Do water companies routinely lower the mains pressure in winter?

I've noticed a slight drop-off in pressure lately, ever since the cold weather kicked in. I wonder whether some/all water companies have a policy to reduce water pressure in winter when demand is lower (no sprinklers, less car washing, less swimming pool usage) in order to avoid leaks.
The water supply is still perecftly adequate, but the flow e.g. from the kitchen cold tap, is not as forceful as in the summer. Sometimes I have thought the pressure too HIGH in the summer, as it would practically take your hand off if you held it under the kitchen cold tap.
MM
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I don't think its true. it could be of course that the pressure is lower as there has been a small burst somewhere which has not yet been found or fixed. In summer less likely to freeze after all. Brian
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2014 12:55:12 -0000, "Brian Gaff"

I checked my water meter for a few minutes to see whether any leak was comng from my side, but it was absolutely static.
By the way, that blue plastic mains supply pipe that water companies use nowadays on new properties, how long does it last?
MM
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wrote:

MDPE Medum density polyethylene If kept out of sunlight, forever.
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On 14/12/2014 10:15, MM wrote:

That's not something I had noticed.
For info, viscosity is a strong function of temperature that could explain the reduced flow at lower temperatures.
First google hit: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/water-dynamic-kinematic-viscosity-d_596.html
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Trouble with that line is that the water temperature doesn't actually change all that much between summer and winter.
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On 14/12/2014 19:28, Rod Speed wrote:

For you it may not, it depends upon the source.
Mine comes from a river supply, and my shower temperature control goes from 3 in the summer to 7 in the winter with a corresponding lower flow rate.
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So you arent getting the effect he is.

Not by enough to matter.

That doesn't see the viscosity change significantly.

Not because of the viscosity.
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On 14/12/2014 22:42, Rod Speed wrote:

What would you call significant?

Assuming water usage constant, and the same pressure at the source by the water company, is there another cause?
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Enough to produce the noticeable effect that the OP was talking about.

You can't assume that if significant numbers of people are letting their outside taps dribble in winter to stop them from freezing when they aren't being metered.

You can't assume that either. I know ours has deliberately reduced the water pressure to reduce the number of pipe failures and its possible the OP has just seen that happen with his water company and that it isnt actually seasonal.

See above.
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MDPE

It's also available in black, which will be somewhat better protected from UV, but may heat up more in the sun (and yellow, but only for buried gas mains, not to be confused with the yellow plastic coated steel, which is sometimes used for gas above ground).
I was a little surprised to see miles of the blue stuff laid across the surface of the ground in South African game reserves, to supply water to sparse collections of lodges. I guess there was no chance of freezing, but the sun is very powerful there. If the elephants discover what fun it is to pull it around and break it, they might have to try burying it.
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Water pressure reduction round about here is caused by country dwellers, who have a history of frozen supply pipes, leaving the tap on a dribble all night. Surprising the cumulative effect it has.
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2014 15:48:12 -0000, "Phil L"

That's pretty darned impressive, I think. Traditional clay pipes would probably last literally forever IF not subjected to tree roots or frost damage. I expect there's loads of examples going back to Roman times.
MM
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2014 18:52:32 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) wrote:

I suppose it's all down to cost. But short-termism is never a good idea. If they hadn't had the money to pay for the pipe, then they wouldn't have been able to lay any pipe. But to my mind, the question "Can we afford it?" MUST include the costs of doing a proper job.
Or perhaps they're still planning on burying it when they've got some more ready cash.
MM
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wrote:

Yes.

That is just plain wrong.

Nope. Clearly the pipe lying on the ground are better than nothing.

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On 15/12/2014 08:04, MM wrote:

digging miles of trenches is disruptive to wild life.

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Not if you put the pipe in them and fill them in again quickly.
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On Mon, 15 Dec 2014 06:28:46 +1100, "Rod Speed"

Wanna bet! That just isn't the case at my house. In the summer the cold water ~never~ gets cold, even if I wash the car for half an hour. It's still tepid half an hour later. Also, 30 minutes on the boiler (heating oil) is more than enough time to get a tank full of piping hot water in the summer. But in the winter, like now, I have to leave it on for an hour. And in winter there's no way I could wash the car (with a sponge) for half an hour, or my hands would be dropping off with the cold. In fact, I recently bought a long-handled hose brush just for doing that because the car was getting really dirty due to the numerous tractors in Lincolnshire leaving mud on the lanes at this time of the year (cabbages, sprouts, beets etc).
MM
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Yep.

If that was the cause, you'd have seen the summer/winter effect at the kitchen tap with all the winters before the most recent one.

Sure, but clearly there hasn't been that water pressure effect previously.

Sure, but clearly there hasn't been that water pressure effect previously.

Sure, but clearly there hasn't been that water pressure effect previously.

Sure, but clearly there hasn't been that water pressure effect previously.
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2014 21:49:47 +0000, Grimly Curmudgeon

Well I never! That must cost 'em a lot, just wasted. Why not lag the pipes?
MM
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