Say What? (Drip Or Not To Drip?)

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Old 01-14-16, 03:51 PM
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Question Say What? (Drip Or Not To Drip?)

For as long as I can remember when we get that rare temperature drop low enough and long enough to freeze pipes the news people warn do not let your pipes drip to prevent freezing. They talk of the loss of water pressure making it difficult to fight fires.

Well to day I received an informational email from the city water department giving ways to prevent your pipes from freezing. One of the ways given: Let your faucets drip so the constant flow will prevent your pipes from freezing. Got to love it.
 
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Old 01-14-16, 04:09 PM
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the news people warn do not let your pipes drip to prevent freezing. They talk of the loss of water pressure making it difficult to fight fires.
Say what!!!! Never heard that one...

One of the ways given: Let your faucets drip so the constant flow will prevent your pipes from freezing. Got to love it.
Thats the #1 recommended option thats been advised for as long as I can remember.. My grandparents did it too..
 
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Old 01-14-16, 04:34 PM
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I've always heard about how a faucet drip can prevent freezing. Then someone said that Niagara Falls freezes too.

Frozen Niagara Falls - Niagara Falls beautiful frozen winter wonderland - Pictures - CBS News

It shouldn't matter for the Fire Dept. That's why God invented pumper trucks.
 
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Old 01-14-16, 04:39 PM
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Another one they push on the news when a hurricane approaches is to buy bottled water. Since most people are on city water why not just fill food grade containers from the tap?* That they never mention. What they do occasionally show is people waiting in a long line in the sun to pay to fill their own containers at coin operated vending machines that are connected to the exact same city water they probably have in their own home.

*No we don't have lead pipes so no reason.
 
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Old 01-14-16, 04:44 PM
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They must have taken that info from our text books!
This method of freeze protection is done in many places "up here" where municipal lines are prone to freezing.

In the town near us some streets that are prone to freezing the utility will install a bleed line before the meter and in freezing weather request homeowners to turn them on.
Where an owner's line is prone to freezing the town gives most homeowners permission to do the same.

Our normal frost line is 8 feet but in areas where snow cover is low as in a roadway 10 to 12 feet is needed........I have seen frost down to 16 feet.
 
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Old 01-14-16, 05:42 PM
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I have seen frost down to 16 feet.
Wow....that is incredible.
 
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Old 01-14-16, 06:55 PM
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In a related matter our water company is going to be replacing water lines on our street sometime in spring. I know that last summer they were surveying our street and making marks on the street. Supposedly the work they do will stop water main breaks but about 30 years or so ago they did the same thing with bypass temporary water mains. Makes you wonder sometimes how good the work really is and whether it is worth all of the effort. Even with all of the work being done we still are having water main breaks here and there.
 
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Old 01-14-16, 07:16 PM
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Makes you wonder sometimes how good the work really is and whether it is worth all of the effort.
I don't think that the quality of the work is the problem. If it's anything like NY, the just can't replace all that's needed, in one shot. From what I heard, NY has shut off valves that they are afraid to touch for fear of breaking. I'll ask a friend who does waterproofing on those tunnels. I think he's the one who told me about that.
 
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Old 01-14-16, 07:54 PM
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Back in the middle ages when I read dead tree newspaper it was ironic and almost funny to read two different articles on the same page. On article was the gas company explaining why they had switched to plastic piping. They explained the more flexible line was less likely than rigid pipe to break as the ground shifted, an on going problem here.

In the second article it explained why the city water department was installing asbestos cement (Transite) rigid pipe. The said that due to shifting ground they need to use rigid pipe to prevent the pipe from breaking.
 
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Old 01-14-16, 08:38 PM
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Speaking of gas just a couple of years ago they replaced the gas lines during the summer it was stainless steel pipe covered by plastic. Maybe they will be using plastic this time for the water instead of whatever kind of metal pipe they used before. I know the pipes are old but it seems like they should still be able to use the pipes they currently have since it wasn't long ago that they replaced them.
 
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Old 01-15-16, 03:18 AM
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I have seen frost down to 16 feet
Got a fire in the stove, nice and toasty in the house and that still made me shiver!

Every time it gets real cold the local news always advises folks to leave a faucet running a pencil sized stream. What I wonder about is the supply line to the holler where I live. The county caused it to pop out from under the creek when they 'rebuilt' the bridge. The EPA wouldn't let the water company bury it back so now the 2" main is encased in a 3" pipe hovering over the creek - except when the creek rises, then it catches debris
 
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Old 01-15-16, 03:53 AM
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Mark,
Do you pay for your water?
When the county advises that you run a pencil sized stream do they pay for this?

Here many utilities heat the water at the treatment plant and subsidizing bleed lines is more cost effective than raising the temperature of the water.
The utility is responsible for providing water to your property line......it is not a resident's fault the lines are not buried deep enough.
 
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Old 01-15-16, 04:11 AM
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Most [maybe all] including the company that supplies my water are private owned. If you let the faucet drip/run all night - you foot the bill. When I first bought my place my water was subject to freeze anytime the temps got below 20 now if it gets down to zero - I have a slight chance my water will freeze up.

btw - the water line that crosses over the creek is the supply line to 10 homes.
 
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Old 01-15-16, 05:22 AM
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It used to be a common practice, and I have recommended it in recent years to a few people with older homes, to leave the cabinet doors under the kitchen sink open, so heat could get back to the pipes. Don't recall this much in bathrooms, as that plumbing was/is more often in interior walls. And yes, if that didn't work, the standard advice was to let the faucet run a bit.

Speaking of old pipes, maybe about 2 years ago I learned of a pipeline for crude that was going to run from point x to point y with a tee in the middle that was going to run to point z, something like 60-70 miles total. I remember when a lot of the real estate that this was going to cover was not developed, but there was no way they were going to do it today, so I did some further research. Turns out that the line they are now using was installed about 1955, and never used. Now I'm all for planning ahead, and they ran robots through it, but still, what was the technology for cathodic protection, etc. 60 years ago. It's no worse than the fact that we have continuously used lines that old and older, but makes me cringe a bit when I think about it. As does the fact that a lot of our water, sewage and other lines are going to have to be replaced over the next 100 years or so, but now with freeways, shopping malls, subdivisions, etc. on top of them.
 
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