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978-256-3586    

145 STEDMAN STREET • CHELMSFORD, MA 01824

Why Do pipes burst during the winter?

It's been unusually cold here in Massachusetts this winter -- and with unusually cold weather comes some unusual plumbing issues. One common plumbing problem that stems from severe cold weather is burst pipes. Although most homeowners understand that pipes can burst when it's cold out, not many know how and why they bust the way they do. Our professional plumbing company in Chelmsford MA is here to help you understand how the whole thing works -- and how to avoid the issue in the first place.

How Pipes Burst in Cold Weather

Water is one of the most interesting substances on earth; it can be a solid, liquid, or gas. One of the unique properties of water is that when in a solid form, the molecules expand rather than contract. So during severely cold weather here in Massachusetts, any water in your pipes will freeze into ice, this ice will in turn expand within the pipe and if there is nowhere else for the ice to go, the pipe will burst. Due to the size and shape of the water molecule, the pipes split longitudinally. When looking at a broken pipe, you can always classify a burst pipe due to ice because of the longitudinal split.

Why pipes burst & how to prevent them from bursting

Now that we know how the pipes burst, the "why" question is quite simple: Because water within the pipes is freezing and expanding, creating a longitudinal split. Once the weather warms up and water is able to flow once again through the pipes, homeowners will unfortunately become aware of the burst pipe in the form of a leak or flood in some part of the home.

In order to prevent pipes from bursting, it's always important to first replace any old plumbing before the winter season. Replacing old plumbing is your best defense against burst pipes because older pipes can generate weak points over time and may degrade depending on what chemicals they are exposed to over time. If your plumbing system is relatively new or hasn't had any issues in the past, then we recommend insulating your pipes for the winter. If you're unsure how to insulate your pipes or are unable to do so, our professional plumbing and heating company will provide this service for homeowners in Chelmsford and surrounding areas.

Contact our plumbing and heating company today for professional pipe insulation services, re-piping service or plumbing repair or replacement.

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