With the freezing temperatures across the country, the problem of frozen pipes rupturing is in the news. In Denver, the Jefferson County Court House is closed due to frozen pipes breaking, thawing then leaking. Water is unlike every other liquid in the world, because it expands when it freezes. When water is frozen, it shrinks when it first gets cold, and then expands to about 9% of it’s volume as a liquid. For example, 10 cups of water will turn into 11 cups of ice when it’s frozen. This is cool, because it allows people to walk and skate on frozen lakes while the fish swim below.
But freezing water can cause huge problems for home and business owners when it freezes in pipes. Frozen water in pipes can have an explosive result, shattering plastic and cast iron pipes when it expands. Watch the video for a demonstration on the power of frozen water.
To keep your pipes from freezing, keep your cabinet doors under sinks open and keep your thermostat up to above 65 degrees. A higher energy bill will still be less than the costs of fixing a ruptured pipe. If your pipes do freeze, use a hair dryer to warm up the pipes and defrost them before they rupture.