Frozen water main to house - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-21-2015, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Frozen water main to house

Got a call on Friday from tenant complaining of no water at all on my rental property. Have had some partial freezing in a cold spot of the house before, but I have never lost all water like this.

Did some troubleshooting, and opened a spigot by the meter, right where the main comes in to the basement. After a gallon or two dribbled out, the water stopped. The bottom line is that the freeze appears to be outside of the house.

The town claims that they are obligated to deliver water to my valve at the main (out under the sidewalk, maybe 8 feet from the entry point thru the basement wall) and that from the valve at the main in is all my responsibility. Not sure what my chances are of a rupture out under the sidewalk, and whether the town does in fact have no responsibility for the pipe from the valve to my house.

Got 2 days of moderating tempos (30 today, maybe 42 tomorrow), followed by more freeze next week. Do not know if this is enough to thaw the frozen main, or whether the outside lines are damaged.

I am really getting tired of winter..

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post #2 of 22 Old 02-21-2015, 10:43 AM
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better get the hip waiters on there.

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post #3 of 22 Old 02-21-2015, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POWERSHIFT93 View Post
better get the hip waiters on there.
More like ice axe and crampons..

Toro 3650 (primary)
Toro 2450 (recent purchase)
Toro PowerLite (3hp)
Craftsman 3/20 (also recent, will likely flip)
Toro 1800 electric (gone)
Shovels (and aspirin)
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post #4 of 22 Old 02-21-2015, 12:28 PM
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Heat the pipe where it comes into the house (light bulb, hair dryer, space heater) It should thaw eventually. When it does let water drip at one of the faucets to prevent a refreeze. Usually the galvanized steal water pipes they use to run from the main to the house are stout enough to handle freezing unless it's old and weakened from corrosion which will be most likely to happen at a leaky joint. Happened to me once. The pipe blew out right in front of the main shutoff valve in the crawl space under the house. Had to wait a couple hours for the city to show up and shut off the water. The valve and pipe were set inside a clay flue pipe, impossible to get a wrench into. I bought a couple cheap Chinese special wrenches and cut the handles short enough to fit. Doing it all while laying in ice, mud and combinations in between was no fun, but at least I didn't have to do any digging
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-21-2015, 12:38 PM
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that's a real sucker punch with theese temps and more snow on the way.
mine ruptured a few years ago from old age. was told the same thing by my town. anything after the main valve which is at the curb was my responsability. hopefully yours will thaw out before it burst.
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-21-2015, 12:46 PM
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I have a problem with the water to my house freezing. It's happened twice since I bought the house in 1995. Both times it froze under the road to my house so the town covered all the costs. They had to dig down to the pipe and put a big welder onto it at different places. Both times we went two days without water. I think I would rather go without electricity. Now, in the fall they put a small tube called a bleeder on my outside faucet, it runs all winter, and they pro-rate the water bill. Running water will not freeze.

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post #7 of 22 Old 02-21-2015, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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House buit about 1906. May not be the original main. Pipe looks like about 3/4"to 1" diameter, inside a larger (1.5"to 2" dia) pipe. Doubt it is copper, but brownish color to it (is brass possible?). Will assume for now it is steel or iron.

House main is about a 12 ft run from the valve at the street main, about 3' below grade. Got a 1500 watt space heater turned on the pipe where it comes thru the foundation. Also left one of the faucets open, so no opposing force to the pressure from the main, in case the 'plug' is small and ready to release.

Not sure if the heat will dissipate, or work thru the 12' pipe run, but not costing much to try. If I don't get any result in 12-24 hrs, may reach out to a plumber to see what they would charge to run some current thru the pipe to heat it up. Assuming that is something like an arc welding rig that they would connect with one end of the circuit at the valve, and the other end in the basement.

Toro 3650 (primary)
Toro 2450 (recent purchase)
Toro PowerLite (3hp)
Craftsman 3/20 (also recent, will likely flip)
Toro 1800 electric (gone)
Shovels (and aspirin)

Last edited by time2time; 02-21-2015 at 01:33 PM.
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-21-2015, 02:13 PM
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Most likely it is frozen in a spot with no snow cover. Unless of course there is no snow.

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post #9 of 22 Old 02-21-2015, 02:15 PM
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sounds like a good game plan. good luck. if those pipes bust it's a major pain.
never heard off running a charge thru the pipes to melt ice.
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-21-2015, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenMtnMan View Post
Running water will not freeze.
Have you looked at Niagara Falls recently?

Soon it will look like 1936 all over.
Frozen water main to house-o-niagara-falls-frozen-900.jpg

Niagara Falls taken over by freezing weather during the winter of 1936. The temperatures were exceptional cold, enough to stop the torrential falls seen near Lewiston, N.Y. The pressure of the ice demolished some nearby cabins. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Would you agree that Niagara Falls water runs?

I hate shoveling SNOW!
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Last edited by Big Ed; 02-21-2015 at 03:24 PM. Reason: add picture
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