Did you know that the answer to “Do frozen pipes always burst?” is actually “No!”? Many homeowners assume that all frozen pipes will eventually burst. However, this is not accurate.
Since not all frozen pipes burst, it’s important to understand frozen pipe dynamics. That way, you might be able to avoid experiencing these problems in your home.
What Causes Pipes to Burst?
Pipes burst because pressure builds up between the frozen second and the nearest tap that is “upstream” from that section. Since there is less space available between that tap and the frozen area of pipe, pressure can build and eventually cause the bursting.
Many people assume that pipes burst because water expands when it freezes. However, when this happens in a pipe, most of the expansion can take place sideways. It doesn’t usually have to expand in a way that puts pressure on the pipe.
How to Prevent Pipes From Bursting?
There are a number of ways to prevent burst pipes. Here are the ones we recommend most.
- Insulate any exposed pipes or spigots. Most of the time, you’ll find these pipes around your water heater, in your garage or attic, or on the exterior of your home. You can wrap them in insulation or find insulating sleeves that will slip over them.
- Keep faucets dripping during extreme cold. This prevents standing water (which can freeze easily) in your pipes. When the water is moving, it is less likely to freeze.
- Turn off your main water valve when you travel. This rids your plumbing system of water so that a sudden freeze while you are gone will not mean a disaster come spring.
- Set your thermostat to 58 or higher. Even if you aren’t going to be home, keeping your home this warm will help ensure that your pipes don’t freeze. It allows for enough warm air, even in areas that may not have vents in them.
- Open your interior doors. Allow heat to flow from one room to another. This ensures that even areas with limited vents get heat.
How to Fix a Burst Pipe
Most of the time, you will want to call a plumber to fix any kind of pipe problems. They will know how to fix a burst pipe without causing any other issues or damage to your home, which is important when you’re trying to limit the amount of water damage done.
Fixing a burst pipe usually involves removing the section of pipe that burst and replacing it with a new section, which is then securely attached to the existing pipe on both ends. Unless you are experienced when it comes to dealing with plumbing issues, getting a professional plumber on the job is probably your best option.
If you need a plumber in Boise who knows how to fix a burst pipe, reach out to us at Dillon Plumbing today. We’ll send someone out to you right away and get rid of your burst pipe problems fast.