When a pipe freeze it will burst, it's because ice takes more place than water. So if a pipe freeze, all the ice inside need more space and so the pipe gets burst. This phenomenal also break big stones in mountains when rain water gets captured in the creek and in cold it turns into ice that requires more space so it eventually breaks stone.
i agree kt. water expands as it freezes. the water is already in the pipes which is why most plumbers suggest flushing your pipes before the temperature drops below zero degrees. our outside pipe burst and it had to be replaced immediately. it was spewing water underground next to the foundation of our home. $1000, but it had to be done. next time around, let the water run (for your inside pipes) just a trickle so they don't freeze. you can also have them wrapped as well.
Here's how to do it from a plumber. Leave the tap open. The hot water freezes first. What causes the pipes to burst is the fact that the thawed water has nowhere to go. Ice contracts and water expands, which is why the pipe bursts. If the tap is open, the excess water releases.
However, the washing machine hoses on an outside wall need to be wrapped so that they stay warm, or you could use electric tape. Just remember to plug it in
Thanks Deb. I knew about the dripping but this is the first that I heard about the hot water. Does it matter whether the hot or the cold drips? I think my washing machine is on the inside. At least I only see the washroom hoses connected there.
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