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Frozen hot water pipe from Hot water tank help! :S

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 36 total)
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  • #274412
    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    Ok, so with the crazy cold weather I’ve found a problem. Our building has two hot water tanks, one on the hot water pipe out has frozen just above the tank. Should I use a hair dryer to thaw it? We have the room temperature up now also as not to freeze again.

    Reminding you I don’t have many tools at my disposal here but any tips would be great

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #274422
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    What type of piping is it? I would be certain there is no damage before attempting to thaw it out…the ice could be holding back a flood! I’m no pro at thawing pipes, but I would think you would want to relieve pressure on both sides of the frozen section before taking a heat gun to the pipes.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #274427

    Do you know if there is a another frozen pipe some where else in the building .

    Always willing to learn .

    #274428
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Reminding you I don’t have many tools at my disposal here but any tips would be great

    Call the land LORD!

    Man that’s just all kinds of messed up!!!

    #274430
    cranbrook2
    Pro
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    Whenever my pipes freeze I use a small propane torch to thaw the pipes and it takes a bit of time but always works .The only thing is keeping the flame away from any wood which isn’t a problem for me .

    #274431
    crotalusco
    Pro
    west bend, wi

    Is it the “In” from the line or “out” to the fixtures?

    raising room temp will help if not solve the problem with time, If a hair dryer is all you have then thats what you use. Other options would be a heat gun, a torch “avoiding connections”, wrap with a heat cable and of course insulate when its flowing and you sure there was no compromise of the line.

    #274437
    TopNotch
    Pro
    elmwood park, NJ

    How is a hot water pipe leaving the tank freeze unless the pilot is out and you get a craft under a sill plate?

    Let it thaw naturally now that you raised the room temp. Wrap the pipes moving forward.

    Working Pro since 1993

    Tom M

    #274440
    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    Thanks for all the help. It seems like the blow dryer is working well and have a plumber coming since we have water coming out of a overflow valve also.

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #274441
    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    How is a hot water pipe leaving the tank freeze unless the pilot is out and you get a craft under a sill plate?

    Let it thaw naturally now that you raised the room temp. Wrap the pipes moving forward.

    It was the draft from the window 🙁 Your right

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #274442
    cranbrook2
    Pro
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    Thanks for all the help. It seems like the blow dryer is working well and have a plumber coming since we have water coming out of a overflow valve also.

    Whenever it is this cold out now I let my taps drip so they don’t freeze up . Its going to be – 28 c tonight .

    #274443
    TopNotch
    Pro
    elmwood park, NJ

    Ice expands, so does heat. It cant back up to the city so it dumps from the over flow. Its a good thing its working, let it…maybe shut the water off going in and even open it for a little. Drain that tank a bit too. Then refill it.

    Working Pro since 1993

    Tom M

    #274444
    jdw1865
    Pro
    Dewey, OK

    @TopNotch. I have seen several frozen “hot” water lines. If they are not insulated and in a cold environment they will cool down and freeze without if hot water is not being used.

    As far as thawing out the line. Like others have said make sure you don’t have any damage or you could end up with a leak once the ice melts. Anything warm can be used hair dryer, heat gun, propane torch or my favorite heating pads. I have also heard that those warm hand packs will work in a pinch. Remember flameless is safer than flames.

    #274453
    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    Thanks for all the help. It seems like the blow dryer is working well and have a plumber coming since we have water coming out of a overflow valve also.

    Whenever it is this cold out now I let my taps drip so they don’t freeze up . Its going to be – 28 c tonight .

    That’s a great tip!

    Ice expands, so does heat. It cant back up to the city so it dumps from the over flow. Its a good thing its working, let it…maybe shut the water off going in and even open it for a little. Drain that tank a bit too. Then refill it.

    Thanks, I have the plumber here and boiler guy on call to restart the system after the tank is drained. He said he is going to change the overflow valve with a straight pipe until Tuesday. Is that safe?
    Sorry it’s the overflow of the cold water intake to the boiler for heating.



    @jdw1865
    thanks for the additional input my friend

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #274457
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Thanks for all the help. It seems like the blow dryer is working well and have a plumber coming since we have water coming out of a overflow valve also.

    I assume you’ve tried to operate the T&P valve already to stop the leak? Relieve the pressure at the bottom of the tank at the drain to test if the T&P valve is faulty. If the leak persists after the water level in the tank has come back up, the valve is probably bad.

    As TopNotch mention above water expands when frozen and increases pressure when heated. The leak is due to the pressure build up because of the frozen pipe. Your plumber can replace the valve in 5 minutes if necessary.

    EDIT: @Utopia78, I missed your last post before I submitted this one. Disregard what I said about the T&P valve. I thought you were referring to the valve on the side of a hot water tank. I honestly don’t know if the one you have behaves the same as the T&P or not. Sorry for the confusion.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #274460
    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    Thanks for all the help. It seems like the blow dryer is working well and have a plumber coming since we have water coming out of a overflow valve also.

    I assume you’ve tried to operate the T&P valve already to stop the leak? Relieve the pressure at the bottom of the tank at the drain to test if the T&P valve is faulty. If the leak persists after the water level in the tank has come back up, the valve is probably bad.

    As TopNotch mention above water expands when frozen and increases pressure when heated. The leak is due to the pressure build up because of the frozen pipe. Your plumber can replace the valve in 5 minutes if necessary.

    Funny thing was it was a whole other system. The boiler for our rads in the building that all of a sudden starting pouring out of the WATTS overflow valve for the cold water intake.

    Nice to know a little more about the system so I appreciate all the comments and help.

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #274469
    staker
    Pro

    How is a hot water pipe leaving the tank freeze unless the pilot is out and you get a craft under a sill plate?

    Let it thaw naturally now that you raised the room temp. Wrap the pipes moving forward.

    Hot water freezes faster than cold water.

    #274472

    This is what happens . Did this job last winter . Hot and cold lines went in crawelspace. Eight breaks in all .

    Always willing to learn .

    #274502
    jdw1865
    Pro
    Dewey, OK

    How is a hot water pipe leaving the tank freeze unless the pilot is out and you get a craft under a sill plate?

    Let it thaw naturally now that you raised the room temp. Wrap the pipes moving forward.

    Hot water freezes faster than cold water.

    Not if it enclosed. Hot water freezes faster because the water molecules with more energy escape leaving lower energy “colder” molecules behind causing quicker freezing. When enclosed the higher energy molecules can’t escape and must be cooled down before freezing. This causes enclosed hot water to take longer to freeze than enclosed cold water.

    Physics class is now over.

    #274504
    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    @jponto07 No worries, it’s nice you took a jab at it and being my first time really dealing with any water system wasn’t describing my issue very clearly.

    Ok, the valve was overflow was taken out and replaced with a straight section. The boiler system was drained and turned back on also. We had to go to each unit on the top floors and vent any air in the pipes for the rads. There was lots. Checked the next level down and all was good.

    Hot water tank is fine also.

    Hopefully that’s the end of it. The main guy that built this system is coming to check it over tomorrow.

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #274508
    staker
    Pro
    <a target=”_blank” href=”http://bethepro.com/forums/topic/frozen-hot-water-pipe-from-hot-water-tank-help-s/#post-274437&#8243;
    rel=”nofollow”>TopNotch wrote:

    How is a hot water pipe leaving the tank freeze unless the pilot is out and you get a craft under a sill plate?

    Let it thaw naturally now that you raised the room temp. Wrap the pipes moving forward.

    Hot water freezes faster than cold water.

    Not if it enclosed. Hot water freezes faster because the water molecules with more energy escape leaving lower energy “colder” molecules behind causing quicker freezing. When enclosed the higher energy molecules can’t escape and must be cooled down before freezing. This causes enclosed hot water to take longer to freeze than enclosed cold water.

    Physics class is now over.

    Thanks for staighten me out on that never made it that far in school.

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