Main thru concrete freeze prevention


Old 01-05-14, 12:31 PM
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Main thru concrete freeze prevention

We are getting bitter cold tonight. How is it the main that runs onto the house thru concrete foundation doesn't freeze everytime?

Should I be doing something to protect the mainline that is closest to the concrete?
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Old 01-05-14, 12:54 PM
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The main water line is supposed to be buried below the deepest possible frost level in your area and come thru the foundation at that same level.

If you've had any problems with the main freezing then be sure to leave water running real slow at one of the faucets.
Old 01-05-14, 01:05 PM
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When experiencing really, really cold temps I would open a faucet to a very slow steam and let it run.
Old 01-05-14, 02:29 PM
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The reason is because of the heat storage capacity of the soil and concrete that keeps the temperature more consistent. (R-values mean nothing since they are based on short term lab teats) - The deeper you go, the more the temperature reflects the average annual outdoor temperature.

The "frost depth" is really only for construction to built so there is no major movement that affects the structure over a very long period (50 to 100 years) mif nothing is heated or adds heat to the soil. It has little to do on the soil temperature in the short term.

In MN, the code "frost depths" are 48" plus or minus a foot, but the actual soil temps are about 54F when you get down a few feet. In the summer, the soil is warmed by the structure and the soil temps go up slightly every season. I have seen only 3" of frost in soil under 12" of undisturbed snow after several months of below 0F days, but the code there for frost footing was 60".

When I lived in northern MI we had to run a trickle 24/7 continuously to maintain a flow through the mains because our mains were 3' deep and the bedrock was 4'down and we were getting cold water (not warmer well water) directly from Lake Huron. - The water usage rates were reduced in the cold months.

It is very hard to control Mother Nature, let alone beat Mother Nature.

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