Saturday, January 15, 2011

frozen pipes

I got a call from my highly distraught sweetie this morning that her pipes were frozen.  She had a major kitchen and bathroom remodel-slash-reconstruction this summer, and it turns out that the plumbers, for some reason, didn't insulate a couple sections of pipe, so this morning I crawled under her house with a friend, a flashlight, an extension cord and a space heater, and we trouble shot the problem.  Boo-yah, I found the frozen pipes; we set the space heater under them, and about thirty minutes later we had hot water.  I sat down to some eggs on toast.  I needed fuel for another foray under the house.

There's the hot water line, at the point where it bifurcates to send hot water to the bathroom and kitchen sinks, which is the point where the uninsulated pipes froze.  It was easy to spot them because (a) they were exposed and (b) because they are bendable pipes but they wouldn't bend when I attempted to bend them, indicating ice.  After eating, my sweetie went to work and I went to the hardware store to get some foam pipe cozies.  I also pumped up my car tires, but that's irrelevant.  In any case, the pipes are now temporarily insulated (they're waiting for a professional and permanent solution), and I am now somewhat itchier on account of the fiberglass insulation.   


sweetie said...

And they're still not frozen. You're great.

plumbing said...

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes.