Author Topic: Plumbing help  (Read 2172 times)

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Offline Wooden Skye

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  • My little girl was called home 12-28-15
Plumbing help
« on: January 01, 2018, 10:45 PM »
So this morning the temperature was around 5 degrees, not sure of what it was with wind chill.  I flushed the toilet located on first floor, before I left around 8:00 am.  Was out all day, and then around 8:45 pm tonight, I noticed the toilet didn't want to flush, so I took off the tank lid and there was basically no water in the tank.  I turned off supply valve and disconnected.  Holding supply line over a bucket, I opened the valve and nothing.  So I'm assuming frozen pipe.  Every other faucet, shower and other toilet (2nd floor) appear fine.  So now I'm stumped.  I have a space heater directed at the pipes in the garage/basement level for the last 20 minutes and still nothing.  What could be the cause, and any fixes?
Bryan

TS 55, (2) 1400 Guide Rails, 1900 Guide Rail, MFT/3, Domino DF 500, 2 domino systainers, ETS 150/3, RO 90, CT 26, (2) OF1400, RO 150. RTS 400, LR 32 set, PS300 jigsaw, 3 abrasive systainers, (2) sys toolbox, (2) sys mini, clamps and other accesories

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Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5570
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 10:52 PM »
The supply pipe is frozen.

Wind chill does not affect the pipe or water in it as it does skin. To the pipe 5º is 5º. A draft allows cold air to get to the pipe, but does not make it colder than ambient.

You need to be cautious as you thaw the pipe, it may have cracked. A frozen pipe will never leak. A thawed pipe can do a lot of damage.

Figure out where the draft is coming from and stop the draft.

Do not use a torch to thaw the pipe.

Tom




Offline harry_

  • Posts: 1166
Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 11:00 PM »
Welcome to my world!

I am fortunate that I do not have to pay for water/sewer as I have a well/septic and for the last week have taken to letting my tub (my tub is at the very end of my plumbing runs on that 1/2 of my supply system) valves 'weep' so that I can keep some water moving in the pipes. If i do not, my toilet stub would have frozen up days ago. This is based on past experience of me forgetting to set a weep.

In the past what I had done when it froze up was put a piece of metal flashing behind the stub to protect the wall, and have at it with a torch. (I didn't have a heat gun then.)

Go ahead and hook the service line back up. The valve in the tank will be open, so you won't have to worry any added pressure in the event that the water in the pipe boils on top of the ice. In my case it only took about 5 minutes of applied heat to break things loose enough for the toilet to begin operating again. I have about 16" of pipe from where it comes off the tee to where it penetrates the floor into the bathroom.

Hope this helps.
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Offline Wooden Skye

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Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 11:04 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  10 minutes after I posted, water was filling the tank.
Bryan

TS 55, (2) 1400 Guide Rails, 1900 Guide Rail, MFT/3, Domino DF 500, 2 domino systainers, ETS 150/3, RO 90, CT 26, (2) OF1400, RO 150. RTS 400, LR 32 set, PS300 jigsaw, 3 abrasive systainers, (2) sys toolbox, (2) sys mini, clamps and other accesories

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5570
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 11:18 PM »
Check for any leaking.

Tom

Offline Wooden Skye

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  • My little girl was called home 12-28-15
Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 11:55 PM »
Everything was dry.
Bryan

TS 55, (2) 1400 Guide Rails, 1900 Guide Rail, MFT/3, Domino DF 500, 2 domino systainers, ETS 150/3, RO 90, CT 26, (2) OF1400, RO 150. RTS 400, LR 32 set, PS300 jigsaw, 3 abrasive systainers, (2) sys toolbox, (2) sys mini, clamps and other accesories

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 796
Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 03:27 AM »
As water expands when freezing with interesting strength you should check for not-yet-burst type defects (as applying mechanical force on a pipe can weaken it).

Possibly add a heating cord to the pipe to keep it at a temperature where water stays fluid, something like this (link to a definitive product just to give an idea what I talk about, no endorsement for that specific thing).

Offline Rob-GB

  • Posts: 1074
Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 05:19 AM »
Glad you got it flowing again.
May I suggest insulating the pipes in any unheated areas, garages or lofts.
My sister came back from holiday last January to find her house flooded by a burst pipe in the loft and it took seven months before she could move back in.
Seven months of aggravation and a lot of personal things like photo's ruined.
Rob.

Problem? No such thing! Only a solution waiting to be found:- RJ

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Online RKA

  • Posts: 1054
Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 11:27 AM »
You got lucky this time (pipe didn't split).  If you cannot address the insulation or construction issues immediately, you can either heat the spaces the water line runs through and/or rig the toilet flapper so it leaks slightly forcing the tank to refill periodically.  It also helps to keep the house at normal temps (68-70F) 24/7.  The lines running to the toilet may not be your only concern and the weather is (absolute temps the the duration) unprecedented for our area, so things that have never been a concern in the past are becoming a problem now. 
-Raj

Offline Wooden Skye

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Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 12:57 PM »
I did insulate (pipe and fiberglass) the best I can both in the garage and in the basement, this house just sucks when it comes to insulating anything.  All the walls are tin not replaceable and the plumbing going up the exterior wall with this cold is an issue.  Now the rubber washer on the tank to bowl bolt split and now that is leaking, or was until all water was out of tank.  I went to get a replacement from HD and it doesn't work.  My original bolt is 1/4-20 and the replacements are 5/16.  After going to 2 plumbing supply houses, nobody has the bolt I need, heck they said they aren't even made anymore.  On their recommendation, I bought a 1/4-20 bolt and some rubber washers and it still leaks.  Looking like new toilet may be in our future.  I will see what the plumber coming to redo our steam heat thinks can be done, not much I'm guessing.  I guess I will end my mini rant there.
Bryan

TS 55, (2) 1400 Guide Rails, 1900 Guide Rail, MFT/3, Domino DF 500, 2 domino systainers, ETS 150/3, RO 90, CT 26, (2) OF1400, RO 150. RTS 400, LR 32 set, PS300 jigsaw, 3 abrasive systainers, (2) sys toolbox, (2) sys mini, clamps and other accesories

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2018, 01:50 PM »
Regarding your tank to toilet bolts - I have seen many a toilet with silicone used in conjunction to washers.  If that approach works for you aquarium silicone is the best for underwater applications.  And it has a lengthy drying time.  So if that would be your only toilet... [eek] [eek] [eek] [eek] [eek] [eek] [eek]

Peter

Offline tjbnwi

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  • Cedar Tucky Indiana

Offline Wooden Skye

  • Posts: 1112
  • My little girl was called home 12-28-15
Bryan

TS 55, (2) 1400 Guide Rails, 1900 Guide Rail, MFT/3, Domino DF 500, 2 domino systainers, ETS 150/3, RO 90, CT 26, (2) OF1400, RO 150. RTS 400, LR 32 set, PS300 jigsaw, 3 abrasive systainers, (2) sys toolbox, (2) sys mini, clamps and other accesories

Offline Naildrivingman

  • Posts: 423
Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 09:24 PM »
If you have a plumber coming out anyway, I would leave it to him to resolve. A lot of these guys have odd parts rattling around their vans and many I’ve run into can fix just about anything without going to the store.

You dodged one bullet with no burst pipe.  That is great fortune.  I would encourage you not to tempt fate.

BTW, a washer changeout or addition is only as good as the amount tightness applied to the tank bolts. Too little pressure and it will still leak. Too much pressure and it will leak worse, because the tank will crack.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 06:44 PM by Naildrivingman »
Dance with who brung ya...

Offline Wooden Skye

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  • My little girl was called home 12-28-15
Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 09:50 PM »
I'm just going to replace the toilet and even the plumber said that after 15 years and the non standard bolt is best option. 
Bryan

TS 55, (2) 1400 Guide Rails, 1900 Guide Rail, MFT/3, Domino DF 500, 2 domino systainers, ETS 150/3, RO 90, CT 26, (2) OF1400, RO 150. RTS 400, LR 32 set, PS300 jigsaw, 3 abrasive systainers, (2) sys toolbox, (2) sys mini, clamps and other accesories

Offline Jeff Zanin

  • Posts: 221
Re: Plumbing help
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2018, 05:04 PM »
I'm just going to replace the toilet and even the plumber said that after 15 years and the non standard bolt is best option.

Excellent choice.   ;D