Thread Number: 47035
Tap Cold Water Temperature
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Post# 684184   6/17/2013 at 09:41 (1,587 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Has reached the low 70s Fahrenheit in Beltsville, so I moved the hose that feeds the cold water manifold for the 4 front loaders from the tempering valve and connected it directly to a cold water faucet.

Post# 684210 , Reply# 1   6/17/2013 at 11:38 (1,587 days old) by revvinkevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        

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Is your tempering valve manual or thermostatically controlled?

This post was last edited 06/17/2013 at 12:35
Post# 684213 , Reply# 2   6/17/2013 at 12:01 (1,587 days old) by rockland1 (Wisconsin)        
Cold Water

Are you on your own well or is this city water?

Post# 684219 , Reply# 3   6/17/2013 at 12:50 (1,587 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The tempering valve is thermostatic, but has a knob for temperature adjustment of the output. At it's lowest setting it supplies 78F water. I think it was originally intended to temper hot water down instead of cold water up, but works both ways. On the body of the valve I installed back-flow valves on both the incoming hot and cold water sides.

I am on county water. Well water that warm would possibly indicate something geothermal going on.

The tap cold temperature will climb to around 80F before it starts falling.

Post# 684354 , Reply# 4   6/18/2013 at 02:15 (1,586 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Cold tap water warming up during the summer-this will happen as water tower tanks are heated by the sun.The Eastern Pines Water Co out my way has lots of water towers.See them outside of town-they are at their water wells.Of course in winter the tower tanks are cooled by the cold weather.

Post# 684379 , Reply# 5   6/18/2013 at 07:57 (1,586 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        

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About 35 miles south of Wausau is a Del Monte canning factory, and they have their own well with a water tower for more pressure.  A few years ago they painted the tower black to aid in heating the water used in the canning process.  It has saved them quite a bit in fuel costs for water heating.  Very clever.

Post# 684383 , Reply# 6   6/18/2013 at 08:08 (1,586 days old) by Kenmore71 (Minneapolis, MN)        

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Minneapolis city water in my neighborhood has finally reached 60 degrees F.  At one point this winter it was as low as 38 degrees!  Depending on the summer, it could get up to the 75-80 range by late August before it starts sliding back down.  For me, 60 degrees is the point where I switch back to cold rinses for the summer. 

Post# 684436 , Reply# 7   6/18/2013 at 13:21 (1,586 days old) by jerrod6 (United States of America)        

Tap cold is 73f today. Water comes from the rivers.

Post# 684443 , Reply# 8   6/18/2013 at 13:35 (1,586 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Water towers

I wonder what they do in really cold places to keep the water from freezing in the towers. When I was a kid, there was one of those huge water tanks that sat on the ground on a hill next to the church where a friend's father was the pastor. I often wondered how much destruction it would cause if it sprang a big leak. I guess it would wash away everything between it and a good sized creek and then the creekbed itself.

Post# 684449 , Reply# 9   6/18/2013 at 14:19 (1,586 days old) by whirlcool (Just North Of Houston, Texas)        

Our tap cold water today is 84F. We have a city well, but the water pipes are routed through the attic since we don't have a basement. Makes for very "cool" water in the summertime.

Post# 684453 , Reply# 10   6/18/2013 at 14:28 (1,586 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        
I wonder what they do in really cold places

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Last I checked Minnesota is pretty cold, although I suppose there are colder places. Around here I'm not aware of anything being done to prevent freezing in the tanks. I think they just rely on lots of continuous turnover to keep the water from freezing. The water does get cold, into the high 30's F, but that is a ways from freezing.

The attached photo is one of the city water tanks. I maintain a number of antennas on the top of this tank for a local radio club. A few years back they were doing painting and maintenance on this tank and I was able to walk around inside the tank. It is merely a big steel drum welded up from ~3/8" steel plates. Its about 100 feet high and holds roughly a million gallons. There is no insulation or anything on the tank. Its neat to be able to witness the water level in the humid summer months. There is clear condensation on the sides of the tank up to the water level, much like an LP tank on a propane grill.

Post# 684474 , Reply# 11   6/18/2013 at 16:32 (1,585 days old) by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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Post# 684477 , Reply# 12   6/18/2013 at 16:52 (1,585 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Thank you all.

Phil, do they have any tanks that are way up in the air with long pipes under them or are they all like the one you showed? I remember a National Geographic or PBS show about life in a village in Siberia and there was a man whose job it was to keep a furnace burning all winter to melt snow for water. He delivered water to the residents of the village. I think they depended on a spring or well during the warmer months. Maybe larger cities have more infrastructure, but it would seem that pipes would have to be buried pretty deep to prevent freezing unless they ran all of the cold water supply through the nuclear plant to heat it before it went into the distributions system. Maybe they do both. I know of some towns in Maine where there are water systems for the summer cabins. Those lines are drained in the fall. Year-round residents have private wells.

Glenn, I can see that your summer water heating bills would be very low with "cold" water that warm. Is it too warm to be able to use heat recovery systems on central air condensing units or are you not a candidate anyway since you do not have a storage type water heater? If your water gets any hotter in the summer, you would almost have to let it cool for a bath. Speaking of warm water, how are the kidney stone fragments moving?

Last spring our temperatures started warming up in March and our tap cold water got warmer earlier than this year.

Post# 684545 , Reply# 13   6/19/2013 at 01:14 (1,585 days old) by fido (Hungary)        

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Apparently parts of Siberia have permafrost to a depth of nearly 5000 feet so I suppose the water pipes might as well be on the surface but very well lagged.

Post# 684581 , Reply# 14   6/19/2013 at 09:52 (1,585 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Tom, We do have other forms of elevated water storage tanks here in MN. You will find the classic four leg tanks as well as the more modern "Golf Ball on Tee" style as well. It depends on where they are and to some degree when they were built.

Our city tanks, of which there are three, all all the style of the one in my photo. Burnsville has some high ridges in its topography and the tanks are all on the high points. A ground mounted tank like these hold the most volume of water for the least cost but they must be placed at a high relative elevation to provide adequate water pressure. The high mounted tank styles are used in areas that are typically flat as they elevate the bulk of the water storage to provide higher pressure. The rule to remember is that 1 psi is developed for every increase in ~2 feet of elevation.

Of note, especially for this thread, our city now has one below ground holding tank also. Of course this would be helpful in avoiding freezing. I'm not sure if that tank empties directly to the users, or if it is just holding that is then pumped up into one of the above ground tanks for delivery.

Next time I chat with someone from the water department I will have to ask what the in tank temperatures are in Winter and if they ever have any freezing. I would imagine that its likely that the water temperature at my house in Winter is higher then the temperature in the tanks. The water quite likely warms slightly as it moves through the underground distribution mains etc.

Post# 688391 , Reply# 15   7/10/2013 at 06:27 (1,564 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Tap cold in Beltsville now is about 77F.

Post# 688395 , Reply# 16   7/10/2013 at 06:50 (1,564 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
there is

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a lot of heat energy in  a million gallons of water, that alone would stave off freezing in the tank. Funny I never thought about it. I'll have to check ours. 72 degrees today



Post# 688742 , Reply# 17   7/11/2013 at 13:03 (1,563 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Jon, I was thinking more of the water in the pipes going between the ground and the bottom of the exposed tank and the possibility of it freezing during night hours of little usage and prolonged extremely cold temperatures, but I guess those things have been figured out by engineers and others with good brains. The way the climate is going, it will probably become less and less of a concern.

Have any disaster movies showed water tanks rupturing? That would make for a dramatic special effect.

Post# 689568 , Reply# 18   7/15/2013 at 16:20 (1,559 days old) by Davey7 (Chicago)        

The tap water in Chicago heats up as the lake heats up. I live in a building with a rooftop tank, but that doesn't seem to heat up too much, since water doesn't linger in that too long. I hear that Boston, despite using reservoir water, has cold tap water, perhaps traveling through tunnels cools it off?

Seems I've seen a movie with failing water tanks, can't remember what it was though, definitely a "B" movie or less though.

Post# 950616 , Reply# 19   7/29/2017 at 12:49 by Magic_Clean (Florida)        
Reviving this

to report that after nearly 2 months; with daily highs in the low to mid 90's (west central Florida) our cold tap water; is now in the low 90's!

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Post# 950632 , Reply# 20   7/29/2017 at 14:54 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Leslie, I believe it. I remember tales of GE combos in Florida condos and the high temperature of the cold water in the summer made drying take forever. I guess the snowbirds would have better results with colder water in the winter. Some Florida residents with well water can have cooler water in the summer, but where the water pipes go through the sandy soil, the water heats up. The sad thing is the situation with hot water in houses built on concrete slabs where the water pipes run through the slab. As soon as the flow of water stops, all of the heat in the hot water drains through the pipe into the cool slab.


For the record, our tap cold is 75F now.


Post# 950639 , Reply# 21   7/29/2017 at 15:41 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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I got a peak of 99F until the attic lines cleared, then settled at 89F (well tank is in garage).

Post# 950660 , Reply# 22   7/29/2017 at 16:43 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

These high tap cold water temps in TX and FL made me think of Mac with the laundry where they had to add STPP to the first fill, termed a hot break, because the cold water was so warm it would set blood in the fabrics. I hope he is in a happy place, bless his gentle soul.

Post# 950661 , Reply# 23   7/29/2017 at 16:45 by appnut (TX)        
heat in the hot water drains through the pipe into the cool

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Tom, thank you for putting into words my suspicion for the last 31.5 years.  My pipes run through my foundation.  this phenomenon is quite noticeable during the winter at its coldest.  Not only do I purge water before turning on the dishwasher, I will sometimes purge water for particularly the 1st post wash rinse and sometimes even the 2nd post wash rinse, particularly if I'm using the 1 hour wash cycle.  The winter phenomenon is also particularly noticeable because the 120 degree water temperature is probably between 110 & 115 by the time it reaches my shower at the complete opposite end of the house to the water heater. 

Post# 950735 , Reply# 24   7/30/2017 at 03:27 by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

Whoa, another purger!    Shh, don't let the government hear us.  


Know any home machine with a purge?  Know any slab home with insulated hots?  Hence the ridiculosity of running everything on  'pans' (thermo-time) cycle to make up for half-gallon fills of water below skin temp (<94F) and counting all the 'savings' on their 'eco' machine while waiting for the gaw dam thing to finish.  Mostly what happens, eh? 


So much going against good results, wonder they ever caught on.

Post# 950739 , Reply# 25   7/30/2017 at 06:33 by MrAlex (London, UK)        

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My tap water is around 15c - 59F during winter it could get as low as 7c - 44F

Post# 950778 , Reply# 26   7/30/2017 at 11:49 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden)        

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In previous residences in the Bay Area, I've never noticed tap water to be significantly warmer in the summer. But in this abode, I definitely do notice it. I don't know if it's because the pipes run closer to the surface, or draw water from warmer sources. Sometimes it makes me wonder if the single handle kitchen faucet is mixing hot with cold, but the tap cold coming out of dual faucet sinks is about the same temp as in the kitchen.

Post# 950815 , Reply# 27   7/30/2017 at 17:53 by KB0NES (Burnsville, MN)        

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When using an infrared thermometer to measure water temp it pays to check it against an immersion thermometer to be sure. My Fluke gun on its medium emissivity range reads about 10% high. Most infrared thermometers are fixed for a medium range which is good for any rough surfaces like stone, plaster and wood. High emmisivity surfaces will read high and shiny polished surfaces will read quite low.

Infrared non-contact measurement is handy but accuracy can be influenced by the surface being read.

Our cold tap water here in MN is 64 degrees F today

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Post# 950830 , Reply# 28   7/30/2017 at 19:57 by cuffs054 (GA)        

The city water here has gotten so warm I literally can't get a cold enough shower. This summer has been really hot.

Post# 950837 , Reply# 29   7/30/2017 at 21:28 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I have a slight advantage into two systems...

city water was 72F

well water was 50F

you notice the change mainly in the shower as you have to adjust the temp selector to the cooler during the Summer, you select a cooler temp as well

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