Frozen pipes in the North??

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by OddJobb, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Yossi

    Yossi Member

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  2. Jaddy

    Jaddy Member

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    I'm in an apartment in a 110 year old building and our pipes freeze most winters (only the hot water pipe). It has burst 12 times in 23 years and my landlord deals with it. I've asked him if he can do a long term fix, but he's not interested. Mostly I keep the faucet open a trickle, which gives the cat hours of amusement.
     
  3. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    Here where it occasionally gets as cold as -30F my Dad used to drain all water pipes, empty water heater and stools, etc. when they went to AZ for the winter.
    But he still kept the house heated to about 40*F just because the extreme cold would be hard on the interior walls, some household items, etc.
     
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  4. OddJobb

    OddJobb Member

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    Two Different Worlds Brother!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  5. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I'm in Norway. We paid a small fortune for getting water in to our cabin. They had to blast the bedrock to bury the pipes enough to keep them from freezing. In addition, don't know if thi is done in the US but they have low voltage wires in the pipes that help keep it from freezing.

    Of course the contractor that put in the water lines didn't do it right. There is a limit to the length that the low voltage "heaters" can be. Instead of doing the whole length as promised, he ended up doing like 6 yards from the cabin, and way down the line towards the road it isn't buried enough. So we ended up with weak sections that could freeze up. When we go up to the cabin in winter, depending on how cold it has gotten, often we get there and turn on the heater wire and then wait several hours and end up either getting water flow, or not.

    A few years back we found also a manhole cover in line on another property that was covering a five foot deep manhole where the water line was near the surface. We filled up garbage bags with insulation and jammed it all in the manhole, and it seemed to help.

    You just have to think like what happens with cold weather and try and shore up (electrically, or insulate, or depth, or keep water running...or a combination of all or some of these things) and or call an expert!
     
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  6. OddJobb

    OddJobb Member

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    Brother, I just raked in so much $$$$ because of this exact short coming!! The guys plumbing took 5 + hours to fix,, main problem, supply line was 8'' under the dirt!!! It was so bad the PRV blew up, leaving Full pressure to the line. So much pressure, it blew the expansion joint out of his sidewalk,,lol
    Every outside wall line blew, fix one, find the next one, should have seen the owner piss his pants watching this,,,lesson learned the expensive way!! real expensive,,,
     
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  7. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Will you be able to afford some of that plumber's crack that I have heard about?
     
  8. OddJobb

    OddJobb Member

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    :spit I want nothing to do with that crack, somethings just not right about it:omg
     
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  9. Redub

    Redub Supporting Member

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    I used to live in the frozen north, but now reside in the south. We just had a couple days of single digit temps not seen since the 90's. I had one hot water line freeze in a bathroom located on an exterior wall, and all three outside faucets freeze. I was able to unfreeze the hot water line inside with a simple blow dryer and turning up the heat pretty quickly. For the outside faucets, I used my heat gun (good thing I used to play hockey). They freed up quickly except for one of them. That one took almost an hour of heat gun use and turning the thermostat up several times. Crazy stuff, but I'm very lucky none of the lines burst or so far have any evidence of leaks.
    I learned my lesson, and now all those faucets are steadily dripping until temps warm up outside.
     
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  10. GuitarGuy66

    GuitarGuy66 Member

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    Run a tap a little more than a trickle.

    Do that before it freezes.
     
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  11. 84superchamp

    84superchamp Silver Supporting Member

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    We just had a news story of a guy trying to thaw his pipes with a propane torch. Burned down his apartment and the one adjoining. He was probably thinking how much he was saving by not calling a plumber.
     
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  12. scotth

    scotth Member

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    There's mining town in Northern Manitoba. Flin Flon.

    The whole town is built on top of solid rock.

    The town can't bury the municipal water lines deep enough to avoid the frost. There's places where the main water lines run on the surface and are completely exposed to the sub zero temperatures. (we're talking northern Manitoba here. Like, 8 hours north of North Dakota. It gets cold )

    So what do they do? They run gas boilers to heat the water supply before pumping it out into the town.
     
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  13. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Yeah, I have this in North Carolina, in the mountains. The layout of the plumbing has to be so the area behind the hose bib is available - so it can be well recessed into the warmer parts of the cellar.

    I've got plenty of insulation on my exposed pipes in suburban New Orleans. If any part fails, it will probably be between their supply point and my supply cut off. Which could mean a crappy water bill, but no damage inside the structure. Not in the mood to head down there, right now.
     
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  14. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Done all the time. Care is required, however.
     
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  15. rsm

    rsm Member

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    beach house here, up on concrete pylons; the water pipes are insulated, but run up into the house along side the pylons exposed to the weather. So far, so good, but many pipes on the island have burst.
     
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  16. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Problem we have, I can't fix it. It's spring water that comes from up in a mountain, though it doesn't have that much pressure...at least I think not, from what you describe.
    But the contractor also buried it well...in the middle. Up at the cabin itself, the pipes go from more than two feet underground to uninsulated under the foundation (I CAN fix that of course) into the cabin. That's where the electric warming wire is I can turn on to unfreeze.

    We have a septic tank, and the fall from the cabin, buried alongside the water is the septic line, and where he buried the septic tank, means just what you say. It's only inches under the dirt road at the tank, and THEN goes at a right angle also shallow.

    Seems like that manhole though was the worst culprit. Every winter it is the same worry though...if the snow comes before the freezing it usually works out ok. If it freezes a lot before it snows...screwed.
     
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  17. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    All my pipes are COMPLETELY covered with pipe insulation. And not the crap you get at Home Depot. Actual fiberglass pipe insulation. My pipes are under the house in the crawl space. 7 vents to the outside, all of which are open. Something like 11 days in a row with low temps below 0 and high temps well below freezing. No problems.
     
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  18. AdrenalinJunkie

    AdrenalinJunkie Silver Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    Ain't got no frozen pipes
    Ain't never been on Skypes
    I like fruit that's ripes
    Ain't got no frozen pipes
     
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  20. bluwoodsman

    bluwoodsman Member

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    Well there's a remedy if needed.

     
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