Protect Your Pipes During Polar Vortex


As the polar vortex prepared to plunge temperatures south of zero degrees Saturday, the Champaign News Gazette busted a myth about frozen water pipes.


Pipes don’t burst when ice expands inside the pipe, according to ISTC Senior Research Architect Bill Rose. Research at the Indoor Climate Research and Training program has demonstrated that ice forms along the length of a pipe, making water pressure soar. As the blockage grows, so does the water pressure, according to Rose. It is the water pressure that leads to a pipe’s failure.


The research suggests practical tips on preventing, and coping with frozen pipes.


About Jim Dexter

Communications Coordinator, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
This entry was posted in Energy, ICRT, Water. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Protect Your Pipes During Polar Vortex

  1. Alex Jeffery says:

    Thanks Jim for the link to practical tips on preventing and dealing with frozen pipes. Good thing I read them because I didn’t know about still leaving your faucets open while the lines are being thawed out while the water is off. Never knew it acted as pressure relief. You just save me a small fortune. Thanks!

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