Why Did Your Pipes Burst? No one wants to deal with the damages, expenses, and messes caused by burst pipes. So, what causes these pipes to burst during the winter? The basic answer is that the water coming into your house from the outside is much colder than it was during the summer months. The cold water causes your pipes to contract and in weaker parts, can cause the frozen pipe to burst. This happens because the pipe becomes unable to withhold the water pressures inside it.
At What Temperature Do Pipes Freeze?
Pipes freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The pipes inside your home, however, are protected from exterior freezing temperatures through your home’s insulation. What this means is that it on days where it is 32 degrees outside, it does not necessarily mean that your pipes will freeze.
Typically, they begin to freeze when the outside temperature is at least 20 degrees.
How Long Does It Take For Pipes to Freeze and Burst?
The first thing to think about when answering this question is, what is the exact temperature outside and how long will is it predicted to stay that temperature or lower? As a general rule of thumb, in order for your home’s water pipes to freeze, the outside temperature needs to be below 20 degrees, for a total of at least six consecutive hours.
Precautions You Can Take To Prevent Your Water Pipes Bursting:
There are no practical ways of heating the ground temperature around your home, so stopping the contraction caused by the cold water is not something you can control. Our advice is to be mindful of your plumbing system as the temperatures change and check to see if you have any leaks. While we cannot stop the leaks caused by temperature drops, there are things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
1. Keep Water Faucets Running
If it is extremely cold outside, always keep one or two faucets dripping. Water moving through the system can prevent the line from freezing.
2. Direct Warm Air To Cold Areas Of Your Home
Often, the pipes that freeze are located near an outside wall or a window, so be sure to direct warm air to any colder areas of your home. Put radiator heaters or oil filled heaters in any room or area that stays particularly cold in 20 degrees or below.
3. Leave Your Cabinet Doors Open
If your kitchen sink is on an outside wall, be sure to leave cabinet doors open to allow warm air into the cabinet.
4. Disconnect Your Hose From The Outside Faucet
If you leave your hose connected, water is not able to drain out of your hose bib and will freeze and break the device.
5. Install Heat Tape
Use a product called heat tape that can be installed and will warm pipes as necessary during cold weather.
6. Seal Leaks That Allow Cold Air Into Your Home
Seal leaks that allow cold air into your home where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out.
7. Check Your Home’s Temperature
Keep temperatures from dropping below 32 degrees in any area of your home where water lines are located.
8. Call An Expert Plumber
Don’t hesitate to contact us here at Rocket Plumbing to receive tips and expertise on what you can do to prevent your water pipes from bursting.