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What Causes Burst Pipes?

Winters here in Richardson, TX can get pretty cold, with freezing temperatures and regular snowfall the norm. Your plumbing system can be vulnerable to freezing pipes and burst pipes this time of year, which can be a huge problem if you don’t take precautions. The good news is that you can take steps now to minimize the risks, and if your experience burst pipes, our trained team is on hand to perform repairs. But the more you know, the more you’ll be able to help your own cause. Here’s a quick rundown on what causes burst pipes.

Frozen Water Expands

When water gets stuck in your pipes and freezes, it will expand, which puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the walls of the pipe. The freezing in and of itself is problematic because it cuts off the flow of water in your pipe. But as the ice expands, it could cause a breach in your pipes, which turns a relatively small problem into a great big one. Breaches will send water into the surrounding area: damaging drywall, furnishings and even electrical components. The holidays are a particularly bad time for pipes bursting, because if you’re away visiting family, it could be days or even weeks before you discover the problem.

Prevention is Key

Preventing burst pipes is the best means of dealing with the issue: a little foresight can save you a great deal of hassle. Start with outdoor plumbing such as the pipes to your sprinkler system. Shut off the water supply to those pipes, then turn on the faucets and drain them completely. Inside, you should look for pipes that run through problem areas, such as the basement or near an outside wall, then consider means of protecting them further against the cold. Before leaving on vacation, open up the faucets in your home just a bit and allow a trickle to run. The small cost of additional water will pay dividends by reducing the chances of a freeze in your pipes.

Call Hutchins Plumbing, Heating and Air today!

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