The sub-zero temperatures we’ve seen this winter have gotten a lot of our customers asking us at what temperature are their pipes vulnerable to freezing? While there isn’t one specific temperature that affects all pipes for all homes, most pipes become vulnerable when the temperature is below 20 degrees. At that temperature water in your pipes freezes, turns to ice, and expands. Just as a plastic bottle of soda would expand and burst if you put it in your freezer, frozen water in your pipes causes them to burst. Most water pipes are located on the inside of the building insulation, which protects them from subfreezing weather. However, that may not be true in older homes, and sometimes holes in outside walls (for cable or phone lines) can allow cold air to flow across pipes, which makes them especially vulnerable to wind chill factors. So even if the air temp is above 20, if there are heavy winds causing a lower wind chill temperature, it can affect your pipes.
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