Frozen Pipe Prevention – the Science Behind Frozen Water

Frozen Pipes

The damaging results of frozen pipes can be messy and expensive.  Being prepared can help you avoid such a disaster.

The Science behind Frozen Water and the Damage it leaves behind.

A unique property of water is that it expands as it freezes.  This expansion puts a huge amount of pressure on whatever is containing it, whether metal or plastic pipes.  No matter the “strength” of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes most at risk are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.1

Frozen Pipe Prevention Tips

  • If you have water supply lines in the garage, keep garage doors closed.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.  When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

If you do have frozen pipes during this winter, call your Indianapolis Plumbing Expert, Mister Quik.  We’ll respond quickly to ensure that it’s fixed quickly and safely.

1 http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes