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Wind chill and water pipes

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Old January 5th 14, 07:29 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Wind chill and water pipes

On Sunday, January 5, 2014 12:36:25 PM UTC-5, Mike wrote:
On 1/4/2014 11:37 PM, Gordon Shumway wrote:

On Sat, 04 Jan 2014 23:01:32 -0500, wrote:

On Sat, 04 Jan 2014 15:39:20 -0500, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

On 1/4/2014 9:12 AM,

That's like saying the pipes will freeze if they will freeze.

Sure, if you want to define ambient to be the temperature at the

pipes. But who measures that? The point is if one hears that

it's going to be 20F tonight, is there valid reason to be more

concerned about pipes in an outside wall, a drafty crawlspace,

etc freezing if the reported windchill is 0F versus 17F? The

answer to that is yes.

Let's change the parameters. Outside temperature is 35 degrees, but

because of the wind, the weatherman says the wind chill factor is 29

degrees. Will the pipe freeze? No.

No, but it will cool faster. Wind chill is still relevant to

inanimate objects, even above freezing.

You would have been 100% correct if you had left off the word "chill."

Reread FAQ 12. Their statement is, 'The only effect wind chill has on

inanimate objects, such as car radiators and water pipes, is to more

quickly cool the object to cool to the current air temperature. Object

will NOT cool below the actual air temperature.' I know in their first

statement they confirmed wind chill only applies to people and animals,

but they can't have it both ways.

Thank you. Another person who sees the contradiction and that what
NOAA says is consistent with what I've been saying.

It appears you and the NWS are not in agreement either.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say wind chill temperature only

applies to people and animals since it describes a felt condition (I

don't subscribe to the idea that inanimate objects 'feel').

It doesn't just reflect "feel". Wind taking heat away from a human
being is what causes the feeling. It's not some majical effect confined
to living things. It's caused by wind removing heat faster with a higher
wind speed.

The same exact effect applies to inanimate objects, like a bucket of
75F water placed outside when it's 20F. With a lower windchill number,
it's going to freeze faster. Clearly that is an effect.

And, that

wind chill describes the condition where the wind sucks the heat out of


It sucks the heat above the air temp out of anything, that is correct.
NOAA says it. Therefore Gordon's statement that:

"Wind chill" has no effect on inanimate objects. Period, if I may
quote our fearless leader. "

is wrong. His own link from NOAA says so.

A bucket of 75F water placed outside when it's 20F with a windchill of
0F is going to freeze faster than if the windchill is 20F.

A house is going to take more energy to keep warm on a night when it's
20F outside, but the windchill is 0F instead of 20F.

And pipes in a drafty crawlspace are more likely to freeze on that 20F
night with a windchill of 0F, instead of 20F.

He won't even address any of those. Instead of manning up and admitting
he's wrong, he just keeps digging his hole deeper, like some others.
We;ve seen it before

Old January 5th 14, 09:04 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Wind chill and water pipes

On 1/5/2014 2:29 AM, Larry W wrote:

I would disagree with that somewhat. I believe that an inanimate object,
say a cinder block for instance, if soaked in water and exposed to
wind in low humidity, will reach a temperature somewhat below
ambient until all the water evaporates.

We're talking about dry inanimate objects though. You are posing a
different situation entirely. You are in swamp cooler territory.
Old January 5th 14, 09:06 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Wind chill and water pipes

On 1/5/2014 2:20 AM, Larry W wrote:
In article ,
Ed Pawlowski wrote:

.... Rate of heat transfer is the only
difference, the temperature never goes below ambient.

So evaporative cooling doesn't really work?

Sure, but there is nothing here to evaporate.

Old January 5th 14, 09:34 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Wind chill and water pipes

On 1/5/2014 12:33 PM, Kurt Ullman wrote:
In the scenario at hand, does jacking up the interior heat mean much if
you are worried about a pipe on an outside wall? I am away and have
already jacked the temp from the standard 50 to around 70 (thanks WiFi
thermostat). Any real reason to kick it up further.

As the temperature differential increases the movement of heat energy
speeds up. Increasing the inside temp to 70 will allow more heat to
escape into the interior of the wall. Yes, it can help prevent freezing.
Old January 5th 14, 09:58 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Wind chill and water pipes

On 1/5/2014 11:10 AM, philo wrote:
On 01/05/2014 09:57 AM, Gordon Shumway wrote:
XXXand "Wind Chill."


Pay particular attention to the frequently asked question number 12.

If point #12 does not settle this argument once and for all, nothing will!

12. Does wind chill only apply to people and animals?

Yes. The only effect wind chill has on inanimate objects,
such as car radiators and water pipes, is to more quickly
cool the object to cool to the current air temperature.
Object will NOT cool below the actual air temperature.
For example, if the temperature outside is -5 degrees
Fahrenheit and the wind chill temperature is -31 degrees
Fahrenheit, then your car's radiator will not drop lower
than -5 degrees F.

With people and pets, we want to keep the core temp at
98.6, much cooler than that will result in hypothermia.
Will a low wind chill make for hypothermia faster? I
guess yes.

With water lines, we want to keep at or higher than
32F. Will a low wind chill make for frozen pipes
faster? I guess yes.

Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
Old January 5th 14, 10:38 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 2,027
Default Wind chill and water pipes

On Sun, 05 Jan 2014 15:14:51 -0500, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

On 1/5/2014 9:24 AM, wrote:

Nonsense. Why would windchill only remove heat from things that are alive?
Good grief.

I think we are confusing definitions. When the weatherman give wind
chill or "real feel" temperatures he is talking about how exposed human
flesh feels the temperature. Think evaporative cooling.

Drop the word "chill" and I think we can all agree that wind removes
heat faster. There is no evaporative cooling, but faster movement of
heat energy from the object.

No matter how you term things, it does not change the laws of physics. .


"The NWS Windchill Temperature (WCT) index uses advances in science,
technology, and computer modeling to provide an accurate,
understandable, and useful formula for calculating the dangers from
winter winds and freezing temperatures. The index:
•Calculates wind speed at an average height of five feet, typical
height of an adult human face, based on readings from the national
standard height of 33 feet, typical height of an anemometer
•Is based on a human face model
•Incorporates heat transfer theory, heat loss from the body to its
surroundings, during cold and breezy/windy days
•Lowers the calm wind threshold to 3 mph
•Uses a consistent standard for skin tissue resistance
•Assumes no impact from the sun (i.e., clear night sky)."

So the term "windchill" has been "appropriated" by the NWS for
application to human skin.
If you want to use it for pipes in an accurate manner, you need to
specify type of pipe, heat transfer rate, etc.
I'm sure it has been done by engineers who design things where it's
relevent. But they don't call it "windchill."

Old January 5th 14, 11:11 PM
Senior Member
First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,512

Yes, and I would agree, but the drop below ambient temperature cannot be attributed to wind chill, but to evaporative cooling.

When water evaporates, it absorbs heat. In this case, it would be absorbing heat from the cinder block, and that's what would cause the temperature of the block to dip below ambient.

Evaporative cooling is how a dog's tongue works to cool the blood of the dog, and therefore cool the dog down on a hot day.

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