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Signs of a Broken Pipe or Burst Pipe

Winter weather can cause freezing in your pipes that can lead to a burst pipe. However, pipes can burst year-round. Anything that causes a build-up of water pressure in your pipes can cause it to burst. For example, if your pipes become clogged, then the water pressure may build behind that clog causing the pipes to expand and eventually burst. 

Damage to your pipes can also cause them to break. A frozen pipe falls into both categories since the pipe can break when it becomes clogged with the frozen water, or it can break when the frozen water expands. Other potential causes of broken pipes include: old pipes becoming corroded and bursting, tree roots breaking a pipe or a collapsed pipe from construction near your home.

Learn the Signs of a Broken Pipe

A broken pipe can lead to huge pools of running water in or around your home. These obvious signs alert you quickly to a problem with your plumbing. However, not all signs of a broken pipe may be obvious to the homeowner. Therefore, it is important to know the signs of a broken or burst pipe before you run into a problem

Freezing Temperatures

The first and most obvious sign that you may run into problems with your plumbing is freezing temperatures. Cold weather can freeze the water in your pipes causing pipes to burst. During cold weather, ensure to properly insulate your plumbing and keep an eye on your plumbing. Watch for frost on the exterior of the pipe or icicles hanging from your pipes as these are signs that your pipes have frozen. 

Don’t attempt to defrost the pipe yourself as the pipe may have already burst with the water still frozen inside. When you unfreeze the water, it may all come rushing out of the crack. Instead, call a plumber ASAP and explain the situation. They will come and handle rerouting the water away from the frozen pipe and replacing the frozen pipe. Ask them about insulating your exposed pipes while they are there to avoid future problems. 

Stains on walls

Almost as obvious as actively running or gushing water, discoloring on your walls or ceilings is a huge red flag. A wet stain on your ceiling or walls is a sign of water somewhere in your home it shouldn’t be. A discolored stain on the ceiling may be a sign of a leak in your roof, or a leak in the bathroom upstairs. Stains on your walls may be a sign of a leaking or burst pipe in the bathroom or other plumbing running in the walls. 

Call a plumber as soon as you notice ANY discolored stains on your ceiling or walls. By the time you notice the stain, the plumbing may have been leaking for hours, days, or even weeks. You need to act fast to prevent further damage or mold growth. 

No water coming out of the pipes/Low water pressure

Another obvious sign of a burst pipe is a lack of water. If water is gushing out somewhere else, then you won’t have strong pressure or any water coming out of the faucet. If you are currently in the shower and notice a sudden and drastic drop in the water pressure, then you may have just burst a pipe somewhere else. Call a plumber ASAP. (Even if not, that is a sign of another serious plumbing problem.)

Anything from a sudden drop in water pressure, a small trickle of water from a normally fully-functional sink, or no running water at all, can be a sign of a burst pipe somewhere in or near your home. Call a plumber for help ASAP. Turn off all faucets and plumbing items (including bathtubs, dishwashers, and washing machines.) Wait for the plumber to arrive and inspect the home for any damage. 

Strange smells from the pipes

A less obvious sign of a burst pipe could be a foul smell coming from your pipes or water. If the burst pipe is due to a clog, the backup in the pipes will cause a foul smell. The only place for the odor to escape is back through the pipe and out into your kitchen or bathroom. If the source of your bathroom stink is coming from the drains of your sink, shower, or bathtub, it’s time to call a plumber. They will need to clear the clog and replace the broken pipes. Besides strange smells, you might notice bubbles coming from the pipe or even strange whistling sounds. These are all sings of a burst or clogged pipe. 

Discolored water

Another less obvious sign of a broken pipe is discolored water. If the water running out of your faucets are brownish, then you may have rust inside your pipes. Rusty water can ruin appliances and clothes. Moreso, rust in your water is a sign that your pipes are corroded. Corroded pipes can become so fragile that they break. At the first sign of discolored water in your toilets, sinks, bathtubs, or appliances, call a plumber to inspect. Do not drink rusty water or use it for cleaning or cooking. 

Increased Water Bills

If a pipe bursts in your yard, you may not notice right away. One way that you might catch-on that your water isn’t as efficient as it was before could come in the form of a surprisingly high water bill. If your bill is higher than usual (much higher), call a plumber to inspect your system for damage. You could have any number of issues including a leaking or broken pipe. 

Call Charles Moon for Help with Burst Pipes

If you think you might have a broken or burst pipe, call Charles Moon Plumbing for fast and expert service. Our plumbers will inspect your pipes, determine the cause or source of the problem, and determine the most time-efficient and cost-efficient solution to fix your plumbing. We always aim to use environmentally-friendly solutions when possible. Give us a call at (302)732-3555 or contact us online


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Dagsboro, DE 19939

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phone: (302) 732-3555

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