Do you shudder at the thought of pipes bursting? How would you actually know if they just froze or if they burst as well?
Surprisingly, ice forming in a pipe does not generally cause a break at that spot. You might think that itâ€™s the fast expansion that the ice creates against the pipe that causes the break, but itâ€™s actually what happens next. After the ice has created a complete blockage in your pipe, the continued freezing and expansion along the pipeline causes pressure downstream between the ice plug and the closed faucet. It’s this increase in water pressure that causes the pipe to give. Usually the pipe bursts where little or no ice has formed.
Youâ€™ll know that your pipes burst if you see the following:
- You see lots of water all over. On the walls, the floors, etc.
- Take a look at your water meter. If itâ€™s spinning like crazy, you can pretty much guarantee that you have a broken pipe.
If this happens to you, turn off your water to your home and call your plumber immediately.