Dripping Fauset and Freezing Pipes

This is in reference to the question of why a slightly dripping tap will keep a pipe from freezing.

Staffer Ken fails to mention the important issue of latent heat. Simply cooling water to 32 F (0 C) will not make it freeze. You have to remove an large amount of extra heat in order to get the phase transformation from liquid to solid – and water has a substantial “latent heat of freezing”.

So, even a slightly dripping introduces a lot of “hidden” heat energy into the pipe, which prevents freezing.

I’m a big fan of SD, usually it’s right on track – but this one missed the main issue, I think.

It’s customary to give a link to the article: Does a dripping faucet keep the pipes from freezing?
And welcome to the board!

Welcome to the Stragith Dope Message Board, Heat Transfer Guy, and thanks for the comments.

I imagine that it helps that a very slight amount of movement is happening as well - I mean, 1 drip every 5 seconds and… I’m not doing the math.

Point is, that water will leave the relative safety of the deep underground main and go through your pipes in a relatively short amount of time - before it freezes.