How – and when – to protect your pipes from freezing

  • Mary Caldwell for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
9:48 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 Nation World

When temperatures fall below freezing, water pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting. They can release several hundred gallons of water per hour, resulting in a big – potentially costly – mess in your home.

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What causes pipes to burst?

Pipes burst because of the pressure that's exerted when water freezes. It can exceed 2,000 pounds per square inch, so it's no match for metal or plastic pipes, which will burst under this extreme pressure.

>> Related: 5 things you won’t want to leave in a freezing car

Ice particles can also cause problems in your pipes by blocking valves or other areas.

What should you do to protect your pipes?

When temperatures are expected to drop to about 20 degrees, you should take the following steps to keep your pipes from bursting:

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