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Thread: How long does it take to thaw pipes?

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    Forum Freak Mistress Kath the Innkeep is an unknown quantity at this point Mistress Kath the Innkeep's Avatar
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    Default How long does it take to thaw pipes?

    We left the house about 9:30 this morning to take Dad to the cardiologist...and the CAT scan...and more lab work...got home around three and found we had no water pressure. DPW was, of course, useless. And rude besides. Called a plumber and described the situation in detail (just a trickle of water, no pressure, no apparent leaks or fire engine activity outside on the street, no apparent leaks anywhere in the house/yard). Plumber said it sounded like the line was frozen and to set up a heater near the water meter and turn on at least one faucet. Did that...also went to work with a blowdryer and a heat gun, and stuffed towels under the garage door and closet next to the water meter to cut drafts. A couple of guys from the water dept. did turn up around six (I think...it was definitely dark when I stumbled up out of the basement) They looked and said it was a frozen line and to keep up what we were doing.

    So it's now after midnight...I'm alternating between shutting the closet door with the heater running for about 30 minutes at a time (and praying alot, 'cuz I know that's not supposed to be particularly safe) and crawling into the closet with the blowdryer and heat gun for about 15 minutes at a time. How the heck long should this be taking??????????

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    I have had pipes thaw in less than 30 minutes, and have had them be frozen for a week. It all depends on the situation.

    I would turn all your faucets on. We found in our house, just turning on one would not do the trick. Just be sure not to put the plug in the bathtub first or turn the water on so much that you might accidentally have water overflowing when it does finally come back on (like my ex did). What a mess that was!

    I hope you have running water soon.
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    If it makes you feel any better, we're having the same problem with a frozen pipe. Put heat tape on the frozen part in the basement, but it appears to be frozen between the floor joists. Waiting for the tape to work, temperature to rise, and will be using the good old blowdryer today in the basement. Who says that "women's tools" are ineffective?
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    Kath, I cringed when I saw the thread topic....just the idea of frozen pipes! I agree with the idea of turning on not just one faucet, turn them all on. In the future when it is going to be sub zero...leave one at a trickle. My parents house, and the old place Jay and I lived in had this happen frequently. No fun!
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    turn all the fawcets on, one won't work. Our frozen pipe took about a day to unfreeze.
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    Yay!! Running water! Came back on at 10 AM. Have I mentioned how much I love running water?

    I was working on it until 2, then I just had to get some sleep. I was afraid to shut the heater in the closet when everyone was asleep on the second floor, so I pulled the heater back enough so that there was space around it. Got up at 5 for Tigger's meds...still no water. Dad likes to take a nap on the sofa (first floor) so I put the heate rback in the closet. Right about 10, I suddenly heard water spurting out of the faucets. What a WONDERFUL sound!!

    So we ran around for a while flushing toilets and washing dishes and washing people, and I'm going to go run the washing machine empty in case any icky water comes out there. After we eat, we're going out for a second heater for the basement, some bottled water (JiC) and replace my supply of anti-bacterial hand stuff that I have for faires with no running water. <whew!>

    Kath
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    Ours just unfroze as well! With a little help from a blowdryer. We were lucky, just one toilet was affected. However, it WAS my favorite toilet. You know how you get weirdley attached to one?
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    Forum Freak Mistress Kath the Innkeep is an unknown quantity at this point Mistress Kath the Innkeep's Avatar
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    Kath
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    I would look into pipe insulation, like the pipes coming from your hot water tank have (or should have). The insilation will help keep the pipes from freezing.
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