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Thread: Frozen Pipe Repair

  1. #1
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Bothell, Washington
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    Default Frozen Pipe Repair

    In Seattle it was cold. Like the 20's day and night. This is what happens when ice forms in pipes.
    this time, because it had been previously repaired, and soldered poorly, the fitting popped off instead of splitting the pipe.

    The pipe had barely been in the fitting.
    There should have been batt insuation between the pipe and outside wall.
    There was foam insulation on the pipe, but that is useless against outside cold air. Foam wrap is only good for retaining heat the water could have had.

    The coupling on the left, I guess had been holding because I unsoldered that one to get it off. There was almost no solder on one side of the pipe and coupling.
    The right side is the barely inserted pipe.

    New pipe solded back in place.

    The homeowner was away, so the 1/2" pipe in the garage was running down the driveway and down the street, causing a sheet of ice before someone finally call the water district, who came out and turned the water off at the meter.

    When I got there, there was a flagger. I wasn't sure if it was construction work, or just blocking off a lane because of the ice on the roadway from the pipe leak.
    Last edited by Terry; 12-10-2013 at 09:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    That is how someone inserts a piece of tubing between two "couplings with stops" when the two sides do not move enough to fit the piece in properly. At least it was an easier repair than if the tubing had frozen, then "expanded" before splitting. The water "damage" would probably have been the same, so I guess it was a "freeze plug" type of connection.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Sep 2013


    A tip for people who are faced with unusually cold weather: open the doors of the cabinets on the sinks that are on outside walls. That lets heat in. Running water at a trickle can keep pipes from freezing.

    In cold areas, they sell styrofoam insulator covers for outside hose faucets. If you don't have those readily available, consider rigging something up. If you have inside shutoffs for outside taps, close those valves. Then open the outside valves.

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