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BarryKaraoke 01-17-2009 03:04 PM

Frozen heating loop?
Hey all.

I woke up this morning to no heat on my ground floor. I have a two zone system with an older weil-mcclain boiler. The zone upstairs is working fine. I also had a sink freeze up in the back of the house, so I think that is also the problem with my heat. The bathroom was not badly frozen...I just put a kerosene heater in the bathroom for 30 minutes and the water started broken pipes either (yay!).

Now, I assume the loop is froze as well, but I cant seem to find where. There are many places where the pipes go through the wall and I have no access. I spent several hours on my belly in the crawlspace with a hairdryer heating as much of the loop as I could find, but to no avail. I am 90% sure it's frozen, as I can open the drain spigot on the loop and no significant water comes out (other than what gravity pulls out).

I am stumped. I was really hoping to not have to call in the cavalry, but I guess I may have to call a plumber/HVAC guy. I have read online about these electric pipe thawing machines that look like large battery chargers w/jumper clamps. Anyone have any experience with these? I assume they use electricity to heat the pipe.

Now, I also assum that it isn't the circulator pump (Taco) as even if the pump was froze-up, water would still exit the drain spigot due to the system pressure and fill valve (which it does not). Correct?

Any advice is very much appreciated!

"No Heat" Barry.

BarryKaraoke 01-18-2009 11:38 AM

Update: On day 2, we finally found the frozen section deep in the crawlspace and hidden behind a bunch of insulation. Hit it with a hairdryer and in less than 3 minutes water started gushing out the loop drain spigot! Purged the air, opened the loop and voila! Heat! It's a VERY good thing the pipe didn't burst as this would involve major house surgery to repair.

All's well that ends well!

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