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Old 10-03-2022, 12:21 PM   #1
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Freezing; Leave Inside Tap Dripping Enough?

Hi,

I'm staying another week up ~8000 feet and it's been getting close to 30° every night. A couple nights predicted to hit ~28°,

I have outdoor 2 canister filter system and an On The Go water softener. It's a real hassle to roll them up and bring inside or TV and am wondering if a slight drip stream of water is enough to keep them safev outside.

I'm in a place with no shortage of water so not a waste per se. I think ~1 gallon an hour should be ok....

What say you?

Thanks!

Trav
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Old 10-03-2022, 06:47 PM   #2
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I don't know if it's something you can do, but for some reason reading your post I thought about tomato plants. When they're calling for frost, you're supposed to cover 'em up.

I've seen some hard frosts, down to 30 degrees, maybe even a bit colder, and tomato plants have survived by covering them up.

So, maybe let her drip, AND, throw a sheet of plastic over the apparatus outside, and I bet you'll be fine.

The issue with the drip thing is, you have to watch out for the drain lines freezing up. We lived in an old farmhouse with an outside drain pipe running down the side of the house. Leaving the upstairs bath sink dripping, under the right COLD conditions outside, would sure enough freeze up that drain line.
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Old 10-03-2022, 07:16 PM   #3
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Hi

Simple answer:

If it's headed towards freezing, disconnect all external water sources. Run on the fresh water tank Fill it up ahead of the freeze. Run for a couple days on the internal water tank. Anything outside the trailer ( or van ) when it gets below freezing is likely to become a problem.

Bob
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Old 10-03-2022, 07:18 PM   #4
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At 30F you would be okay for a short while, Going down to 28F might be pushing it especially if any of the plastic housings are thin or fragile. But I'm not sure that dripping the faucet is the best answer.

Why not just use your filter & softener to fill your freshwater tank and then bring everything inside where it can remain above freezing. At most you would have to refill once during the week, and then you'll be without the worries about freezing things.
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Old 10-03-2022, 10:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisH View Post
Hi,



I'm staying another week up ~8000 feet and it's been getting close to 30° every night. A couple nights predicted to hit ~28°,



I have outdoor 2 canister filter system and an On The Go water softener. It's a real hassle to roll them up and bring inside or TV and am wondering if a slight drip stream of water is enough to keep them safev outside.



I'm in a place with no shortage of water so not a waste per se. I think ~1 gallon an hour should be ok....



What say you?



Thanks!



Trav
I lived in a 21ft travel trailer for 5 years during college.

While it was admittedly in Austin, TX, occasionally we had cold weather down into the teens and low 20's overnight each night for multiple days in a row with temperatures below freezing during the day.

Never had anything freeze because running water works magic for two reasons. 1) you are pulling warm water from underground pipes and the earth temperature is usually 50 degrees or so and 2) running water is freeze resistant. Neither the exposed water hose, nor the drain pipes ever froze.

And this was living in a 1970's vintage trailer with no insulation to speak of.

However, taking additional precautions provides additional insurance. Cover up your outside filter and softener equipment with a plastic tarp and throw old blankets or towels on top. The earth is still very warm relative to the air temperature and the area below the tarp will stay above freezing in moderately cold temperatures (I.e. 15+F). If you live in fairbanks Alaska and it is - 40F outside, all such advice is useless, lol.

Just be generous when dripping faucets, including hot water as well. Drip all plumbing, showers, bathroom and kitchen sinks. I even emptied the black tank and left the valve open so I could jam the toilet lever open just a hair to run water in the toilet. I only did the toilet trick if the temperature was going below 20F.

Nowadays, you have heated hoses and heat strips you can buy to wrap around your water filters, etc that makes this easier.
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Old 10-04-2022, 12:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by foobar View Post
I lived in a 21ft travel trailer for 5 years during college.

While it was admittedly in Austin, TX, occasionally we had cold weather down into the teens and low 20's overnight each night for multiple days in a row with temperatures below freezing during the day.

Never had anything freeze because running water works magic for two reasons. 1) you are pulling warm water from underground pipes and the earth temperature is usually 50 degrees or so and 2) running water is freeze resistant. Neither the exposed water hose, nor the drain pipes ever froze.

And this was living in a 1970's vintage trailer with no insulation to speak of.

However, taking additional precautions provides additional insurance. Cover up your outside filter and softener equipment with a plastic tarp and throw old blankets or towels on top. The earth is still very warm relative to the air temperature and the area below the tarp will stay above freezing in moderately cold temperatures (I.e. 15+F). If you live in fairbanks Alaska and it is - 40F outside, all such advice is useless, lol.

Just be generous when dripping faucets, including hot water as well. Drip all plumbing, showers, bathroom and kitchen sinks. I even emptied the black tank and left the valve open so I could jam the toilet lever open just a hair to run water in the toilet. I only did the toilet trick if the temperature was going below 20F.

Nowadays, you have heated hoses and heat strips you can buy to wrap around your water filters, etc that makes this easier.
Note that you were in Texas with above freezing ground temperature and relatively warm ground water. At 8,000 feet, the ground water temperature is probably about 34 degrees. (I'm at only 4,800 feet and my hose runs at 38 degrees, in the summer.) There's not many calories left in the ground water to siphon off before it freezes. Then with a cold wind, all bets are off. A sheet of plastic won't do anything for you. It's funny to watch concrete contractors come up from the Calif valley and try to cover concrete with visquine in the winter, they get to replace concrete that froze. Use concrete blankets to cover to keep it from freezing.
Running water is not 'freeze resistant". What you're hoping to do is have water flow through your pipes before all the calories are used up and the liquid water turns to the solid phase. Sometimes that rate of flow may need to be quite high to prevent the solid phase from changing from slush to solid, in your pipes. A thermometer stuck in the ground would help the person to gauge how much thermal heat they can hope to get under their blankets. A thermometer in the hose would be interesting to see what that temperature is too.
Now I wonder what flow rate slushy water needs to go to keep from going solid. I have seen a pretty full flowing hose freeze solid, but that was probably -30F. (Also had steam lines to the top of the derrick freeze solid, at -100 wind chill. I skipped having the crew do a drill stem test on a pay zone on that well, I didn't want the derrick man to freeze and fall out of the derrick.)
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Old 10-04-2022, 05:47 AM   #7
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Drain things out and dry camp for a couple days.

Can live all winter in pretty awful conditions if things are empty and dry….think oil patch boys…
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Old 10-04-2022, 07:51 AM   #8
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Hi

With the canisters and other "stuff" sitting outdoors in the wind, things get really iffy really fast. Enough wind from the "wrong" direction hitting this or that and it will cool down pretty fast.

Hitting this or that temp at the weather station is fine. The temp on top of your mountain / down in your valley could be different by 5 degrees or more. We've seen that a number of times this year.

Bob
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Old 10-04-2022, 08:28 AM   #9
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Freezing; Leave Inside Tap Dripping Enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

With the canisters and other "stuff" sitting outdoors in the wind, things get really iffy really fast. Enough wind from the "wrong" direction hitting this or that and it will cool down pretty fast.

Hitting this or that temp at the weather station is fine. The temp on top of your mountain / down in your valley could be different by 5 degrees or more. We've seen that a number of times this year.

Bob


Wind does not affect temperature except on one’s skin because of evaporation,translation ‘wind chill factor’ Wind doesn’t change ambient temperature. If the trailer is closed the inside temperature will not get any colder than the outside temperature regardless of the wind. A bucket of water or bolts left outside will not get any colder due to the wind, the only effect will be from the ambient temperature changing. If one wants to challenge this fact, before responding do some research.
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Old 10-04-2022, 08:53 AM   #10
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Silvr-Bullet,
I have to disagree. Cooling is a time process, even if the final temperature is the same. Heat transfer is measured in BTU/hr. Wind reduces the intermediate temperature boundary layer and increases the heat loss rate. Which means OP’s pipes are less likely to make it through a cold windy night.
It works in the opposite direction too. An above freezing breeze will keep frost from forming , whereas a still, clear night will see a morning frost with air temperature as high as 38 F. (The heat is being radiated into space.)
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:32 AM   #11
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We camped for a week in the Santa Fe, NM area last year and the night time temperatures were between 17° And 25°. Day time temperatures were in the 50s and sunny, but windy. We survived this cold snap by disconnecting the water line and putting the hose and filter in the shower each night. I left the campground water supply faucet dripping at night at the request of the campground management. I set our furnace to 65° and kept the bathroom and galley cabinets partially open to get a bit of warm air around the pipes.
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:41 AM   #12
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Silvr-Bullet,
I have to disagree. Cooling is a time process, even if the final temperature is the same. Heat transfer is measured in BTU/hr. Wind reduces the intermediate temperature boundary layer and increases the heat loss rate. Which means OP’s pipes are less likely to make it through a cold windy night.
It works in the opposite direction too. An above freezing breeze will keep frost from forming , whereas a still, clear night will see a morning frost with air temperature as high as 38 F. (The heat is being radiated into space.)


What you have described in your first paragraph is a change in ambient temperature over a time period, nothing to do with wind except how it may feel on a persons skin.
In your second paragraph what your describing is the the fact that cold air is heavier than warm air. Air may have settled close to the ground and if the ambient air is warmer a breeze will move the colder air close to the ground and warm it.
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:58 AM   #13
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While wind chill itself might not directly affect how cold the pipes get or how quickly they get there, they will certainly affect the micro climate affecting the pipes.

If the daytime temps are warmer and the nighttime temps are colder, the ground and surrounding area will have warmed during the day. Depending on the thermal mass involved this could result in a difference in temperature immediately near the trailer and ground vs. 5 feet away or up in the air.

Introduce a breeze or wind to the equation and the micro climate can disappear and be mixed into the larger ambient temperature. If your pipes are on the windy side of the trailer they'll lose their micro climate quickly, but if they are on the shielded side they might stay a tad warmer for a few hours longer as the thermal mass helps warm it.

When we had our coach, we have had lots of winter days where the temperature out in the open was 5-10 degrees colder than the temperature immediately next to the coach. I know this from the first winter we had it and I was a little late winterizing due to some end-of-season trips. We monitored temps closely.
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Old 10-04-2022, 10:31 AM   #14
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We always bring in hose and filters. The other thing is the camp ground water shutoff as was mentioned above. We had a neighbor leave his hoses hooked up and the next morning, we had water spewing onto our door step because the shutoff head cracked. It would fortunately shut off so the neighbor could stop the spewing, but he had no campground water.
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Old 10-05-2022, 07:30 AM   #15
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Hi

If you set the filter canisters out on the ground and there is no wind. They might stay above freezing all night with the air in the 20's. There is a lot of thermal mass there and it will take a while to cool them down.

Get them up off the ground and add a nice stiff breeze. they will come down in temperature much quicker. It's only when the water inside the hose or canister freezes that things go tilt. You very much *do* care about the rate of heat transfer between the air and the "victim". Air transitions past freezing easily, water, not so much (energy wise).

Bob
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Old 10-05-2022, 08:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisH View Post
Hi,

I'm staying another week up ~8000 feet and it's been getting close to 30° every night. A couple nights predicted to hit ~28°,

I have outdoor 2 canister filter system and an On The Go water softener. It's a real hassle to roll them up and bring inside or TV and am wondering if a slight drip stream of water is enough to keep them safev outside.

I'm in a place with no shortage of water so not a waste per se. I think ~1 gallon an hour should be ok....

What say you?

Thanks!


Trav
If dripping water works why does Niagara Falls freeze over in a very cold winter. Don't chance it.
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Old 10-05-2022, 12:50 PM   #17
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Freezing; Leave Inside Tap Dripping Enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

If you set the filter canisters out on the ground and there is no wind. They might stay above freezing all night with the air in the 20's. There is a lot of thermal mass there and it will take a while to cool them down.

Get them up off the ground and add a nice stiff breeze. they will come down in temperature much quicker. It's only when the water inside the hose or canister freezes that things go tilt. You very much *do* care about the rate of heat transfer between the air and the "victim". Air transitions past freezing easily, water, not so much (energy wise).

Bob


Yes, it’s called Ambient Temperature. It also will not get colder than the ambient temperature, no matter how much the wind blows.
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Old 10-05-2022, 12:53 PM   #18
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Icicles are the byproduct of moving water. Just sayin'...
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Old 10-05-2022, 01:58 PM   #19
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Yes, it’s called Ambient Temperature. It also will not get colder than the ambient temperature, no matter how much the wind blows.
It won't get colder than the ambient temperature, but absent the wind it might be warmer.

If the ground, pavement, or other nearby objects act as enough of a heat sink the immediate area can be a few degrees warmer than ambient temperature. Add wind to the equation and that benefit goes away quickly.
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Old 10-05-2022, 02:11 PM   #20
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It won't get colder than the ambient temperature, but absent the wind it might be warmer.



If the ground, pavement, or other nearby objects act as enough of a heat sink the immediate area can be a few degrees warmer than ambient temperature. Add wind to the equation and that benefit goes away quickly.


With all due respect to percipients of this conversation a definition of Ambient Temperature is attached.

https://study.com/academy/lesson/amb...ion-range.html

Further effect of wind on https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/...t_the_ambient/
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