Close-up Of A Burst Pipes

What Causes Pipes To Burst? Myths & Facts

There are many myths about the cause of burst pipes. In fact, there are so many myths that it can be hard to know what’s really true and what’s not. That’s why we’re here to set the record straight.

In this blog, we’ll dispel some of the most common myths about burst pipes and give you the facts instead. So read on to learn more!

Table of Contents

Myth 1. Burst pipes only happen in older homes

It’s a common misconception that burst pipes only happen in older homes. This is because some very old homes have a galvanised piping system that rusts over time and becomes leaky. Homes built after 1980 general consist of copper tubing and more recently over the past 20 years most piping in households are a poly type material. Many people believe that new style homes with copper or poly pipes don’t have the same risks attached as older style homes.

➔ Fact

Bursting pipes are still one of the most common plumbing issues in new Australian homes, even with the use of poly pipes. While poly pipes are immune from corrosion, they can still deteriorate or leak if they’re touching a hard surface or the fittings have not been compromised during initial installation. Rats and other vermin have also been known to chew through poly pipes in the search of water. If you notice signs of a burst pipe, it is important to act quickly and call an emergency plumber. A leaking pipe can cause extensive damage to your property and even lead to the growth of mould or mildew if not addressed in time. If left unchecked, a broken pipe could also lead to water contamination and attract termites.

Myth 2. Pipes only burst in colder climates

We’ve all heard of pipes freezing full of water and bursting from the built-up pressure. Some people believe that here on the Gold Coast, pipes won’t ever burst because the temperature never drops low enough for them to freeze.

➔ Fact

It is true that pipes on the Gold Coast are not likely to burst due to cold weather. The Gold Coast is not susceptible to freezing temperatures.

However, here are some things that can cause a pipe to burst in any temperature:

Too much pressure on the pipes

A common reason why water pipes burst is because of too much pressure. Although the council water main may exceed 500kpa, the water pressure past the water meter to your property should not exceed 500kpa. Too much pressure could cause underground pipes and fittings to rupture. Too much pressure can also cause internal pipes, taps and water fed appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers to leak.


Rusty metal pipes happen over time and usually warn you with discoloured water or leaks. If you notice any of these signs, contact your Gold Coast plumber immediately to prevent disaster.

Tree Roots

Trees growing too close to the house, or even certain tree varieties with long roots can burst pipes. Some of the most common culprits are the fig tree, the palm tree and the eucalyptus. All these trees have deep, expansive root systems that can easily damage underground pipes if they’re planted directly above or near the water supply.

Garden accidents

Pipes are often buried just below the surface of the ground, and if you’re not careful when you’re digging, you can easily hit one with your shovel. This can cause the pipe to rupture or even burst open.

What to do if your pipe bursts

If you experience a pipe burst in your home or yard, it is important to take the proper steps to mitigate the damage and prevent further water intrusion. The first thing you should do is turn off the water main and call a plumber.

Once the plumber arrives, they will be able to determine the source of the leak and make necessary repairs.

In the meantime, you can begin to clean up the water. Use absorbent materials such as towels, blankets, or rugs to soak up as much water as possible. Place these materials in a safe place where they will not be stepped on or tracked through your home. You may also want to remove any furniture that may be wet and affected by mildew or mould growth.

If you have any concerns about the state of your pipes or the risk of them bursting, contact Oceanside Services. We have experienced plumbers with extensive knowledge to address all your plumbing issues. Call 07 5520 7100 for a chat, or add your details and request into our contact form and we’ll get back to you ASAP.