Plumbing in the Home/Freezing underground water lines keep
Expert: Dana Bostick - 2/18/2015
Question Hello Dana,
I live in the eastern US and if you have seen the national weather you would know we are having an arctic cold front coming through producing heavy snowfall. Right now we have about 8-9 inches on the ground, and the temperatures in the next 48 hours are supposed to get as low as -15 below zero. My question is, do you think the snow cover we have now is sufficient enough to act as an insulator to keep the ground temperatures from getting so cold as to freeze the pipes buried underneath? Or do you think it would be wise to keep a faucet dripping the next couple of days to avoid freezing? Sure do wish I was in sunny California right now! ha ha
Answer Hi Gary,
It sucks to be you! LOL Been there, done that. I lived up in the high Sierras above 6000 feet for 10 years so I know about freezing pipes. As a matter of fact I made a lot of money fixing them!
While the snow cover does act as a bit of insulation, if the lines are not buried below the frost line (per code) they can still freeze, especially if the cold snap is a protracted one. It probably wouldn't hurt to keep a little bit of flow going.
Yes Southern California it does have its attractions. It's 72° right now at Noon and heading for a high of 81 today. LOL
Pretty much any residential plumbing questions. For "item specific" details such as a specific model of fixture, I will need to research and there may not be any useful information available.
Note: I live and work in Southern California. We do not, as a rule, use hot water or steam heating systems, oil fired boilers or private water wells so my knowledge in those areas is pretty limited. There are others here on AllExerts that can probably answer those questions better.
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