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Old 03-23-2008, 12:58 AM   #1
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frozen pipes


I have pipes upstairs in the master bath (on a North wall) that keep freezing up. So far I have thawed them with a hair dryer and plan to insulate them in the spring. (If the spring weather ever comes) My question is...how do I find these pipes? I was thinking if I removed the drywall behind the toilet I could see where the pipes come from. Or should I get to it via the dining room ceiling??? I have no idea where pipes run in this older home. HELP!!

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Old 03-23-2008, 08:38 AM   #2
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frozen pipes


Its no telling where the pipes run as there is a lot of factors involved. As a plumber I would start at the fixture. Remove the drywall and follow the pipes. Thats about all you ca do. Pipes should not be freezing anyway as they are not supposed to be on an outside wall. But then again, you do have an older home. I would maybe try to relocate them so they would be in an inside wall. I mean since you will be needing to remove the sheetrock anyway, why not? My thing is why fix the result and ignore the problem?

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Old 03-23-2008, 08:53 AM   #3
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frozen pipes


Can you check in the basement to see where the risers are?
How can you thaw them with a hair dryer if you don't know where the are?
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:35 PM   #4
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What freezes up?? Toilet suppl?or sink supply? or tub/shower supply?? IF you can thaw with a hair dryer your pretty darn close to the freeze point. 3 foot in a water filled pipe is like forever!! IF the pipes run thru the wall before they go down, tear out the wall. If they go thru the floor before they are inside a wall, you will have to tear out a bit of ceiling downstairs. It wont take 'much' insulation,draft stopping to make ALOT of difference. IF you have NO access panel now, I would TRY to make one for future use,,,IF you can figure out the how to make it look decent.Even small 'painted like ceiling and wall' "trim "with a plywood insert also same painted. with 2 scews in it is an improvement!! bet when you get there if its a cold or windy day and you stick your hand in there,,,you MAY find the real problem quickly(like a 'crack' of siding joint or similiar shipping in air like crazy.

I once had an old house like that,checked and found a rolled up newspaper from about when the house was built. The paper said there was a new invention being tried in town that week,,,and THEY thought it would NEVER amount to anything,,,it was such a silly idea,,,TALKING movies!!!

Once you expose the area of problem, put pipe insulation on them,and make sure fiberglass or even foam or other appropriate behind that with NO air leaks to the cavity,,,and you should be good to 'go'. all else fails put a faux wall behind the pipe,,,and a cold air vent to inside heated space to allow heat in the cavity!!That can be double used as an access panel!!
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