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wade 01-15-2008 05:15 PM

Old house with water troubles
Hey, I've got a bit of a problem with my plumbing, I rent and older house and can't contact my landlord until he gets back from vacation. (2 weeks)

The problem is, I can't get cold water to run in my bathroom sink, warm water works just fine, but the tank on my toilet wont fill. The shower has warm water but it's a very weak stream, but no cold water. The sink in my kitchen however works just fine.

Also, when I turn the hot water on in the bathroom sink, the toilet tank begins to fill slowly.

I live up north where it gets pretty damn cold and suspect that my pipes have frozen. I turned on an electric heater I found in the basement. Any ideas? I can't really access the pipes running to the bathroom because the entire basement except for a small area where the furnace/water heater and softener are located has been filled with concrete(foundation problems I assume).

Any help or ideas would be great.



Mike Swearingen 01-16-2008 08:24 AM

If your cold water pipes are anywhere close to an outer wall, or in an unheated space such as a basement, or where a cold air draft could reach them, then they're probably frozen somewhere. If it's an old house, the pipes are probably partially clogged old galvanized, which contributes to any freezing problems due to interior size restrictions.
About all that you can do is try to heat the basement and leave the vanity base doors open to allow heat to the pipes. Whatever you do, do NOT try to thaw pipes with a torch, as that can cause a steam explosion. You can try heat tape or a hair dryer on high to thaw pipes directly, if you can get to them.
In the meantime, get a five gallon plastic bucket to fill in the tub from the hot water side and pour it into the toilet tank after flushing as a temporary emergency solution. Also,you can use gallon jugs of drinking water for brushing teeth, etc.
Good luck!

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