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Nemo
01-12-2007, 09:49 PM
Obviously we are in a bit of a chill, and I just returned off of a business trip from Tampa. I just turned off my outside lines to a carriage house that appears to have frozen. What is the proper way to de-thaw them once we get warmer? Is it going to be an issue where I def. will be in need of a plumber. I have no water leaking now, but I know that usually that happens once de-thawed. Is it a definite problem, or is there something I can do now to prevent it, ie hairdryer et al.?

Thanks

nakman
01-12-2007, 10:52 PM
Can you disconnect it at the house (is it just a garden hose?) Or is it "hard plummed?" If so and you've shut it off at the house, can you now go to the carriage house & open up a valve? That way as it continues to freeze & expand it will have somewhere to leak out. You could also try to disconnect a sink hookup in the carriage house then heat the copper with propane.. don't get it hot enough to melt the solder just warming the pipe.. that warmness will trickle down the pipe somewhat & slow down the ice. Get as much of the pipe as you can get to until it's a little too hot to touch. Then leave a warm light bulb out there to keep the temperature up. Hopefully it's not entirely frozen and you can get half the water out of there.. in which case let it freeze you should be ok.

If it were my house I'd be out there doing this tonight.:campfire:

RockRunner
01-13-2007, 11:34 AM
Obviously we are in a bit of a chill, and I just returned off of a business trip from Tampa. I just turned off my outside lines to a carriage house that appears to have frozen. What is the proper way to de-thaw them once we get warmer? Is it going to be an issue where I def. will be in need of a plumber. I have no water leaking now, but I know that usually that happens once de-thawed. Is it a definite problem, or is there something I can do now to prevent it, ie hairdryer et al.?

Thanks

Like Nakman said, all those things will help. Question is, the pipes/hose that runs to your cariage house, is it copper or a hose? If it is a hose no big deal really. If it is a copper pipe and was full of water when the freeze started you may be out of luck.

If you can turn of the water inthe house to the cariage house do that ASAP. THen go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy some HEATED PIPE WRAP. It wraps around your pipe and plugs into the wall. THen it will heat your pipe so that it won't freeze, depending on the lenght of the pipe. If your pipe is long then you can add one in the carriage house too, heating it from both sides. If you can not turn of the pipes to the C house I would still do the same and while at HD buy some on/off valves and install them ASAP.

If you need some more info call me, I have done this at all our rental homes and our own homes, it is the best way to prevent a flood, don't ask me how I know.

Tom 303-829-0703 Cell or 720-981-0306.

Nemo
01-13-2007, 04:27 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. I actually went out and took care of the pipes last night. All is good. I did turn off the main valves from the house to the carriage house. Only thing that actually froze was the faucet and a small portion of the pipe in the carriage house itself. After turning off the main valves to the carriage house I heated the others up and got any water and ice out. Left the valves to the faucets open in the carriage house and all should be well. Then I had a beer. :D

Hulk
01-15-2007, 06:48 PM
Just read this, and was hoping it wasn't you!
Home Burned After Blowtorch Used To Unfreeze Pipes

BOULDER, Colo. -- A Boulder County residence may be a total loss after fire officials said the homeowners were trying to unfreeze a water pipe and started a fire that engulfed the residence.

The blaze was reported just after noon Sunday in the 5500 block of Valmont Road. Upon arrival, deputies and firefighters found the residence filled with heavy smoke.

Everyone inside the residence was safely evacuated but the unit suffered extensive damage, fire officials said.

Investigators said the fire was caused accidentally when the owners used a small propane torch to try and unfreeze a pipe.

The residence was deemed uninhabitable as a result of the fire.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/10752462/detail.html

Red_Chili
01-16-2007, 11:58 AM
Saw that last night. Mobile home. The gal took a torch to the pipes, but ignited the cobwebs underneath and it got away from her quicker than a cat.

Or.... that was a second incident!!!!!

Maddmatt
01-16-2007, 12:26 PM
And here I was thinking that I'm silly to wrap the area behind any pipes that I sweat with aluminum foil. I guess I'll keep doing that.

SteveH
01-16-2007, 01:38 PM
A safe way to thaw pipes is to rent an electric pipe thawer (which looks much like a cheap 110v arc welder).

I used one and it thawed a massively frozen pipe in about 30 seconds. You attach one lead at each end of the frozen section and plug this deal into the wall for whatever time it takes. It drew a lot of current, but didn't trip the breaker.

Steve