|Re: IMPT Information on Frozen Pipes||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Holly Wilder (hollywilder23gmail.com)|
|Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2014 13:51:42 -0800 (PST)|
Very helpful, thanks for sending. I am a property manager and tell my tenants to set a faucet to drip, but didn't have a great understanding of it myself. Stay warm! - h Holly Wilder Visionary Properties LLC www.visionaryproperties.vpweb.com hollywilder23 [at] gmail.com (303) 517-4180 cell On Jan 11, 2014, at 11:34 AM, Sharon Villines wrote: > > Below is an excerpt from a NYTimes article on frozen pipes, why they freeze, > how they burst, and why leaving a faucet running is important. The reality is > counter intuitive and I had not a clue. We had a huge flood at Takoma Village > this week and missed an element that would have helped us slow the water flow > while we located someone who knew how to turn of the water to that pipe. > > The first thing we should have done was to open the faucet outside to release > water pressure in the pipe. > > Since we all have pipes close to exterior walls, and some have pipes leading > to outside faucets and they may or may not be insulated sufficiently for very > sub-zero weather I thought is might be helpful to everyone. And it's > well-written. And I hope worth the length. > > Excerpt from the New York Times: > > It helps to understand how pipes burst. The way that happens doesn’t follow > conventional wisdom, which says water turns to ice and pushes outward against > the wall of the pipe and causes a rupture. The blockage grows along the > length of the pipe and acts like a piston, causing elevated water pressure > when the faucet is turned off, and that’s what causes the rupture. So if you > can relieve the pressure downstream of the blockage by allowing the tiniest > little drip at the faucet, then the ice blockage can grow and it won’t > rupture the pipe. > > So when it gets really cold I should turn on every faucet in the house? > > You can be strategic about it. If the water is being fed from the center of > the house and you’re not abandoning your home, those pipes are O.K. But if a > pipe goes into your crawl space, or if it’s close to an outside wall or > especially a vent, it’s a real good candidate for bursting in really cold > weather. > > So if you’re concerned about your pipes possibly bursting and you have a > faucet with a gearshift lever, when you turn it on so it trickles, make sure > it’s warm water so you’re getting both the hot and cold. If you run it > overnight on a cold night and lose a quart of water, nobody will complain. > > The trickling-water idea is obviously for when I have good reason to think > those pipes are in danger. If I insulate those pipes, I can breathe a little > easier, right? > > Yes, but a poor pipe insulation job is worse than no insulation. If you’re > going to insulate, don’t leave blank spots, especially at elbows and T’s, > where pipes can be more vulnerable to freezing. And make sure all the > fittings are insulated as well. There are also thermostat-controlled heating > cables you can buy at the hardware store. > > You want to hear something really juicy? > > Nope. Well, O.K. Go. > > Ask a plumber whether hot or cold pipes burst more frequently, and they’ll > all tell you it’s the hot water pipe. > > And that’s because . . . > > They’ll give you a whole bunch of different answers, but the real answer is > the toilet. The guts of a standard toilet actually function as a > pressure-relief device. If the water pressure rises in the pipes, the ball > cock allows a drip of water to leak out into the tank. Hot water systems > don’t have anything like that, so they’re more at risk. > > What if I forget one faucet in the house and I wake up and no water comes out > of it when I turn it on, but the pipe hasn’t blown yet? > > O.K., here’s an important thing. If that happens, it’s critical not to close > the faucet. Ice has created a blockage and it’s still growing toward the > fixture. If you shut the faucet, there’s nowhere for the pressure to go, and > it can burst. If you leave it open, even slightly, you’re O.K. > > And then what? Grab a propane torch and pray I don’t burn down my house while > I’m warming up the pipes? > > I wouldn’t recommend anything stronger than a hair dryer. And the nice thing > about leaving the faucet open is that you can hear it running once you’ve got > it going again. > > Are there any areas other than crawl spaces and exterior walls where I should > inspect the pipes more carefully? > > The hose bibb. > > I’m not sure I know what that is. > > The thing you hook up the hose to on the outside of the house. If cold > weather’s coming, make sure there are no hoses attached, or they can do a > real number on the house. With the newer style of bibb, if the hose is > attached, you have water in the cold part of the wall, rather than air. This > is much more a problem with new frost-protected hose bibbs, because people > think frost-protected means they can leave the hose attached, and that’s a > big mistake. > > And be aware of cracks or gaps where cold air might come in and hit a pipe. > Get a few cans of foam insulation and look for things that are really cold, > then try to foam every gap or seam in that area so the cold air isn’t leaking > on the pipes. > > It usually takes more than cold temperatures to freeze a pipe. More typically > you need really cold temperatures, and cold wind blowing on it. There’s a lot > of forgiveness in a plumbing system. Just don’t say that to someone whose > pipes burst. > > http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/09/garden/if-winter-takes-aim-at-the-pipes.html?action=click&contentCollection=N.Y.%20%2F%20Region&module=MostEmailed&version=Full®ion=Marginalia&src=me&pgtype=article > > > > > Sharon > ---- > Sharon Villines > Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC > http://www.takomavillage.org > > > > > _________________________________________________________________ > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at: > http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L/ > >
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