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guidwayFlag for United States of America

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hose connected, burst pipe?

Science question: I live in the  south east U.S. We don't usually have sub freezing temperatures, however when we do, the local news always says to disconnect external water hoses to prevent waterpipes from bursting.
I'm trying to understand if there is any true science to back up this claim. Why would the water hose itself have any affect on pipes bursting?  Wouldn't it only occur if water freezes between the faucet and the pipes and expands and cracks the pipes? The hose connected doesn't seem relevant.
Any science to back this up?
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Scott Fell
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Yes - the scientific explanation is that water expands when it freezes.

What I do is disconnect the hose from the faucet, close the valve indoors and leave the faucet open! But then again, you may not have the indoor valve on that water line if you live in the South!

Not only can the hose burst, but the water pipes as well.
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Padas/Dave,
Thanks for the links.  I read them but don't see explanations for why removing the hose matters. Just basically saying to do it or it could cause broken pipes. Why though? Would it be back pressure from the hose?

Dave, I don't know.  Maybe it is just to keep the hose itself from bursting and they are just lumping it in with the pipes. I'm not sure what they mean. Just wanted to see if there could be a reason the hose could matter.
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Paul, How would water freezing in the hose and expanding cause the pipes to burst?  Or am I misunderstanding what you mean?

Sorry guys not trying to be difficult just trying to understand. Thanks for the help!
I am no scientist, but if your hose is completely empty and your spigot never drips, you are probably ok.   Chances are you have water in your hose and there could be a slow drip you don't realize.  Now water could be backed up in that area, freeze, expand and do damage.
Dave, I gave it a standing 10 count and didn't see anything before I posted.
No problem @padas, I was on the phone.  @guidway, the whole point is to let all the water drain out that would otherwise freeze.  No water = no problem.
"I'm trying to understand if there is any true science to back up this claim.

The problem is not science but English.  Newpapers do not always write exactly as they intend.
The links given tell you the science.
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Outside hoses would be most exposed to freezing temperatures, and ice blockages within the hose could prevent relief of pressure by flow along the pipe and out open faucets.
I think Paul has give you the most complete answer so far http:#aa39744312
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Thanks again to everyone! Paul's answer really helped me to understand it and makes sense.

I've always disconnected it anyway (just in case), but never understood really why so started questioning it. This helped a lot!