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JPL
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Posted: 12/3/2013 7:39:31 AM EST
We have a snow storm headed this way and they're predicting lots of ice and temps in the single digits.

I have an unrented duplex that sits on a slab with the water lines in the ceiling. They are very well insulated, but obviously still depend on a heated house to not freeze.

In the event we lose power for any length of time, what is my best option to prevent lines from feezing? Leaving the water dripping doesn't seem that great because how can I ensure that both hot and cold are running? I don't think I can. I thought about just shutting off the water where it comes into the house and then opening all faucets so if it freezes, the water can expand inside the line.

I have a kerosene heater I plan to put in there to knock the chill off and I have a generator that I can run if it gets really bad to build up heat then bring it back home.

What's the thinking on this? Anyone got a better idea?
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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 7:41:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By JPL:
We have a snow storm headed this way and they're predicting lots of ice and temps in the single digits.

I have an unrented duplex that sits on a slab with the water lines in the ceiling. They are very well insulated, but obviously still depend on a heated house to not freeze.

In the event we lose power for any length of time, what is my best option to prevent lines from feezing? Leaving the water dripping doesn't seem that great because how can I ensure that both hot and cold are running? I don't think I can. I thought about just shutting off the water where it comes into the house and then opening all faucets so if it freezes, the water can expand inside the line.

I have a kerosene heater I plan to put in there to knock the chill off and I have a generator that I can run if it gets really bad to build up heat then bring it back home.

What's the thinking on this? Anyone got a better idea?
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Slow trickle with the cold water.
A drip WILL freeze.

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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 7:46:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/3/2013 7:48:07 AM EST by sitdwnandhngon]
I would say drain the lines if you can.

Are they copper or PVC pipes?

I have a spigot right after my shutoff valve so I can gravity drain most of the lines, the rest I don't really worry about since they are in the basement.

I have had a frozen pipe only one time, and it was from a broken basement window letting cold air blow directly onto it.
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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 7:50:03 AM EST
dont forget about your sink S traps and water in toilet bowl. If cold enough they will freeze as well.
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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 7:50:44 AM EST
If no one is living there, I'd shut off the water and drain the lines.
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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 7:50:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By JPL:
We have a snow storm headed this way and they're predicting lots of ice and temps in the single digits.

I have an unrented duplex that sits on a slab with the water lines in the ceiling. They are very well insulated, but obviously still depend on a heated house to not freeze.

In the event we lose power for any length of time, what is my best option to prevent lines from feezing? Leaving the water dripping doesn't seem that great because how can I ensure that both hot and cold are running? I don't think I can. I thought about just shutting off the water where it comes into the house and then opening all faucets so if it freezes, the water can expand inside the line.

I have a kerosene heater I plan to put in there to knock the chill off and I have a generator that I can run if it gets really bad to build up heat then bring it back home.

What's the thinking on this? Anyone got a better idea?
View Quote

How are you going to protect everything on the supply side of the valve after you close it?

Just because you close the valve and open faucets doesn't mean that all the water is out of certain spots. I'd turn all faucets on at a trickle and stop in and check on them.

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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 7:51:13 AM EST
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Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
I would say drain the lines if you can.

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This.

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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 7:51:16 AM EST
You will be fine if you keep the place even moderately heated, what kind of kero heater do you have?
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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 7:53:40 AM EST
Leaving them open would work fine if you had one flat piece of pipe, but you don't. Drain them.
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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 7:55:06 AM EST
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Originally Posted By hdvespa:
dont forget about your sink S traps and water in toilet bowl. If cold enough they will freeze as well.
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Wouldn't water in those areas just expand along the pipe or up into the bowl? I thought burst pipes only happened to pipes under pressure. I'm in Georgia, though, so I haven't ever had to worry about it getting so cold that my toilet freezes.
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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 7:56:20 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Wouldn't water in those areas just expand along the pipe or up into the bowl? I thought burst pipes only happened to pipes under pressure. I'm in Georgia, though, so I haven't ever had to worry about it getting so cold that my toilet freezes.
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Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
Originally Posted By hdvespa:
dont forget about your sink S traps and water in toilet bowl. If cold enough they will freeze as well.

Wouldn't water in those areas just expand along the pipe or up into the bowl? I thought burst pipes only happened to pipes under pressure. I'm in Georgia, though, so I haven't ever had to worry about it getting so cold that my toilet freezes.
It will break the pipes.

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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 7:58:42 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
If no one is living there, I'd shut off the water and drain the lines.
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This, Chances are, you'd be fine doing nothing.
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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 8:02:48 AM EST
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Originally Posted By hdvespa:
dont forget about your sink S traps and water in toilet bowl. If cold enough they will freeze as well.
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Yep. Flush the toilets (after turning the water off) and add RV antifreeze (not regular antifreeze) to all drains and toilets.

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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 8:50:38 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Wouldn't water in those areas just expand along the pipe or up into the bowl? I thought burst pipes only happened to pipes under pressure. I'm in Georgia, though, so I haven't ever had to worry about it getting so cold that my toilet freezes.
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Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
Originally Posted By hdvespa:
dont forget about your sink S traps and water in toilet bowl. If cold enough they will freeze as well.

Wouldn't water in those areas just expand along the pipe or up into the bowl? I thought burst pipes only happened to pipes under pressure. I'm in Georgia, though, so I haven't ever had to worry about it getting so cold that my toilet freezes.


Not only could there be blockages, but the water isn't guaranteed to all freeze at once. If the water freezes in the angle of a pipe first it will be a lot easier for the ice to just bust through at a weak spot.
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JPL
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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 3:33:48 PM EST
I'm pretty sure it wont stay cold long enough to worry about the toilets or sink traps freezing.

I didn't think about the fact that a section of pipe could freeze effectibely making it the same as if the faucet was closed.

I'm going to leave the faucet at a good drip and go over and run it on the hot side for a while a couple times a day.

Thanks for the replies

Oh, the kerosene heater is one of those round ones that stands about 30 inches tall. It has a wick with a window you can see it through.
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Link Posted: 12/3/2013 5:09:35 PM EST
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Originally Posted By JPL:
I'm pretty sure it wont stay cold long enough to worry about the toilets or sink traps freezing.

I didn't think about the fact that a section of pipe could freeze effectibely making it the same as if the faucet was closed.

I'm going to leave the faucet at a good drip and go over and run it on the hot side for a while a couple times a day.

Thanks for the replies

Oh, the kerosene heater is one of those round ones that stands about 30 inches tall. It has a wick with a window you can see it through.
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Run the faucet at a slow trickle.

Drips will freeze and all you need to use is cold water.

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