Why do Water Pipes Burst?

Why do Water Pipes Burst?

Water expands as it freezes. It’s science. When water freezes, its molecules crystallise and form an open hexagonal shape.This shape takes up more space than when the water is in liquid form, meaning the water has expanded. When this expansion occurs in a restricted environment such as in a water pipe, the pressure placed on the inner walls of the water pipe by the expanding water can cause pipe to burst. It’s the same reason why you can’t leave a beer bottle in the freezer for too long.

Even pipes made from extremely hardy materials, which can handle the occasional pressure of frozen water, may eventually burst due to the cumulative structural damage. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent your pipes from bursting. These tips aren’t foolproof and it is definitely worth having a good plumber on speed dial just in case!

  1. Insulate your water pipes.The insulation will stop heat loss and prevent water freezing in your pipes.
  2. Try and ensure your water pipes are located in areas which never or rarely reach freezing point. This is obviously very difficult in older homes.
  3. Leave a trickle of water flowing through taps in your home during winter or very cold weather. Flowing water won’t have the opportunity to freeze and your water pipes should hold out until the temperature increases.

Burst water pipes demand immediate attention. The longer you leave it, the more damage which can occur. If your pipes burst, ensure that you turn off the main water supply straight away and contact a plumber immediately. Hilton Plumbing is a family-run business in Perth, Western Australia. If you are experiencing problems with your plumbing in Perth, please contact us for friendly and professional service.


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