Many factors contribute to how quickly a pipe freezes, but water supply lines start to freeze when the temperature reaches 20 degrees. Central heating in a house is usually more than adequate to prevent all interior pipes from freezing. But when the power goes out, the temperature inside the house can drop rapidly. Pipes usually freeze when the temperature is 20 degrees Faranheit outside the building that contains them.
For more tips and information on how to prevent pipes from freezing and exploding, read on. Whenever winter weather drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, interior and exterior pipes risk freezing. While it is possible for pipes to freeze and thaw without causing any problems, water that freezes inside a pipe expands, increases the pressure inside the pipe and can cause a rupture in the pipe. Pipes can freeze at 32 degrees or lower, but this will take an extended period of time to occur.
In other words, a pipe must be at sub-zero temperatures for at least half a day before homeowners have to worry about a freeze occurring. And, generally speaking, the temperature must be well below 32 for at least that period of time before it is likely to freeze. Pipes freeze when the temperature surrounding the pipe drops below freezing for an extended period of time. The process for defrosting frozen pipes underground will vary depending on the material from which the pipes are made.
If the pipes are visible and located outside, hot towels or heating pads can also help prevent the pipes from freezing. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for keeping pipes warm throughout the house and elsewhere on your property. If you can see pipes inside your cabinets, you can also place a hot water bottle or heating pad around the pipe to keep it warm. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, it would be a good idea to check your pipes regularly, so you don't have to worry about re-coating your pipes.
If there was a recent earthquake that caused the leak, the plumber should know how to check the rest of the pipes to make sure there are no other weak spots in the pipes. At the same risk, hire an inspector to come to your house and check the land to make sure your house is not at risk. Frozen pipe cracks usually occur over a period of time (usually during a winter if the pipes are constantly exposed to freezing and melting water). Instead of telling your insurance agent that your house is “flooded,” tell them that there is a water leak from a broken pipe that can cause serious water damage.
On the other hand, the mild climate here in Texas has led many builders to install pipes outside the house, making these important plumbing components more likely to freeze and burst. Sometimes, you can also prevent pipes from freezing by maintaining air circulation, such as opening cabinets to let in air from the rest of the house or by using a heater near where you know there are outdoor plumbing pipes that are prone to freezing. Heating a pipe too quickly creates more pressure inside the pipe and can cause even more serious damage. Secondly, you should work backwards from the faucet or other outlet, as that thaws the area of the pipe that can then come out of the faucet; starting from the center of the pipe puts more pressure on the pipe, since more water pushes the frozen section.
An easy way to prevent tree roots from bending pipes is to make sure there are no trees near the pipes. .