Protect your pipes from bursting during the frigid temperatures

By  | 

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) The frigid weather can create serious problems for plumbing systems.

Last week, the maintenance staff at Michigan State University said the cold weather caused a pipe to burst at the Breslin Center, spilling water into the concourse.

Plumbers say pipes break because water expands when it freezes. Trent Mauk, Training Coordinator for Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 333 said, "It's like taking a one gallon milk jug and putting it outside right now and trying to add another two cups of water to it. The only thing the jug is going to do is expand and then the water will flow out. The same thing happens with our water pipes. Anything that is within that freezing temperature is also going to expand, and typically the end result is a broken or burst pipe."

Mauk said the best way to avoid a broken pipe is to take care of it when it's warm. In the meantime, he recommends putting some sort of insulation around pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures. You can find it at hardware stories. He also recommends applying heat directly to the exposed pipes.