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Water users advised about freezing???

rdesigns's picture

Water users advised about freezing??? (post #207401)

Yesterday, a local newspaper carried a public service announcement from the municipal water department advising homeowners that the recent days of thawing temperatures would "drive the frost deeper into the ground", and that residents should let a trickle of water run to stop their underground service lines from freezing.

Maybe this is the complement to "heat rises."

People believe some pretty (post #207401, reply #1 of 6)

People believe some pretty strange things. Try to debate it with them and they'll freak out.

I think it's best just to ignore them.

So Ron (post #207401, reply #2 of 6)

That's an old wives tale?

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Yup.  Makes absolutely no (post #207401, reply #4 of 6)

Yup.  Makes absolutely no sense.

There can, of course, be a (post #207401, reply #5 of 6)

There can, of course, be a difference in the rate of heat (or cold) transfer downward depending on the moisture content of the soil, and a freeze/thaw cycle could affect that.  But not in any way that would be predictable.

What DOES happen is that a pipe freezes and cracks, but the problem doesn't become apparent until the ground thaws.  But it wasn't the thawing that caused the problem, and it's too late for running the water to do any good.

And, of course, in the spring, when uneven thawing causes roads to "heave" (actually, portions of the road are subsiding faster than others), it's not unusual to see water mains crack due to the stress.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Another old wives' tale from (post #207401, reply #6 of 6)

Another old wives' tale from my grandma (RIP): she used to advise running cold water over a boiled egg to "drive the heat into the middle, so the yolk will cook."

Another one: After I burned my palm, she had me hold it over a hot stove "to draw the heat out."

The only problem is in areas (post #207401, reply #3 of 6)

The only problem is in areas where there's normally snow cover (such as southern MN) but isn't this year.  This can result in pipes freezing where they haven't in colder years.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville