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  • Researcher William B. Rose Explains Why Pipes Burst…..Get Your Notepad Out Folks

    [caption id="attachment_9717" align="alignleft" width="300"]Pipes burst Cleveland heights The Reason Why Pipes Burst[/caption]

    William B. Rose, a senior researcher at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, explains to New York Times writer Daniel Acker why pipes burst, and gives us some very useful tips to help us prevent them from happening. Have burst pipes in Cleveland? Give us a call and we'll clean up the mess for you:

    William B. Rose and Jeffrey Gordon, senior researchers at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, spent two years studying how, where and why pipes burst. Mr. Rose, who also wrote “Water in Buildings: An Architect’s Guide to Moisture and Mold” (Wiley, 2005), recently spoke with a reporter. (This interview has been condensed and edited.)

    Q. O.K., so I live in the Connecticut suburbs in a normal house, and it’s ridiculously cold outside right now. How worried should I be about my pipes bursting?

    A. Not nearly as worried as someone in Nashville. Northern plumbers put water supply lines in rather protected areas, but Southern plumbers have been much more careless about that. If the frequency of freezing-pipe incidents surpasses the institutional memory of the area, you’re in real trouble.

    But still we hear the horror stories even up north — or at least here in the northeast, where really severe cold isn’t the norm. How do I avoid becoming the star of a horror story?

    It helps to understand how pipes burst. The way that happens doesn’t follow conventional wisdom, which says water turns to ice and pushes outward against the wall of the pipe and causes a rupture. The blockage grows along the length of the pipe and acts like a piston, causing elevated water pressure when the faucet is turned off, and that’s what causes the rupture. So if you can relieve the pressure downstream of the blockage by allowing the tiniest little drip at the faucet, then the ice blockage can grow and it won’t rupture the pipe.

    Read more at The New York Times

    Filed under: Basement, Common Household Repairs, Fix That Leak, Home Mechanic Tips, Plumbing, Roofing
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