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hbfinc 01-18-2009 07:55 AM

Frozen pipes - not hot or cold
After 3 degree weather my pipes are frozen - hot and cold. I've never
had the hot water pipes freeze. You would think the hot water could get
15 feet from the hot water to the kitchen fawcet. It has warmed up to
31 degrees and still no water. The circuit breaker wasn't shorted. I'm
wondering if it is electrical. Any thoughts?

AllanJ 01-18-2009 08:36 AM

Not necessarily. Only a few feet from the water heater, a hot water pipe can freeze.

It is the heat conduction through the metal pipe from a warm location, not the stationary "column" of water inside, that keeps a pipe warm enough not to freeze.

By letting a faucet drip fast or trickle in cold weather, new not-quite-so-cold water comes through faster than it can freeze.

DUDE! 01-18-2009 08:50 AM

Give thought to when you are standing at the sink running the hot water faucet and waiting for it to come out hot, and this when its not cold outside. When there is no demand for it, that water cools off sitting in the pipe.

hbfinc 01-18-2009 10:24 AM

Frozen pipes - not hot or cold
Thanks - good to know. It's 34 now and still not moving but there
is still ice on my deck as well. Next time I'll leave the faucets dripping.
I thought the heat tape would do the trick but it got colder than expected.

hbfinc 01-18-2009 10:28 AM

Frozen pipes - not hot or cold
That would be "faucets" - can you tell I''m not plumber?

KE2KB 01-18-2009 02:42 PM


The circuit breaker wasn't shorted. I'm
wondering if it is electrical.
You mean, the circuit breaker (for the branch that feeds the heat tape) has not tripped, right?

hbfinc 01-18-2009 09:25 PM

No, the circuit breaker for the well/pump. We put an oil heater next to the holding tank thinking it was frozen where it goes into the house but that
didn't make any difference. Looks like the plumber will be called in the morning. If nothing is frozen at this point - what would keep the water from working?

hbfinc 01-19-2009 12:21 PM

The pipes thawed and none burst. We were lucky. Next time we'll plan
better and keep the holding tank area warm as well. The plumber didn't have to come. I'll keep reading this forum - I might learn something.
Thanks again.

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