Serving Greenwood, Fishers, Carmel, Indianapolis & Surrounding Areas

July 20, 2023

Will Pipes Burst if Water Is Turned Off?

Protecting your home’s piping system from freezing temperatures is crucial to maintain its efficiency and prevent burst pipes. However, many Greenwood residents don’t know what measures to take to prevent pipe damage and wonder if they can turn off their water supply to stop their pipes from freezing.

Will pipes burst if the water is turned off? To answer this question and more, Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing is here to teach you more about how your pipes work.

Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing is Greenwood, IN’s number one choice for professional plumbing and associated services. If you need experienced plumbing experts in Greenwood, IN, contact Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing.

Will Turning Off Your Water Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing?

Frozen pipes are extremely detrimental to your home’s plumbing system and can cause numerous issues that often demand high prices to fix. They can cause everything from significant leaks to burst pipes, leaving your home with severe water damage and unusable piping.

Will pipes burst if the water is turned off? Although many homeowners believe turning off their property’s water supply will prevent pipe bursting, it isn’t always the case. 

Pipes can still burst in freezing temperatures even after you turn off your home’s water. The pipes will still have water inside them, which means the water may freeze and potentially burst your pipes.

How to Prevent Your Pipes From Bursting After Shutting Off Your Water

The best way to prevent your pipes from bursting after shutting off your water supply is to drain the entire system. Draining the system will eliminate any leftover water within the pipes, decreasing the chances of burst pipes. 

That said, draining your property’s piping system requires specific tools that most homeowners don’t have or know how to use. It’s best to contact a professional plumber to drain your system if you decide to shut off your water supply in freezing temperatures.

Also, if you shut off your water supply, you won’t have any water for various plumbing fixtures like toilets. You can get around this predicament by filling your bathtub with water and using a bucket to refill the toilet after flushing. Use the bathtub water as your primary water supply until your pipes thaw and warmer temperatures set in.

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t fully open your faucets and plumbing fixtures directly after a freeze. This will drastically increase the water pressure within the pipes if there is any frozen water inside them, causing the pipes to burst. Instead, slowly open your faucet and gradually increase the water drainage.

Professionals recommend using a timer to ensure you don’t increase the flow too quickly. Slowly open the faucet and increase the water flow slightly every minute. Continue this process for at least five minutes until you completely open the faucet. 

How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

Since shutting off your home’s water supply and draining the piping system isn’t ideal for most Greenwood residents, finding alternative ways to prevent burst pipes is a must. Fortunately, you can keep your pipes in prime condition by using one of the following preventive measures.

Use Pipe Insulation

Wrapping your home’s pipes with pipe insulation is one of the best ways to diminish humidity levels around the pipes while helping them maintain a warm temperature. It minimizes heat transfer and helps the piping system maintain warmth when temperatures drop. Pipe insulation is readily available at most home improvement stores and is relatively affordable.

Allow Your Faucets To Drip

Allowing your faucets to drip will prevent water from becoming stagnant within the pipes, reducing the chances of them freezing. Slightly turning the warm and cold knobs will keep water flowing within your piping system, persevering their structure in freezing temperatures.

It’s best to allow the sink or fixture farthest from your water supply to drip. This will send the water through the entire system instead of a specific area.

Misconceptions About Frozen Pipes

There are several misconceptions surrounding frozen pipes that confuse and misguide homeowners. Below are some common misconceptions about frozen pipes.

Pipes Burst During the Freezing Process

One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding frozen piping is that pipes burst during the freezing process. Although this can happen, most pipes burst as they thaw. When someone turns on a faucet or plumbing fixture before the pipes completely thaw, the flowing water will significantly increase the pressure within the pipe, causing it to rupture. 

It’s best to give the pipes time to thaw before using your plumbing fixtures or slowly turn them on, as described above.

Ice Expansion Causes Bursts Pipes

While ice does expand within piping, it isn’t the primary cause of burst pipes. Most pipes rupture due to the excess pressure within the piping system. 

Frozen water often creates clogs and blockages that prevent water from reaching faucets and fixtures. The more you open the valve, the higher the pressure gets within the pipes, causing them to eventually burst. 

Northern Homes are More Prone to Burst Pipes

It’s no secret that homes up north experience freezing temperatures more often than southern residences. However, this doesn’t mean they are more susceptible to burst pipes. Most northern homes have pipes running through insulation, keeping them warm during the winter. Southern homes typically have unprotected pipes, making them more likely to burst when freezing temperatures set in.

Contact Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing for First-Class Plumbing Services in Greenwood, IN

If you want to protect your home’s piping system and wonder, “Will pipes burst if the water is turned off?” contact Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing. Our team will help you protect your pipes from Indiana’s chilly winter while teaching you some common signs of frozen pipes. We’ve helped countless Greenwood residents safeguard their pipes, and we can do the same for you, guaranteed.

Give Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing a call at (317) 768-0063 and schedule your appointment in Greenwood, IN, today!