A DIY & home improvement forum. DIYbanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » DIYbanter forum » Do - it - Yourself » Home Repair
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Home Repair (alt.home.repair) For all homeowners and DIYers with many experienced tradesmen. Solve your toughest home fix-it problems.

What does it take to freeze pipes?



 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old October 6th 06, 07:54 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,317
Default What does it take to freeze pipes?-What me worry?

On Fri, 6 Oct 2006 05:14:59 -0400, (Charles
Pisano) wrote:

I'll be biting my nails this winter as well. I recently bought a new
construction summer home. I asked the builder when I was 'looking' if I
could drain the pipes and winterize it without many problems? And he
said 'no problem, I will show you when you are ready to leave for the
winter'.

Well, of course he never did 'show' me and sent one of his flunkies by
with a CYA form that says I should keep the house on 60 all winter and
shut the water off etc. etc to ....." keep the studs and sheetrock from
freezing and causing all kinds of problems not covered under your
warranty..."

I've never heard of sheetrock freezing and causing a problem and 'studs'
????, I see new construction all the time left out in all kinds of
weather. This sounds like he would rather not get involved in advising
me how to winterize and he would rather BS to avoid it...Thoughts?



Sounds to me like, since you told him you were going to
let it freeze, he's got something on which to blame any
other problems that might crop up.
Ads
  #12  
Old October 6th 06, 07:57 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 178
Default What does it take to freeze pipes?

Toller wrote:
"MLD" wrote in message news:TTsVg.2$HP.0@trndny08...
"Toller" wrote in message
...
Is there any reference on the internet about temperatures and durations

that
are required to freeze pipes?

Every year I get neurotic when they start having frost advisories about
my
cottage. I know it takes hours to freeze ice cubes at 0 degrees, so it
obviously takes more than a few hours at 30 degrees to freeze pipes; but
some actual data would be nice.

It is a big chore to shut off the water, and then I am without water
until
next Spring.


Other posts have good comments. If you can't or don't want to handle it
yourself then have a plumber do it--at least for the first time. If the
house is left unoccupied and unheated for (I think) 30 days and something
happens you might have an issue with the insurance company. If you're in
an
a location where below 30 is not a frequent occurrence then why not leave
your thermostat at 50 deg or so and have complete peace of mind.
MLD

Well, not having any heat is a good reason to not leave the thermostat at
50.

I know how to winterize the cottage, having done it 10 times. The issue is
when is it necessary to do it.
Will a low temperature of 30 overnight freeze anything. 25? 20?
Seems like a common enough problem that there ought to be some information
available on it.



You didn't answer the question of what kind of temperatures you might
expect.

Yeah, ice cubes take a long time because the water is 60 degrees to
start with. If it is already at 35 it doesn't take long.

Why is it a big chore to turn it off? Are you including blowing out
the lines?

If you don't expect the temperatures to get below 30 you probably can
get by without that. Just to be safe turn off the water and open a
faucet. You might have to get a line fixed but the cottage won't be
flooded.

If you expect temperatures to get to 30 and stay there for a day or more
I sure would drain the lines too.
  #13  
Old October 6th 06, 09:16 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4,505
Default What does it take to freeze pipes?

The big factors here are how cold it gets and how exposed the pipes in
question are. And how exposed is going to vary a lot depending on
construction, wind speed/direction, etc. If it got down to a low of
30 overnight for a few hours and the most exposure is just an outside
sillcock that comes out of the wall, I wouldn't be worried.

Here at my house in NJ, I went away for a week in Jan. While I was
away, near the end of my trip, we had several days here where the temps
were down into the low teens at night, and only in the mid 20's during
the day. During that time, the furnace went out. For how long, I
don't know, but suspect it was for a couple days right before I
returned. The house is of frame construction, about 22 years old, with
a full basement. I had a electronic thermometer sitting on the counter
in the kitchen, which is at the south end. It recorded a low of 32.
The only problem was in the master bath at the north end of the house,
also on the first floor. There, the cold water supply line to the
bottom of the toilet, where it connects with a plastic nut had sprung a
leak. It wasn't even actually cracked. The supply line comes up from
the basement via an exterior wall.

So, obviously, it got colder in that end of the house. I was very
lucky, as the leak although a constant stream, was small and while I
had water on the floor and water on the basement floor as well, there
was no damage to the tile, etc.

But, the real issue in all this is if it gets cold enough in an area
with a house with no heat to be worried about, I'd winterize or make
arrangements to avoid having to make panic mode trips because very cold
weather is on the way.

  #14  
Old October 6th 06, 10:27 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 555
Default What does it take to freeze pipes?

If it just falls to 30 overnight no you wont freeze,

I have a phone dialer Freeze Alarm that will call me if temps drop low
indiicating a heat failure. We don`t know your Zone , ground temp lows,
building, basement, etc etc etc so to answer you is impossible to know,
Put in thermoneter that records low temp

  #15  
Old October 6th 06, 10:37 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 58
Default What does it take to freeze pipes?


Toller wrote:


It is a big chore to shut off the water, and then I am without water until
next Spring.


Just winterized my place in Flagstaff last weekend for the first time
this season. Nighttime temps have started dipping down below freezing,
and not sure what the weather will be like before the next time we get
back. We usually get up there 5 or 6 times during the winter, and it
doesn't seem like a very big deal to winterize each time.

I usually budget about 1/2 hour, and it's not all downtime because I'm
doing other things at the same time. Usually goes something like this:
Turn off water heater (learned the hard way it's very important to do
this first), shut off the water at the street, hook compressor to
outside hose bib, open water heater drain and let the compressor blow
the water out. Usually this takes long enough that I can turn off the
furnace, close the propane, and load the car while waiting. When the
water heater's empty, go through the house blowing out the faucets and
toilets. Pour antifreeze in the drains and the toilets, put the
compressor back in the shed, and I'm ready to go.

Been doing that for 6 years now, only had 2 problems, both my fault.
One time, forgot to blow out the supply pipes to the washing machine
(outside on the rear deck), had a nice split in the copper pipe when I
turned the water back on. Other time, as I mentioned above, forgot to
turn off the water heater before winterizing, burned out both elements.
Kind of amused the plumber who came out to repair the water heater - it
had been installed with both access panels facing the side wall of a
kitchen cabinet base, about 2 inches away, only way to change the
elements was to bring out the Sawzall and cut a couple of holes in the
side of the cabinet base, patch them up later. Oh, and he had to drive
back to town (a 40 mile round trip) because he didn't have the right
element for our heater in his truck. These are the kind of lessons that
stick with you, I have never made either of those mistakes again.

After the first winter, I have gotten to the point where I don't think
it's a big deal to winterize. But, that's my cabin. Is there something
about yours that makes it more complicated?

Jerry

  #16  
Old October 6th 06, 10:48 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,619
Default Okay, all the information...

The cottage is in upstate NY.
The pipes are 1/2" copper. The cottage is built on piers, so the plumbing
is all exposed to the elements; but being in deep woods, there is rarely
much wind.

This time of year the highs are about 55 and the lows are 40, so the cottage
interior is usually about 47.

But last night there was a frost advisory, so there was a chance the
temperature would hit 32. Given the precision of the weather forecast, that
means there is a chance it would hit 30 for a few hours.

So my question is basically, if they forecast is for a low of 30, are my
exposed pipes likely to freeze?
If not, what overnight low temperature do I have to be concerned about?

I broke down and drained the pipes today, so it is not actually an issue for
this year; but I will go through the same thing next year. A couple years
ago I actually started to insulate the pipes and add heat tape, but then it
occured to me that if I had a leak, finding it and fixing it would be 10
times as hard; so I abandoned the project.


  #17  
Old October 6th 06, 11:01 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 178
Default Okay, all the information...

Toller wrote:
The cottage is in upstate NY.
The pipes are 1/2" copper. The cottage is built on piers, so the plumbing
is all exposed to the elements; but being in deep woods, there is rarely
much wind.

This time of year the highs are about 55 and the lows are 40, so the cottage
interior is usually about 47.

But last night there was a frost advisory, so there was a chance the
temperature would hit 32. Given the precision of the weather forecast, that
means there is a chance it would hit 30 for a few hours.

So my question is basically, if they forecast is for a low of 30, are my
exposed pipes likely to freeze?
If not, what overnight low temperature do I have to be concerned about?

I broke down and drained the pipes today, so it is not actually an issue for
this year; but I will go through the same thing next year. A couple years
ago I actually started to insulate the pipes and add heat tape, but then it
occured to me that if I had a leak, finding it and fixing it would be 10
times as hard; so I abandoned the project.



Doubtful that it would freeze to the point of doing damage. But if it
is going to be vacant for months there is no good reason to leave the
water turned on. The lines might break from some other reason. Just
turn it off. If draining the pipes is a lot of work, don't bother.
  #18  
Old October 6th 06, 11:36 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4,770
Default Okay, all the information...

On Oct 6, 4:48 pm, "Toller" wrote:
The cottage is in upstate NY.


Yeah? Where?

The pipes are 1/2" copper. The cottage is built on piers, so the plumbing
is all exposed to the elements; but being in deep woods, there is rarely
much wind.

This time of year the highs are about 55 and the lows are 40, so the cottage
interior is usually about 47.

But last night there was a frost advisory, so there was a chance the
temperature would hit 32. Given the precision of the weather forecast, that
means there is a chance it would hit 30 for a few hours.


Precision implies repeatability. If you're relying on the weather
forecast remember that they only have to get it wrong one time to hurt
you.

So my question is basically, if they forecast is for a low of 30, are my
exposed pipes likely to freeze?
If not, what overnight low temperature do I have to be concerned about?


Looking at risk/reward, if temps dipped down to 28 degrees or so for a
couple or three hours, it's unlikely that you'd experience hard
freezing and burst pipes. The problem is you'll never know with any
certainty how low the temperature will actually drop. If you guess
wrong by a few degrees and you were hanging it out there by not
winterizing...well, those are the sort of learning experiences one
doesn't forget.

I broke down and drained the pipes today, so it is not actually an issue for
this year; but I will go through the same thing next year. A couple years
ago I actually started to insulate the pipes and add heat tape, but then it
occured to me that if I had a leak, finding it and fixing it would be 10
times as hard; so I abandoned the project.


I've used lights of various sorts to add just enough heat to protect a
pipe or whatever from freezing. Have you thought about replacing the
copper pipe with PEX? Simple enough to do and you can easily run the
plumbing through the house in a more protected location. Here's an
interesting tidbit on PEX and freeze/thaw tolerance:
http://www.solar2006.org/presentatio...s/t37-a234.pdf

R

  #19  
Old October 7th 06, 12:09 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,619
Default Okay, all the information...


"RicodJour" wrote in message
ups.com...
On Oct 6, 4:48 pm, "Toller" wrote:
The cottage is in upstate NY.


Yeah? Where?


Canandaigua

The pipes are 1/2" copper. The cottage is built on piers, so the
plumbing
is all exposed to the elements; but being in deep woods, there is rarely
much wind.

This time of year the highs are about 55 and the lows are 40, so the
cottage
interior is usually about 47.

But last night there was a frost advisory, so there was a chance the
temperature would hit 32. Given the precision of the weather forecast,
that
means there is a chance it would hit 30 for a few hours.


Precision implies repeatability. If you're relying on the weather
forecast remember that they only have to get it wrong one time to hurt
you.

So my question is basically, if they forecast is for a low of 30, are my
exposed pipes likely to freeze?
If not, what overnight low temperature do I have to be concerned about?


Looking at risk/reward, if temps dipped down to 28 degrees or so for a
couple or three hours, it's unlikely that you'd experience hard
freezing and burst pipes. The problem is you'll never know with any
certainty how low the temperature will actually drop. If you guess
wrong by a few degrees and you were hanging it out there by not
winterizing...well, those are the sort of learning experiences one
doesn't forget.


I cut a few corners two years ago and had two pipes break. Won't happen
again...

I broke down and drained the pipes today, so it is not actually an issue
for
this year; but I will go through the same thing next year. A couple
years
ago I actually started to insulate the pipes and add heat tape, but then
it
occured to me that if I had a leak, finding it and fixing it would be 10
times as hard; so I abandoned the project.


I've used lights of various sorts to add just enough heat to protect a
pipe or whatever from freezing. Have you thought about replacing the
copper pipe with PEX? Simple enough to do and you can easily run the
plumbing through the house in a more protected location. Here's an
interesting tidbit on PEX and freeze/thaw tolerance:
http://www.solar2006.org/presentatio...s/t37-a234.pdf

I was actually thinking of that; thanks.


  #20  
Old October 7th 06, 12:10 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,834
Default Okay, all the information...


"Toller" wrote in message

But last night there was a frost advisory, so there was a chance the
temperature would hit 32. Given the precision of the weather forecast,
that means there is a chance it would hit 30 for a few hours.

So my question is basically, if they forecast is for a low of 30, are my
exposed pipes likely to freeze?
If not, what overnight low temperature do I have to be concerned about?


It still comes back to that old time/temperature conundrum. The pipes will
freeze at 30, even at 31.5 if they are exposed to that long enough. Chances
are the pipes were at the high point of the temperature of the day or the
temperature of the water coming into them so it still comes back to how long
will the sensible heat last in that much mass. I'd guess overnight with a
couple of hours dip to 30 is not a big deal, but prolonged will be.


 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hot water issue .. rusty .. pipes.. need advice Duncantuna Home Repair 4 March 7th 06 04:59 PM
insulation of water pipes behind the wall of a finished attic Mike Home Repair 10 August 16th 05 01:42 AM
Insulation foam on copper pipes R8EDXXX Home Repair 12 June 13th 05 11:56 PM
Outside wall pipes freeze Matt Home Ownership 8 January 26th 05 05:14 AM
Earth Bondng Adrian Simpson UK diy 8 March 22nd 04 12:58 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.SEO by vBSEO ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright 2004-2014 DIYbanter.
The comments are property of their posters.