Why do frozen pipes burst?


Water expands when it freezes, which causes pipes to burst. Pipes are strong, but the pressure imparted by solidifying water is often too much for them to bear.

Most substances take up less space in their solid states than when they are in liquid form; water is an exception to this. In solid form, atoms of a substance are close together. In liquid form, atoms can spread out a bit, and chemicals expand significantly when they are in gaseous form. However, when water freezes, it forms a crystalline grid that causes it to expand.

The crystalline structure of ice makes it susceptible to cracking and shattering, but it also gives it more strength. Pipes are designed to withstand the force of ice formation, but few are able to withstand the pressure imparted when a significant length of ice forms.

Water's expansion when it undergoes a phase transition to a solid is part of the reason why ice floats, but there are other causes. Water will often trap air when it freezes and form a strong barrier than prevents this air from being released. Ice can also have a hollow core, and it will remain buoyant if this core is not breached.

Q&A Related to "Why do frozen pipes burst?"
A frozen water pipe usually has no flow at the faucet because of ice blockage. According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, "Ice forming in a pipe does not typically
Water expands when it becomes ice. This sometimes causes containers or pipes to break because of this expansion.
Water does not expand when it freezes - as water is cooled to 4.1 C is contracts like any other liquid, from 4.1 to 0C it expands and from zero down contracts. So when water freezes
When water freezes it expands, as opposed to practically all other liquids. (For this reason ice fortunately forms on the TOP of ponds and lakes. The expansion causes pressure to
1 Additional Answer
Ask.com Answer for: why do frozen pipes burst
Why Do Frozen Water Pipes Burst?
Water expands as it freezes, occupying more space in its solid form than in its liquid form. Water pipes, usually made from copper or plastic, are rigid and tend to not yield room for expansion. The result can be a messy disaster inside the home.... More »
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Source: www.ehow.com
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