What causes frozen water pipes to burst?

Most things shrink when they get cold. Think of your own hands and how easy it is to slide rings on and off your fingers when the temperature plummets. Water, however, is different—it expands when it freezes.

Water will freeze and turn to ice whenever its temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The ice will then expand, which can put real pressure on the pipes in your home. It may even cause the frozen water pipes to burst since your pipes were not designed to hold water in its expanded form.

Pipes that are at the greatest risk of freezing are those exposed to the elements and those that do not benefit from the heating and insulation of your home. These pipes often include outdoor hose bibs, water sprinkler lines, swimming pool supply lines and lines that run against the outside wall of your home. Water supply lines that are located in unheated interior areas, such as the garage, basement, crawl space, attics or even beneath kitchen cabinets, are also at risk.

Learn what you can do to prevent frozen water pipes

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