Occasionally, certain homeowners receive an official letter asking them to drip water from a faucet in order to help stop water main breaks. The problem happens when the soil temperature drops below freezing at the depth of the water lines.
The interesting thing about frost underground is that it varies from spot to spot by as much as the snowdrifts above. Where the snow is deep, the soil temperatures underneath are often not very cold and the frost depth may only be a couple of feet due to the insulating properties of the snow. But where the surface is largely snow-free, such as our city streets, the frost depth can be 6 or 7 feet deep by this time of year.
In neighborhoods in which there is a known weakness in the water supply, a few dripping faucets to keep the water moving in the pipe can help avert a water main break.
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