6 Issues That Mean You Have A Burst Pipe And What To Do About It

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018
burst pipes in Amarillo Texas

Most burst pipes aren’t like in the movies, with a flood of water knocking down walls and washing out the front door. Rather, burst pipes often start as small leaks. You may be wondering why a small leak is so bad. Leaks, even small ones, can result in serious damage to your home and to your plumbing pipes. They can cause mold, damage your drywall and floors, rust other pipes (resulting in more leaks), and cause substantial damage that could cost you thousands. In Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle, winter often causes freezing temperatures. Cold temps and plumbing leaks can result in even greater damage.

Common issues caused by leaking or burst pipes

There are many problems that are caused by a leaking or burst pipe. These can help you identify that you have a leak and potentially where it is located.

Loss of water pressure

One of the earliest signs that you have a burst pipe is an unexplained loss in water pressure. If you have a leak, it means not all the water is coming through your faucets, so you will notice a dip in pressure. Aside from weaker showers being annoying, lower pressure can also clog toilets and sinks because the pressure is insufficient to suck everything down.

Standing water

Standing water, unlike loss of pressure, is usually a sign that your pipe has been leaking for quite some time. If water begins to accumulate, seemingly from nowhere, follow the water to trace its source. This will be one of your plumbing pipes. If you notice unexplained puddles in your yard, that could indicate a burst from your water main. Water mean leaks can cause sinkholes or puddles to form near the leak. If you see unexplained water or sinkholes in your yard, contact a plumbing company as soon as possible.


Watermarks refer to discoloration in doors, walls, and ceilings caused by water damage. In multi-story homes and apartment complexes, water pipes run vertically, resulting in this issue if there is a leak. If you see a watermark, that is a good sign that water is leaking somewhere close behind your walls. If your pipes freeze, they run the risk of bursting, which releases more water than a small leak.

Strange sounds

Another key indicator that you could have a burst pipe leak are strange sounds coming from your walls. If you hear whistling or bubbling noises, these often mean a leak. Bubbling sounds are caused by air getting into the sewer line. If you hear whistling, that typically means that a pipe is dented and water is trying to fit through the constricted section. Amarillo winters can make this worse if the pipes freeze, creating more pressure.

Pipe issues

Exposed pipes, like those in a basement, are easy to see and so are any issues they may have. If you see condensation, ice, or frost on your pipes, that shows that there is a leak or frozen water. Similarly, if you notice the pipe is bulging, that indicates that ice has already formed and is stretching the material. But, just because you see some bulging doesn’t mean all is lost. You can often thaw the ice before a burst pipe causes structural damage to your plumbing or home.

Higher water bills

Another common indicator that you have a plumbing leak is if you notice an unexplained increase in your water bills. The leak is wasting water that you’re not using, which is why your water bill is higher than you expect it to be. Pay attention to your bills and note any unusual changes.

Locating the leak

Some burst pipes and leaks are easy to spot. If you see water marks or standing water/puddles, trace the source to the pipes. If the pipe is exposed, you can likely see where the water is exiting.

When a leak is behind the walls, you will need to check your water meter for changes. Turn off every appliance that uses water and don’t turn on the faucets or use the toilets. Then, check your water meter and note where it stands. Check your water meter again in 30 minutes. If it has moved, then you most likely have a leak.

If you think you have a plumbing leak, the first thing you should do is figure out if it’s inside or outside your home. This can be done more easily by a professional plumbing company, however. If you already have a burst pipe, you should contact a plumber as soon as possible to minimize damage.

Plumbers in Amarillo, Tx

Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas can help with all your plumbing needs, from small leaks to burst pipes. We offer Commercial, Residential, and Industrial services throughout the Texas Panhandle and Tri-State area. You can reach us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to learn more.