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Thread: frozen hot water line

  1. #1

    frozen hot water line

    apparently i'm an $#@! and turned off the dripping hot water faucet at home, and the hot water line is now reportedly frozen (as in, no water coming out when it's turned to hot). i'm not at home, but this is what my angry husband reports.

    what do we do? there aren't exposed pipes - they are all in the wall.

    plumber? recommendations?

  2. #2
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    hmm, I thought the rule was leave the cold dripping. Your garage (where the hot water heater is?) is probably so f'ing cold the line in there froze. Maybe if you put a space heater in there and warm it up?

  3. #3
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    I have recently learned that a hairdryer does the trick.

  4. #4
    asshat Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain's Avatar
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    Run some hot water on it to thaw it out.

  5. #5
    asshat Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Blain's Avatar
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blain View Post
    Run some hot water on it to thaw it out.
    This is what I did for an outside faucet. Worked like a charm. Bet it works in your case too.

    Report back!

    (in all seriousness, you can always boil some water to throw on the line)

    ... And I don't think I ran any faucets on hot either... Ah hell...

  7. #7
    but i dont understand what to do if the pipes are inside the wall?! the outside faucets all have insulation and i wrapped them with towels.

  8. #8
    asshat e can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. e can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. e can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. e can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. e can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. e can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. e can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. e can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. e can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. e can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. e can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night.
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    put a space heater under the sink aimed at the shut-off valves. it may take a while, but it should thaw the pipe.

  9. #9
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    set your house on fire


    clearly this is the only solution

  10. #10
    If there is a cabinet below the sink open it. Let your house heat work for you.

  11. #11
    I went under the house last night in my pajamas and heated my hot water line with a blow torch. good times.

  12. #12
    asshat El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo's Avatar
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    Crap. I'm in the same situation as Tenacious except that both hot and cold water lines are frozen. I left the cabinet doors open and the house has been at 68 all day. The outside faucets are all wrapped. The water heater is in the garage and both the in and out lines are warm to the touch. I'm on a slab and there are no outside feed lines that I know of that i can thaw. What do I do? Why did this happen? Is it possible the main valve at the street is frozen? Are my pipes going to crack when it thaws?

  13. #13
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    No water here either. Well and the faucet on the tank are still working but barely. The shutoff pressure switch froze, and the pressure in the tank got up to 100psi. Sumbitch could explode if the switch doesn't thaw - I might have to shut it off.

    BTW don't throw boiling water on your frozen pipe - it could cause it to burst.

  14. #14
    asshat Bert Orange is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. Bert Orange is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. Bert Orange is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. Bert Orange is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. Bert Orange is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. Bert Orange is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. Bert Orange is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. Bert Orange is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. Bert Orange is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. Bert Orange is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. Bert Orange is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. Bert Orange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamthepush View Post
    set your house on fire


    clearly this is the only solution
    In all seriousness, a CONTROLLED fire will do the trick. Just keep dousing it with cold water to keep it from getting out of hand.

    Report back.

  15. #15
    Here is one suggestion I have used that requires a lot of luck. If you are talking about a wall and you can find a large enough opening, and you have some dryer vent hose (I said luck is involved) then duct tape the dryer vent hose over the opening and run your dryer. Lots of hot air is pumped into the wall.

    If you are unlucky and the pipe breaks in a wall - easy temp fix. Get some auto hose from the parts store (heater hose) and clamps. You have to tear open the wall anyway so do that, cut out the split hose and use the auto hose to bridge the gap until it gets warmer and you can fix it correctly.

  16. #16
    asshat Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenaciousTgarden View Post
    recommendations?
    Give your husband a bj.

  17. #17
    Once a pipe freezes, aren't you supposed to shut off the water that runs through it to reduce the chance of the pipe bursting once it thaws?
    I heard something like this. At this point, just make sure the pipe thaws without any pressure of more water behind the frozen part.

  18. #18
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    its too bad your husband isnt a regular shaggy poster so we could all make fun of him........

  19. #19
    asshat El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo is probably pretty witty. or good at photoshop. or porn. El Guapo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burntorangebongos View Post
    Once a pipe freezes, aren't you supposed to shut off the water that runs through it to reduce the chance of the pipe bursting once it thaws?
    I heard something like this. At this point, just make sure the pipe thaws without any pressure of more water behind the frozen part.
    I think that's right but honestly, I can't keep all that stuff straight. I opened everything up inside and cut off the main valve outside. I'm hoping for the best.

  20. #20
    so are you supposed to drip the cold AND hot water? i have three different cold faucets dripping in three opposite corners of the house - i should also drip hot water?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Duke View Post
    Give your husband some random plumber a bj.
    This is better.

  22. #22
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    Will anyone volunteer the loan of their shower tomorrow morning? I'm supposed to have lunch with Milkman Dan tomorrow and I have that "not-so-fresh" feeling.

  23. #23
    its too bad your husband isnt a regular shaggy poster so we could all make fun of him........
    oh he's on shaggy - goofybevo

    husband called our contractor who called our plumber who came over and unwrapped the INSULATED pipe outside connected to our tankless hot water heater. He said the insulation on it is made for 20s/30s, but not for temps in the teens. Who the $#@! knows - it's a brand new system - you would think they had real insulation on it. Anyway, he used some kind of blowtorch thingy to unfreeze it and said to keep the taps dripping - one hot water and one cold. ready for this $#@! to be done with.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by radiator View Post
    so are you supposed to drip the cold AND hot water? i have three different cold faucets dripping in three opposite corners of the house - i should also drip hot water?
    Yep.

    We just bought a house in a new subdivision and the builder called all of the homeowners before the cold weather hit and said to run the hot & cold faucets.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by judge roybeanbag View Post
    This is better.
    It's best if I'm the random plumber...

    Just don't tell my wife that I'm a plumber...I've finally got her convinced I really am an engineer...
    Last edited by Ag with kids; 02-03-2011 at 01:52 AM.

  26. #26
    asshat Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by judge roybeanbag View Post
    Will anyone volunteer the loan of their shower tomorrow morning? I'm supposed to have lunch with Milkman Dan tomorrow and I have that "not-so-fresh" feeling.
    I would do this for you, but, I don't live anywhere near you and my $#@!ing water is off, too...

    Call my son...he lives in south Austin...

  27. #27
    asshat Mr. Furley slams and goes hard. Mr. Furley slams and goes hard. Mr. Furley slams and goes hard. Mr. Furley slams and goes hard. Mr. Furley slams and goes hard. Mr. Furley slams and goes hard. Mr. Furley slams and goes hard. Mr. Furley slams and goes hard. Mr. Furley slams and goes hard. Mr. Furley slams and goes hard. Mr. Furley slams and goes hard. Mr. Furley's Avatar
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    My recommendation is to start drinking heavily immediately.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenaciousTgarden View Post
    oh he's on shaggy - goofybevo

    husband called our contractor who called our plumber who came over and unwrapped the INSULATED pipe outside connected to our tankless hot water heater. He said the insulation on it is made for 20s/30s, but not for temps in the teens. Who the $#@! knows - it's a brand new system - you would think they had real insulation on it. Anyway, he used some kind of blowtorch thingy to unfreeze it and said to keep the taps dripping - one hot water and one cold. ready for this $#@! to be done with.
    same thing happened to my in laws with the tankless water heater. wtf. what kind of halfass installation is that? the goddamn insulation should be ready to endure periods of unseasonable cold. it doesn't happen often, but it happens often enough to warrant a bit more care.

  29. #29
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    Tankless water heater located in a closet inside the house FTW

  30. #30
    Wait. You married goofybevo? Ask him why his ass doesn't post more/at all?

  31. #31
    asshat Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? Luke Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowery21 View Post
    Wait. You married goofybevo? Ask him why his ass doesn't post more/at all?
    Cuz he's got his face buried in some jewbs all the time.

  32. #32

  33. #33
    Wait. You married goofybevo? Ask him why his ass doesn't post more/at all?
    yeah, weird stuff, right?

    i don't know why he doesn't post anymore. I worry it's because he feels I've invaded his territory, but actually he barely even lurks these days. what a douche!

  34. #34
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    Water expands *as* it freezes, not after; so I believe the goal here is to stop the spread of the ice blockage. E.g., if your faucet is "frozen" you had better hope it's just a plug on one end and not the entire pipe frozen throughout. If it's the latter, I'm guessin', the damage is already done.

  35. #35
    it was only a couple hours that the hot water wasn't dripping, so i'm pretty sure that there must have been a smallish blockage. since the plumber torched the outside section (which was already insulated), we've been good. i enjoyed the $#@! out of my shower.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Ag with kids View Post
    Just don't tell my wife that I'm a plumber...I've finally got her convinced I really am an engineer...
    Plumber>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Aggie Engineer

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by pmg View Post
    Water expands *as* it freezes, not after
    water keeps decreasing in density after it passes freezing point
    Last edited by al pastor; 02-04-2011 at 01:26 PM.

  38. #38
    We let our faucets drip and opened the cabinets and such in our garage apartment as instructed. Those pipes are fine. But the drainage pipes froze and cracked and leaked all over the garage. We have large stalactites in there now.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Message Board User View Post
    Yep.

    We just bought a house in a new subdivision and the builder called all of the homeowners before the cold weather hit and said to run the hot & cold faucets.
    i drip all faucets. any on an outside wall (likely kitchen) will be same line as outside bib, which is your weakest point.

    drip cold. wake up in the in the middle of the night - blast hot water from all faucets / showers for a bit. this will cause your water heater to get both lines (in and out) some water running through them as it will need to refill.

  40. #40
    asshat Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids is a rep whore. Ag with kids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Massive Horn View Post
    Plumber>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Aggie Engineer
    They seem to make more money than engineers, that's for damn sure...

    My buddy who's plumber has a house that's gotta cost 3 times what mine does and has something like 4 new vehicles...most of them 4X4 trucks...
    Last edited by Ag with kids; 02-04-2011 at 05:25 PM.

  41. #41
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    I got my water working last night. I bought a clamp light and put a 150W bulb in it. Ran 4 extension cords out to the wellhead and put the lamp in there right next to the PVC pipe.

    About 2 hrs later my well tank (in the garage) had pressure again...

    I left the lamp on so it wouldn't refreeze but had to move it this afternoon because it was starting to melt the PVC a little...

  42. #42
    bunghole stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo's Avatar
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    Both of my outside hose bibs (protected only by the styrofoam faucet covers) and my kitchen sink (on same line as outside hose bib) froze on Tuesday night.

    It's the first time that's happened in eight years in this house. On Wednesday, I tried unsuccessfully to thaw one of the pipes (in a wall) with a heat gun. Today they had all thawed by 1:00, and I don't seem to have any broken pipes.

    I've never used anything other than the styrofoam faucet covers, and before now, I never had problems. I'm guessing that their limitation, at my house anyway, is about 20 degrees.

  43. #43
    Faucets in our master bath in OKC froze last night. Its become a problem over the two years we've been here that I thought I'd fixed. Opened the cabinets, filled all the weep holes outside with prefab foam "caulk" for want of a better term. I've had the outside bibs covered with the styrofoam deal for a month or more and haven't checked...but I'd bet they are frozen too. I guess my new "Freezing Number" is 5F. $#@!ing 5 degrees in America. Bull$#@!. Dear Lord I hate this state. Blinding absurd blizzards in the winter, and several consecutive days in a row North of 110 in the summer.

    Luckily, all of our lines are the new flexible stuff.

  44. #44
    bunghole stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo grows his own roses stupidgringo's Avatar
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    Is that PEX/flexible stuff as break resistant as it's made out to be? I just built a vacation home and the builder used it. I drove down there Monday night to shut off the water and drain the lines, because if they had broken, they would have sprayed for days before I even got there to find out.

    Lowery, if your lines survived 5 degrees with out breaking, that sounds pretty good to me.

  45. #45
    I guess I'll let you know on Monday if my house is still there, but it survived the blizzard of Christmas Eve last year.

  46. #46
    asshat CHIEF can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. CHIEF can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. CHIEF can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. CHIEF can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. CHIEF can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. CHIEF can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. CHIEF can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. CHIEF can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. CHIEF can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. CHIEF can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. CHIEF can play the whole course with a 4 iron. At night. CHIEF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
    I went under the house last night in my pajamas and heated my hot water line with a blow torch. good times.
    Glad you didn't get dog bit, or rip your pj's on an axle.

    CHIEF

  47. #47
    asshat judge roybeanbag GORN judge roybeanbag GORN judge roybeanbag GORN judge roybeanbag GORN judge roybeanbag GORN judge roybeanbag GORN judge roybeanbag GORN judge roybeanbag GORN judge roybeanbag GORN judge roybeanbag GORN judge roybeanbag GORN judge roybeanbag's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ag with kids View Post
    I got my water working last night. I bought a clamp light and put a 150W bulb in it. Ran 4 extension cords out to the wellhead and put the lamp in there right next to the PVC pipe.

    About 2 hrs later my well tank (in the garage) had pressure again...

    I left the lamp on so it wouldn't refreeze but had to move it this afternoon because it was starting to melt the PVC a little...

    Yeah be careful - those things will melt stuff. I had a heat lamp in between our two doghouses to keep them warm. On of the dogs moved their house getting in our out of it, got it too close to the light and wham, burnt a big hole through the plastic roof. Never seen a doghouse fire before but...

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