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Broken Pipes (Maintenance)

The following topics are discussed on this page: 


Common Causes of Broken Pipes

Water Pipes
  • Chemical attack from dissimilar metals causing corrosion.
  • Breakdown of the pipe from UV radiation – this is quite common when plastic water pipes are exposed to high levels of UV for a few years. The pipes can become brittle and break.
  • Pipework damaged during excavation.
  • Concrete cutter cuts through pipes.
  • Concrete expansion – break drainage pipes.
  • Incorrect installation method.
  • Pitting in copper pipe.
Drainage pipe
  • Tree roots are a major cause of broken drainage pipes.
  • Broken pipes can also occur due to:
    • The drainage being too shallow and subsequently damaged by vehicular traffic.
    • The drain pipe was damaged by the excavator during backfilling of trenches.
    • Damage caused during installation of the concrete slab.
    • Damage caused during installation of the boundary fence.
    • Water too hot for pipes, causing fitting failures (common with restaurants/cafes, etc. where PVC has been used instead of trade waste pipes).
    • Expansion of concrete around the pipe (expansion joints have not been installed to allow for vertical or horizontal expansion).
    • Corrosion – copper drains are the highest material falling prey to this type of breakage. It is difficult to diagnose this as it usually happens from the inside and works its way out.
    • Incorrect installation.


Methods of finding broken pipes, then repairing

When you know the location of the broken pipe, half of the battle is won.

If you suspect a broken pipe but are unsure of where it is, then don’t panic, it shouldn’t take too long to find. Using our experience and with the aid of cameras, most broken pipes can be found quickly.

If the broken pipe is in an area where digging is easy and accessible, then the job should be quick and easy. Now that you have confirmed that you have a broken pipe and the location is easily accessible, it is now time to get a price from a few local plumbers.

To save money, dig down to the broken pipe yourself without hitting the pipe so all the plumber needs to do is fix the broken pipe and be on their way. This has the potential to cut the cost of your job in half.

If the broken pipe is in a less accessible location, the chances are that it can still be fixed but it may require more time and effort to get the job done.  Just remember – anything is possible. If this is the case, I would recommend getting an idea of price and time frames from several different plumbing businesses to repair your broken pipe. Get a feel of the type of plumbing business they are and use your gut, along with the quote, to help make your decision.

At Yates Plumbing and Gas, we have lots of pricing choices to choose from, including quoting, hourly rates, and even purchasing block hours. See our pricing calculator for more options. Call our team to book in a plumbing consultation, no obligations, no charges – we just want to help and give you some answers.


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