MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: Why does distilled water freeze faster than regular tap water?

Date: Mon Mar 15 19:17:26 1999
Posted By: Everett Rubel, MadSci Admin
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 921475095.Es


Thanks for the question. I think that you can find part of your answer here in this article in our Mad Scientist Archives.
Freezing Water

To sum up, if water has other substances dissolved in it, those substances get in the way of the crystal lattice of the ice as the water freezes. Some extra effort, that is a lower temperature, must be applied to get the extraneous substances out of the way of the water molecules so that the water can freeze. Since tap water has more of these dissolved substances than distilled water does, it is harder to freeze the tap water.

Another effect that occurs which slows up the freezing process is the concentration of the dissolved substances as the tap water freezes. As water in a closed container freezes, the dissolved substances try to remain in solution in the liquid part of the water. Since the liquid part gets smaller as freezing continues, the concentration of the dissolved substances increases. This increasing concentration makes it harder to freeze the very last bit of liquid water in the container.


Current Queue | Current Queue for Earth Sciences | Earth Sciences archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Earth Sciences.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1999. All rights reserved.