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can abundant dribbles prevent freezing?

jumper Member Posts: 2,245
Some Canadian would leave a hose bib dripping overnight figuring water bill is less painful than burst pipe. If enough Texans did that would the mains have survived?


    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,056
    That is sometimes common here.
    Their mains may be less than 2' for sure.
    We consider 6' bury safe.
    North of us it may be 10'???

    But some dribble without an occasional WC flush may let the sewer line freeze up as a glacier builds up in the pipe. North side...no sun...no snow cover. Had it happen in a church with a running WC, had to jet hot water thru some plastic pipe down the sewer.

    Brother in Mississippi found his water line putting in a mail box....14" deep. Pipes on the outside of many houses. Usually would touch freezing for 2 hours before sunrise, then 40 later in the day.

    Was visiting there for Christmas about 30 years ago. A blizzard/cold front seemed to follow us down there. -30 when we left.
    As we fueled up the guy next to me commented how warm it was down here in the south, he was from MN and us from NE.....it might have been 25 degrees.
    There were trucks with frozen air lines and gelled #2 diesel. Cars froze up that had straight water in the radiator. Several found out that you do not defrost your windshield with a bucket of steaming hot water. :o

    The river water inlet for the city of Jackson iced over, city ran out of water. They eventually got the blockage open and in came freezing water. The 100+ year old piping contracted from the cold water and pulled joints apart. Plenty of leaks, not frozen as the pipe looked to be buried safety down to 24".

    Plumbing may be in the attic or crawl space, often outside. Freezes maybe every 10 years. Installation methods will not change. Because this won't happen again....ya know. ;)
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,622
    it will keep the supply from freezing at least in the house and the service. The little flow of water adds enough heat to keep it from losing enough heat to change state from liquid to solid. The latent heat of fusion is significant. It may freeze in a waste pipe where it is spreading out over a much larger surface area of pipe, but that isn't common and usually doesn't burst the pipe the way it does in the supply. Of course you could always drain it. the required burial depth comes from a zone map in the building code. It is 40 inches in southeast michigan where i live if I recall.