For a lot of people, the holiday season in Northeast Ohio is their favorite time of year. They love the lights, sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace, and attending their favorite holiday events in their neighborhoods. After all, our community “goes all out” during the holidays.
Speaking of events, Cleveland has no shortage of fun things to do during the holidays. From holiday lantern tours at Hale Farm & Village, to the annual Christmas open house at Sunrise Farm, to the Medina Candlelight Walk, to Christmas in Columbiana and much more. The one thing however, that nobody wants to deal with over the holidays is a frozen pipe that bursts, flooding their home. A freeze break can turn anyone into a Grinch real fast.
What Causes Pipes to Burst?
In Cleveland, temperatures drop below freezing during the winter months. Because of this, our residents are reasonably concerned about frozen pipes and what a freeze break can mean to their homes and furnishings. But, why do pipes burst when it’s freezing outside?
Contrary to popular belief, freeze breaks are NOT about ice expanding in the pipes. Instead, it’s about the pressure inside the pipes. You see, when the water inside pipes freezes, the water molecules expand. As water in plumbing pipes freeze and expands, it pushes the water in the pipe closer to the faucet.
This process causes pressure to build-up between the ice and the faucet until eventually, the pipe breaks under the pressure. Interestingly, this usually happens in an area of the pipe where there’s little or no ice at all.
Which Pipes Are at Risk?
Some pipes are more vulnerable to a freeze break than others. These include pipes that are not insulated, and pipes that are furthest away from heat sources, such as those located in chilly attics, basements, and crawl spaces.
Two great ways to prevent freeze breaks:
- Insulate vulnerable pipes.
- When the outside temperature is freezing, keep the faucet open and let the water trickle out. This will help reduce the pressure in the pipes.
Need a Cleveland plumber? Contact Green Home Solutions, LLC today!
Related: Benefits of Home Insulation