Frozen Pipes

January 16, 2009 — Leave a comment

Yesterday I wrote a detailed guide on treating and preventing frozen pipes over the Minneapolis Metblog.

It’s written from experience. The pipes in the crawlspace of our 120 y/o house froze after 4 days below zero outside (low yesterday was -27 degrees). So instead of panicing I spent 2 hours with the blowdryer getting them flowing again. Then the trick is to keep them warm.

This was my set-up:
Frozen pipes SUCK

I reinsulated the outside access door with two layers of plastic. I have a baseboard space heater on high and a small fan heater (also on high). The cookie sheet in front of the blowing space heater was helping to deflect the air off the ironing board. I also have two heating pads wedged around the pipes, although one of them never got very warm.

I got up at 1:30 and 3:30 to flush the toilet, run the bathroom, bathtub and kitchen sink faucets, and ensure the space heaters and electric pads were working (and not starting our house on fire).

The above photo was taken last night at 3:30 a.m.

It’s a pretty good little system, but you can bet we’re going to invest in some of that electrical heating tape in the very near future.

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