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frozen water pipes

Desert Oasis WomanDesert Oasis Woman Posts: 5,604
edited 1:16PM in Off Topic
:angry: :sick:
home all day yesterday and today
heat on
sometime overnight, the hot water pipes to front bathroom and kitchen froze....
spent about 6 hours running hot water in back bath and keeping other hot water faucets running a small stream of cold from hot side...
FINALLY heard big clanging in front bath room and hot water was restored!!!
got a call into plumber to see if he can come out on Tuesday when I'll be home for electrician--
the thermostat for heating under tile went out last week


  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    If your pipes arent leaking in they didn't freeze and bust..I see no need for a plumber, might want to find a way to prevent it from happening again tho..
  • It's rare that we have temperatures as low as they are now so when that happens we leave the water running just a trickle until it gets back up to at least 27°. The sinks in the Coop and back of the garage are a different story. We leave them running until it gets back to at least 30°. Small price to pay for not having to call a plumber.

    Most of our exposed pipes are wrapped in insulation. Even so, this time I added some towels.

    Our plants are really the ones we can't do much about. All that are in pots and under about 75#, we move to the garage. The rest we cover with old sheets, blankets, or whatever and hope for the best. We even had some plastic flowers freeze one year.

    I'm with Wess on calling in a plumber. If you don't see water running on the floor or down the street, I'd skip calling them. They're probably extremely busy anyway.

    Spring "Snow Drops Falling On My Head" Chicken
    Spring Texas USA
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    One other thing that helps is to open the cabinet doors beneath the sink. This allows a little more of the heated air to reach the pipes to prevent freezing.

    I agree with Wess. As long as you don't have any busted pipes there's no need for a plumber.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i would still check myself for localized swelling in the pipe, starting of course at the sink and heading back a few feet. i have seen them swell (ice is ice), and not yet split.

    keep the smallest trickle going overnight if you need to, and opening the cabinets is a good trick as fidel said. can even hang a trouble light in there
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,005
    if its still cold out empty the cabinets and feel around for cold air leaks, silicone them or if big get some spray in foam insulation like Great Stuff. if there is a big air leak, opening the doors will make the cold draft increase thru those and can make the pipes freeze faster unless you seal them off. my bathroom remodel started 2 years ago, there was a small leak under the sink, very tiny, the water went between the floor and unerfloor and out the wall to the outside, didnt notice it til summer, some foundation looked slightly damp on a dry day, rotted out the underfloor. i would put a drop light in the cabinets with a lower wattage bulb, maybe 40 watts
  • Thanks,
    but the issue is, with the remodeling we had done a few seasons ago, the new, on-demand water heater is in the master closet and the pipes (hot and cold) run overhead in the attic :blink:
    Ku says our insurance does not cover him falling thru the ceiling but does cover the plumber -- hard to argue with an X-insurance man (commercial) and attorney :pinch:
    Although there is some pink, fluffy insulation up there, it is mainly to keep the cool in the house :whistle:
    Did leave the water on slow run in the first bathroom and kitchen overnight [lastnight] no problem this morning
    just want to get pipes wrapped and maybe some heat tape, too
    Hurry Summer :silly:
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,005
    some heat wires to plug in and lay some pink insulation on top, thats what i put in my attic arctic shower room. if its only a problem because of a one time type cold weather experience, just leaving the opening to the access open a bit will help alot.
  • wellllll......the access is the very cold unheated/uninsulated garage (plan was to remodel that, too, but $$$ spent).......don't know where the plywood covering went -- probably somewhere in the attack
    works well for ventilation in the summer, though :blink:
    we are just not prepared for this EXTREME cold, but want to be, just incase it happens again!
    I do want the heat wires to plug in and some more pink stuff, thanks
  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    One thing we have done is when very cold weather is expected, we cut the water off to the house, we have the water main valve inside the house. Then we drain the lines and leave it open, if it freezes then turning the water back on will give us our water back real fast , be careful on frozen sink traps, so dont leave water runing it it doesnt drain first. Silly thought but seen house flood due to frozen sink traps.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    make sure the pipes are on the warm side of the insulation. you don't want the pipes exposed tot the cold, obviously, and you don't want them outside in the summer. the humidity will cause the cold water pipes to have condensation, and that will drip down on to your insulation.

    you may need to move the insulation so that it is over the pipes
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • That's no fun. Good luck.
  • I have an on demand water heater mounted on the outside of a building, last year at 18* a valve cracked. So this last summer i installed an automatic valve that opens at about 35* and runs a small stream of water on the ground. This works well, no damage this winter.
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