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AUGGHHHHH! FROZEN WATER LINE


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#1 farmer john ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 06:02 PM

I built this house in 1996 and this is the first time I have had a frozen water line, its been real cold here and we seem to break a record every other day, coldest febuary since the 30's. the cistern is in the garage, the lines are that black plastic, until I get to the pump, then I have 2-3 feet of clear reinforced hose, that pipe collapses when I turn the pump on, I have put a heater by the plastic piping hoping to unthaw the line as I cant get to the other end in the cistern as it has 5 feet of water in it, any other ideas, I may have to run a secondary line across the garage floor into the house with a heat tracer on it if I cant unfreeze this pipe, the kids are giving me evil looks as they carry pails of water to flush the toliet thanks john

Edited by farmer john, February 21, 2015 - 06:05 PM.

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#2 ol' stonebreaker ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 06:08 PM

Good luck on thawing the pipe. You can jokingly tell the kids there was a time when all folks had was an outhouse,LOL!!
Mike
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#3 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 06:13 PM

Sorry to hear about that trouble, John.

Hard to figure out exactly the setup from the description, but could you wrap one of those eave heat lines around the

pipe. Once the water starts moving, it will eat away at the ice. I've had to do it that way.

 

I was talking to plumber buddy yesterday. All he's been doing for the past week is thawing lines.

Stuff that's never froze in decades.


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#4 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 06:16 PM

Those eave heaters, most of them are designed to work IN the downspout too. I wonder if you could feed it in the pipe and warm it up. Be a darned mess when it 'thaws tho unless you could feed it in from the cistern end.
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#5 oldedeeres ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 06:18 PM

Yeah, and they'll probably say "sure, and you walked five miles to school, uphill both ways, beating off grizzly bears with your notebook too". lol Can you run a heat tape down the water line to thaw it? I have had luck with that when the cattle waterer freezes.
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#6 WNYTractorTinkerer ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 06:26 PM

Start melting snow and distilling it to drink!


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#7 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 06:27 PM

If you're going to try the heat tape, or eaves line, I'd start searching at

Home hardware.

Once you get it on there, fanning with a propane torch, will help it too.


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#8 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 06:34 PM

Fun isn't it. I had freeze last year and all my pipes are 4ft or so below dirt even in house,till other side at kitchen. Kit and upstairs off it, froze on hot side only. My lines run along side my hot water heat too, so didn't get why it could freeze. Ran heater out around my pump tank and main feed thru floor and it finally let go. SO, can you run heat or very hot bulb down near this tank. Why is your main house water coming from a Cistern?  Seems pretty old fashion and not up to standards?? Might be such thing as disconnecting some main lines and blowing back thru with compressed air?  Have a tank for that? OR, wait till it warms up!  We were in upper 20's today in IN and sunny. Not such weather there?  Myself would be afraid of electric gadgets and the water, they are NO GO to me.


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#9 farmer john ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 06:34 PM

I can only get to 2 feet of black plastic pipe where it comes into the house, all the rest is under 6 inches on concrete, long range weather says its going to stay cold for another 4 weeks before coming above 0, I was thinking ( this usually gets me in trouble, ha ha ha) is to take about 3 feet of 3 inch pipe connect it to the black pipe coming through the basement wall and filling it with boiling water, drain it when it cools off and keep repeating until free, what do you think? comments, opinions all welcome thanks john

Edited by farmer john, February 21, 2015 - 06:46 PM.


#10 Jazz ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 07:04 PM

I built this house in 1996 and this is the first time I have had a frozen water line, its been real cold here and we seem to break a record every other day, coldest febuary since the 30's. the cistern is in the garage, the lines are that black plastic, until I get to the pump, then I have 2-3 feet of clear reinforced hose, that pipe collapses when I turn the pump on, I have put a heater by the plastic piping hoping to unthaw the line as I cant get to the other end in the cistern as it has 5 feet of water in it, any other ideas, I may have to run a secondary line across the garage floor into the house with a heat tracer on it if I cant unfreeze this pipe, the kids are giving me evil looks as they carry pails of water to flush the toliet thanks john 

 

This will be one of those weekends your children will remember for ever,,,have you offered them the alternative?

My brother is in St Marys On...just found out today his septic is frozen...does not even have the option to carry buckets ...


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#11 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 08:18 PM

It was -14*F here this morning. We have been having very cold temps, our highs are not even hitting the average lows. There is 24" - 30" on the ground. I plowed a trail and found that in many places the ground under the snow wasn't frozen. I'm hoping that the snow is protecting my well pipes which are about 42" underground. I used to use a heat tape along pipes in our old house. It only worked if I wrapped the pipe and the tape with an inch of insulation. The hot water is probably the fastest way to thaw but all that water can create a big ice problem. Be carefull if you drink that water. Good Luck, Rick


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#12 Arti ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 08:23 PM

Mine froze last year I used a small plastic line that is made to hook up a water line to a Refrigerator.

Took the waterline apart and fed in the small pipe as far as it would go, It hit the ice, made a makeshift funnel and poured warm water in the small pipe while continuing to push the small pipe in.

This took a couple of hours but finally got thru the ice.


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#13 petrj6 ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 08:46 PM

    All I can ad here is to be careful !!!!!!!!   I have seen more than one house burned down due to frozen pipes and heaters trying to unthaw them.  Most of what I am reading are good Ideas, I have had good luck with the heat tape. put the tape on the line as close to the end where it is frozen as you can get it and plug it in. wait for the water to run.  ti doesn't take allot of heat to get a pipe unthawed you jest need to apply it in the rite place.  Good luck !!!

         Pete


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#14 HANKG OFFLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 08:48 PM

Hot water freezes faster than cold water I will let the faucet drip in really cold weather water is cheaper than a plumbers bill


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#15 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted February 21, 2015 - 08:59 PM

I feel for you Farmer John.  Winter of 1023 about this time of year we had ungodly cold weather here and no snow for insulation.  My sewer system froze up completely.  From the distribution box for the laterals clear up to the house.  Been in since 2000.  We used an old outhouse I built for a novelty thing but decided to put a 30 gal plastic drum in the ground under it.  Good thing I did as that is what we had for about 45 days.  The 4" line broke outside the house and after the ground got saturated it started back in around the sleeve in the cement black wall.  Lucky the sump was right next to it so we could wash one load at a time and the sump would pump the water out.  $1000 later we were back in business again.  Hope you get it going soon.  Women as well as the kids get hard to live with under those conditions.


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