Rats and plumbing

Let’s talk about rats. No, we’re not going to discuss those tests that go up your nose, we’re going to talk about those horrible, gnawing, disease spreading-vermin (no, I don’t like rats) that get in your roof and quite frankly, get right up my nose.

Burst pipes are some of the main reasons that customers call us, and they are also one of the most common home insurance claims that homeowners make.

Burst pipes often happen over winter thanks to rats chewing through water pipes.

Over winter when rats are looking for food and shelter from the colder weather, they’ll happily move into your roof, despite the fact that they’re not invited, not welcome and there is no handy food or water in your ceiling space.

Rats will move in there because it’s a nice warm, dry place to make a nest and then they can start merrily chewing on your water pipes. These determined, stubborn little creatures can present serious flooding and fire risks to your property. Not only will they chew through water pipes, but they’ll also gnaw through electrical wiring, and if water pipes are close to anything electricity-related it is even more dangerous. (Electrics and water never make for a great combination; as plumbers, we fully understand this).

If you don’t get rid of them fast enough and end up with water spurting out everywhere, you’ll need plumbing repairs ASAP, so get in touch with us and we’ll be there as fast as we can.

Why do rats chew on water pipes?

Rats don’t usually chew on water pipes because they’re poisoned or thirsty. It’s not simply because they’re looking for water, it’s because they have to.

Rodents’ teeth grow continuously, more than two millimetres per week, and they need to constantly chew on stuff to keep their hideous incisors at a manageable length.

But it’s not just your water pipes at risk, rats will chew through anything, literally: wooden beams in your roof, copper piping, electrical wires, thin glass and plastics. Rats can even chew their way through uncured concrete. Rats’ incisors are harder than iron, platinum and copper. When measured on the Mohs hardness scale, rat teeth rank 5.5. Diamond is a 10.

If you do hear scurrying noises in the middle of the night, it most probably will be rats, and you’ll need to get rid of them quickly.

rats chewing water pipes

If you have a plumbing emergency, such as a chewed water pipe, we promise to show up when we say we will. You can trust us to be there when you need us.

What can you do about a burst pipe?

Call us on 027 265 4949 and don’t touch any electrical wiring or switches that you think may have been affected. If they have, switch power off at the mains with dry hands.

First: shut off the water

To do this, you need to shut off the toby to the house. This turns off the mains water and you should find it at the front of your house, by the road, under a blue or black plastic cover.

If you have a water pump, close the valve on the pump or water tank, and turn off the power to the pump.

Next: release the pressure

Turn on both the hot and cold water taps to release the pressure and drain any water or steam from the pipes.

burst water pipe fix

A burst pipe is a drama you need fixed fast. But you don’t have to deal with that burst water pipe on your own. Reliable, professional help is available at FlowFix Plumbing. We’ll respond quickly and get everything sorted.


Call 027 265 4949 for an emergency plumber from the North Shore to Warkworth. We cover the North Shore, Whangaparaoa, Millwater, Silverdale, and Orewa. We will respond to your call and fix that burst pipe fast.