems.

Ensure your plumbing system is in top condition by booking an inspection with us. Call Robinson Plumbing today!

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High Water Pressure

Another factor that exacerbates the risk of pipe bursts in summer is high water pressure. As demand spikes during the warmer months, municipal water systems may respond by increasing water pressure to meet residents’ needs. While higher pressure can ensure an adequate water supply, it also puts undue strain on plumbing infrastructure. Over time, this relentless pressure can cause wear and tear on pipes, eventually leading to leaks or bursts, particularly in areas with older or fragile piping.

Clogged Pipes Leading to Backups

clogged drain

Summer activities often involve more outdoor gatherings, barbecues, and gardening projects, which can inadvertently introduce debris and waste into plumbing systems. From food scraps in kitchen sinks to grass clippings in outdoor drains, these materials can accumulate and clog pipes over time. As blockages obstruct water flow, pressure builds up within the pipes, increasing the risk of bursts. 

Regular maintenance and proactive measures, such as installing drain screens and being aware of what goes down your drain, can help prevent such backups and subsequent pipe failures.

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Corrosion and Wear Over Time

The cumulative effects of age, temperature fluctuations, and increased summer usage can take a toll on plumbing infrastructure. Over the years, pipes may experience corrosion, erosion, or weakened joints, compromising their structural integrity. Summer’s heat can exacerbate these issues, causing materials to expand and contract more rapidly, weakening already compromised pipes. 

As a result, what may have been minor flaws or imperfections in the plumbing system can escalate into full-fledged pipe bursts under the increased demands of summer. Regular inspections and proactive maintenance can help identify and address potential vulnerabilities before they escalate into major plumbing emergencies.

 Plumbing System Preventative Maintenance

plumber performing plumbing pipe repair

Regular Plumbing Inspections & Maintenance

Regular inspections and maintenance are among the most effective ways to safeguard your plumbing system against summer-related issues. Enlisting the expertise of professionals, such as Robinson Plumbing, ensures that potential problems are identified early on before they escalate into costly emergencies. 

Professional plumbers can accurately assess the condition of your pipes, identify weak points, and perform necessary repairs or replacements to keep your plumbing system functioning smoothly.

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Upgrading & Replacing Old Plumbing Pipes

As plumbing systems age, the risk of pipe bursts and other malfunctions increases, especially during the demanding summer months. In some cases, upgrading to more durable materials, such as PEX or modern PVC, may be necessary to withstand the stresses of summer usage. 

Robinson Plumbing can provide expert guidance on when and why replacing old pipes with newer, more resilient alternatives might be beneficial, ensuring long-term reliability and peace of mind.

Reducing Pressure on Your Plumbing System

house pressure reducer

Managing water usage and pressure is crucial for maintaining the health of your plumbing system, particularly during high-demand periods in summer. 

Homeowners can take practical steps to reduce strain on their pipes by installing water-saving fixtures, such as low-flow faucets and showerheads, and being mindful of excessive water usage, such as running sprinklers for extended periods. 

By moderating water pressure and usage, homeowners can help prolong the lifespan of their plumbing system and minimize the risk of bursts.

Preventing Plumbing Pipe Clogs

Preventing clogs and backups is essential for maintaining the integrity of your plumbing system year-round. Regular cleaning of drains and pipes, using eco-friendly drain cleaners or a professional plumber, can help prevent debris and grease buildup that can lead to blockages. 

Additionally, being more aware of what goes down the drain and avoiding disposing of non-biodegradable materials or large food scraps can further reduce the risk of clogs. Robinson Plumbing can provide guidance on proper maintenance practices and offer solutions to keep your pipes clear and flowing smoothly.

What To Do If a Water Pipe Bursts

calling a plumbing for plumbing pipe repair services

Follow the steps below when you experience a burst water pipe in your home:

  1. Immediate Steps to Minimize Damage: In the event of a pipe burst in your home, fast response is crucial to minimize water damage to your property. Start by locating the water main and shutting it off to stop the water flow. This can help prevent further flooding and damage. Next, drain the remaining water from the affected area by opening faucets and drains. Finally, ventilate the area by opening windows and doors to allow airflow and facilitate drying.
  2. Contact Robinson Plumbing: After taking immediate steps to mitigate damage, it’s crucial to call a professional plumber for prompt repairs. Robinson Plumbing offers same-day emergency services to address urgent plumbing issues, including pipe bursts. Our team of expert technicians is available to provide swift and practical solutions to restore the integrity of your plumbing system.
  3. Post-Repair Measures: Once the burst pipe has been repaired, it’s necessary to take proactive measures to prevent future incidents. Schedule a thorough inspection of your plumbing system with Robinson Plumbing to identify any underlying issues or vulnerabilities. 

A professional plumber can recommend maintenance plans tailored to your needs, such as regular inspections, pipe replacements, or upgrades to more durable materials. By staying proactive and vigilant, you can help safeguard your home against future pipe bursts and minimize the risk of water damage.

Say goodbye to unexpected plumbing emergencies and costly repairs. Contact Robinson Plumbing for reliable plumbing solutions you can count on. Call now!

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It’s crucial to remain vigilant against summer’s lesser-known threats to our plumbing systems. The seasonal shift brings challenges from increased water usage and high temperatures to the risk of clogs and bursts. Staying aware and prepared, homeowners can safeguard their properties against costly water damage and disruptions. 

Take proactive steps today by scheduling a consultation or inspection with Robinson Plumbing. Our team of experts stands ready to assess your plumbing system, identify potential vulnerabilities, and implement preventative measures to ensure a safe and burst-free summer. 

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Call Robinson Plumbing For Superior Plumbing Services

Contact Robinson Plumbing, a trusted Lehigh Valley company, for a range of reliable services like drain clogs, water heater replacements, toilet repairs, and more. We provide multiple solutions to suit your home and budget for any repair or replacement needs.

Facing an unexpected plumbing issue? Robinson Plumbing’s expert team offers same-day emergency services, ensuring quick, correct, and affordable solutions.

Robinson Plumbing, known for being the most affordable plumbing company in the Lehigh Valley, ensures customer satisfaction with licensed plumbers and guaranteed work. Schedule your free estimate with us today.

Call us today at (610) 351-9889 or contact us for any questions that you might have! Click the link to view our service area.

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