Winter is a time to take extra precautions with respect to the care of your plumbing, especially the pipes in your home. If you want to know why frozen water will burst your pipes, you need to understand the principle of contraction and expansion. Water expands when it freezes into ice. Therefore, ice initially forms on the inner wall of a pipe before it radially grows inward..
What Causes a Pipe to Burst Suddenly
In turn, the pipe becomes blocked by a plug of ice. Before the blockage occurs however, the freezing water serves no threat as it merely pushes any water back towards the water main. However, everything suddenly changes when the ice plug forms as it completely blocks the line, thereby sealing the water between the plug and a closed valve. As more ice forms and accumulates between the closed valve and plug, it eventually leads to an eruption at the pipe’s weakest point.
Hot Water Pipes Burst More Frequently than their Coldwater Counterparts
Interestingly, contrary to what plumbing customers might think, hot water pipes burst much more frequently than pipes that transport cold water. That’s because the ice crystals take longer to form in hot water pipes, As a result, the water temperature plunges to a greater degree. When freezing occurs then, it does so rapidly, all which immediately blocks the pipe and causes the pipe to burst..
So, if you want to make sure you fully understand why frozen water will burst your pipes, the aforementioned information will provide you with some insight as to how the process leads to one of winter’s more damaging repairs. Understanding why frozen water will burst your pipes will also give you the data you need to make sure that you keep the incident from happening.
How to Keep Your Pipes from Freezing and Bursting: Some Basic Tips
Basically, you need to follow the tips below to ensure that your pipes keep in once piece during the winter season.
1. First, make sure that the water is turned off to your spigots outside. Also, don’t leave any hoses affixed to the spigots during the wintertime.
2. Make sure that your pipes are insulated too. Either cover the pipes with insulation to keep heat from escaping or warm them up with electric heat tape. Insulation or electric heat tape can delay thermal degeneration and safeguard the metal tubing from the cold, ambient air outside.
3. If you plan to be away on holiday during the winter months, completely turn off your heat when you leave. Instead, set the thermostat at around 13 degrees Celsius or 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, this only a generic rule. If your house has a basement, you can merely set the temperature and that should suffice. However, if your foundation lies on a crawlspace, you should contact your local plumber to obtain his advice. If you are going to be away for quite a while, he may recommend that the plumbing system be completely drained.
So, when you are seeking answers to how and why frozen water will burst your pipes, you need to consider the construction of your house and how the plumbing system is incorporated in the structure. Align yourself with a reputable plumber who knows all the ins and outs of repairing and maintaining pipes in various environments. Obtain more information about your plumbing options by visiting such sites as Bluewater Plumbers. When you consult with a plumber, you not only can avert unexpected emergencies, you do have a source to which you can turn if you need general plumbing services or repairs.