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Old 01-16-2009, 08:15 AM   #1
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Default Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes)

I know alot of us are experiencing severe freezing temps right now. After one of the Massholes had an issue with frozen pipes I found this. The website linkk will provide more info

Quote:
Letting a faucet drip during extreme cold weather can prevent a pipe from bursting. It's not that a small flow of water prevents freezing; this helps, but water can freeze even with a slow flow.

Rather, opening a faucet will provide relief from the excessive pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs. If there is no excessive water pressure, there is no burst pipe, even if the water inside the pipe freezes.

A dripping faucet wastes some water, so only pipes vulnerable to freezing (ones that run through an unheated or unprotected space) should be left with the water flowing. The drip can be very slight. Even the slowest drip at normal pressure will provide pressure relief when needed. Where both hot and cold lines serve a spigot, make sure each one contributes to the drip, since both are subjected to freezing. If the dripping stops, leave the faucet(s) open, since a pipe may have frozen and will still need pressure relief.
http://www.weather.com/activities/ho...e_prevent.html
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

Another idea is to pick up those play tubes kids get for the pool..in the off-season I have found them for pretty cheap and just slice through one side and wrap around the pipe.


I do it every couple years on the houses I work on when I do my HVAC check ups.


http://www.yardandpool.com/WATER-LOG...-20-p1156.html

Something like these

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Old 01-16-2009, 11:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

We let water run in the south all the time when it freezes.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

Another thing to consider is that when it gets really cold, open the cabinet doors below the sinks. This allows warmer air to get in around the pipes.

All my pipes are insulated, but since I'm in relatively warm western Oregon, I don't have any electric wraps or such for the pipes.

All you southerners - also consider turning off the water to sprinkler systems and then draining the system. Lots of people forget that in areas that don't freeze often (like some of my neighbors).
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

During the freeze over Christmas, despite my best efforts - including this measure - I had the outdoor hose bibb in front of the house freeze and burst.

This even though I shut off water to it and opened the bibb...except that the old globe valve shutoff didn't close all the way. I didn't realize it until I heard water gushing.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

Just a reminder guys, if you have frost proof hydrants on your home, dont leave a hose attached to them in this kind of weather, as there is the potential for the water to freeze back into the hydrant and ruin them!
Ive got one customer who always forgets, and yesterday was the 3rd hydrant ive replaced for him in 3 yrs, and every time its been the same situation!!
Just my !
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

Mine froze this afternoon. We managed to get through all the -1 crap and it froze while it was 14 degrees. Go figure?
Nothing broke, I just thawed her out with a hair dryer.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

well done
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

We had a water pipe burst (in two places) in the guard/gate house at the marina yesterday in this wonderful minus weather. After the fact it was pretty funny........we had our own personal fountain for awhile. Water was running out the door like a river and also between the wall and the cement slab. When I drove up there from the office, the security person was having a meltdown and two guys, who were coming into the marina, were standing there staring.
"Somebody should turn off the water" they said and all looked at me.
So, I pulled out my Wonder Woman bracelets, walked through the spraying fountain and turned the water off. To which one of the "3 Amigos" announced....."Gee, you're all wet. Must be cold!" Duh!!!

Seems in her infinite wisdom, the security person turned off the space heater the night before (which keeps the pipes from freezing), so the metal guardhouse would not burn down. I just smiled, found a towel to dryoff and called the plumber. When I left work last night, I stopped and turned the space heater back on (security person still afraid metal building will burn down). It's going to be a loooong week!
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

I've been doing the drip for years when it goes low enough below freezing, and also went outside to disconnect the hoses from the spigots about an hour ago. Forecast is for a low of 7 here tonight. (Needless to say, I'm not headed to the garage for a cigar tonight....)
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

I use this which you can get at a plumbing supply and even at your Home depot, it may be called something else where you're at. Of course it only works for exposed pipes, doesn't help much in a slab or wall unless you want to open them up . Other than insulating, a drippy faucet is the only way I know of, as far as prevention.

http://www.nomacoinsulation.com/prod...ion=view&id=69
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:53 AM   #12
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

Well...my pipes froze last night. We have heat lamps in the crawlspace to keep the pipes above freezing, but the bulbs all went out last night. The good news is the landlord gets to deal with it.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:53 PM   #13
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Default Re: Letting the Water Run (preventing frozen pipes

Woke up this morning to hear water rushing in my sump pump well and a slight 'hum' like it was trying to pump. Turns out the discharge line froze. I've got it buried except for an 18" section where it leaves the house and goes into the ground. Disconnected it at the ground and let the sun thaw it a bit, all is well. Glad it didn't burn up the pump, so keep an eye out for that too!

Also found a frozen hose bib, nothing a propane torch couldn't cure
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