Frozen Baseboard Pipes
Posted January 18 2011 - 8:43 AM
I wanted to see if anyone had any tricks for unfreezing copper heating pipes. Had a tech out yesterday because of a bad zone on the heating system and he said that a section of the pipe was frozen. He wasnâ€™t sure about what section it was but he recommend cranking up the heat and getting a few space heaters.
Through last night I was able to get the heat in the bad zone up to 60 degrees. We used blow dryers last night and had 3 space heaters going. Woke up this morning and the heat still wasnâ€™t hitting that zone. When I touch the pipe it feels like a slight vibration (almost like there is a trickle of water going through).
Any ideas??? Itâ€™s supposed to get in the high 30â€™s today with rain so maybe that will help some. The heat will be left cranking all day today and I have informed my wife on how to shut off the water in case of a cracked pipe
Posted January 18 2011 - 8:57 AM
I owned a house that the water pipe would freeze in an outside wall. If I knew it was going to be very cold I would let the water run during the night to prevent a freeze up. If it froze the only way I could get it thawed was with a torch in the basement until the pipe got warm enough to thaw.
Posted January 18 2011 - 10:22 AM
Originally Posted by Montana_Mac
They sell electric heating strips that you can wrap around the pipe and plug in.
IMO- NEVER, EVER use those things unless you put it on, plug it in, and REMOVE IT when it has done its job
i was house sitting one time and the cable they wrapped around the kitchen sink water supply burned through and set the house on fire
we (the adults) had been on the ice right out front for about half an hour after supper when one of the kids called to us
we ran back in: the house was full of smoke, and the cable under the sink was whipping around like an angry snake, sending out showers of sparks every time it hit something
we cut the power and put it out with the fire extinguisher that was in the van and then called the fire dept.- they stuck around and read the temps for a while before declaring victory and going home
if we had gone out to dinner or gone to bed early, it could have ended very differently
if you have a problem with freezing pipes, fix the cause of the problem
those things make dangerous band-aids
Posted January 18 2011 - 10:28 AM
Posted January 18 2011 - 11:58 AM
Posted January 18 2011 - 12:08 PM
Posted January 18 2011 - 12:49 PM
Posted January 18 2011 - 1:40 PM
I have a hot shot system. Paid 350 10 years ago and it's paid for itself 10 times over just by little service calls. I'm in and out in quick time, as long as splits don't happen after thawing your good to go. The only time it is not effective is when PEX tubing or any non-metallic piping is within the charge points. Cost 50 bucks a day in my area from tool rental. Just keep the cables from keeping in contact from any fabric. If that's the case, I use a heat blanket to rest the cables on.
If piping needs to be replaced because of splitting, look at re-routing to an accessible area or consult with your mechanic about the benefits of a glycol in a loop.
Peace sells....But Who's Buying?
Posted January 18 2011 - 6:06 PM
and if you are on city water it's a good idea to disconnect your meter. you don't want power back feeding anywhere. i cut the pipe to isolate from the street and just solder a coupling when i'm done.
Posted January 18 2011 - 8:16 PM
Posted January 18 2011 - 9:51 PM
Thanks for all the responses. My wife got home around 3:00 this afternoon and the heat was back on. Huge relief!!!!
Got out of this one big time.....
Didn't do anything other than run the space heaters and crank the heat
Posted January 19 2011 - 2:02 PM
Posted January 19 2011 - 2:53 PM
Went to see the whatfixer.
Posted January 19 2011 - 9:54 PM
Posted January 20 2011 - 9:14 AM