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Posted on: March 13, 2019

Why do service lines freeze?

Why do service lines freeze?

Frost depth – is the depth to which the ground is frozen.  Water services in Big Lake are typically installed at a depth of over 7' to 8'.  In most winter months frost doesn’t get that deep, however, during severely cold and long winters; frost depth can reach the depth of your service. This usually occurs in February or early March.  In early spring, it may seem warmer, but frost remains deep in the ground until regular or overnight temperatures above freezing are reached.

If the ground surrounding the service lines becomes frozen, it will cool the already cold water in the pipes and they can freeze.  When the water stops moving, the temperature can lower quite quickly and freeze the water.  This is why it is important to keep the water running; it keeps warmer water moving through the frost zone.  If the water temperature coming into your home goes below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you may want to consider running your water.

If your service line or plumbing are susceptible to frost, let cold water run from one faucet throughout the day and night.  The amount of running water should be between 1/8" to 1/4" stream.  

If you have any questions, please contact Public Works Director Mike Goebel at 763-263-2268.    


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