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UK diy (uk.d-i-y) For the discussion of all topics related to diy (do-it-yourself) in the UK. All levels of experience and proficency are welcome to join in to ask questions or offer solutions.

How do you thaw the underground supply water pipe.



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 27th 10, 05:50 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 42
Default How do you thaw the underground supply water pipe.

Did all the right things. Left the (sealed system) heating on, turned
the water stopcock off, drained down the cold water system right to
the stop-cock.

After five days returned to no supply at the drain-down just 3 inches
above the stop-cock which is just 4 inches above the slab.

United Utilities says they are very busy, and they might call me back
in a few hours to take details. Sounds like a long wait.

So how can I move the thawing of the supply pipe forward? The
15mm black plastic incommer is gently curving as it enters the slab, so
pushing a thaw-pipe in is going to be hard. Is there any electrical
way - water does conduct a little?

I suspect, that like the electricity supply, it isn't buried far enough.
So I might be into trenching.....

I hate winter.

R.

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  #2  
Old December 27th 10, 06:05 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 18,669
Default How do you thaw the underground supply water pipe.

TheOldFellow wrote:
Did all the right things. Left the (sealed system) heating on, turned
the water stopcock off, drained down the cold water system right to
the stop-cock.

After five days returned to no supply at the drain-down just 3 inches
above the stop-cock which is just 4 inches above the slab.

United Utilities says they are very busy, and they might call me back
in a few hours to take details. Sounds like a long wait.

So how can I move the thawing of the supply pipe forward? The
15mm black plastic incommer is gently curving as it enters the slab, so
pushing a thaw-pipe in is going to be hard. Is there any electrical
way - water does conduct a little?

I suspect, that like the electricity supply, it isn't buried far enough.
So I might be into trenching.....

I hate winter.



Yes, well..

I would say that what you need to do is apply gentle heat - fan heater -
to pipe below stopcock.

Even if it is MDPE, it will still conduct a little.

Chances are that is where the ice is.

When you say stopcock, I assume opu mean your won internal one, not one
in the street..



R.

  #3  
Old December 27th 10, 07:07 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 295
Default How do you thaw the underground supply water pipe.

In article ,
lid says...
So how can I move the thawing of the supply pipe forward?


Light a bonfire on top of it?

--
Skipweasel - never knowingly understood.
  #4  
Old December 27th 10, 08:32 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 754
Default How do you thaw the underground supply water pipe.

On Dec 27, 4:50*pm, TheOldFellow wrote:
Did all the right things. *Left the (sealed system) heating on, turned
the water stopcock off, drained down the cold water system right to
the stop-cock.

After five days returned to no supply at the drain-down just 3 inches
above the stop-cock which is just 4 inches above the slab.

United Utilities says they are very busy, and they might call me back
in a few hours to take details. *Sounds like a long wait.

So how can I move the thawing of the supply pipe forward? *The
15mm black plastic incommer is gently curving as it enters the slab, so
pushing a thaw-pipe in is going to be hard. *Is there any electrical
way - water does conduct a little?

I suspect, that like the electricity supply, it isn't buried far enough.
So I might be into trenching.....

I hate winter.

R.


Change your service pipe to lead then connect a small welder output
across the section from street stoptap to indoor stoptap just as we
had to do in 1964 when the problem was common all over the country.
This new fangled plastic pipe is no good for passing enough current to
create heat :-)
  #5  
Old December 27th 10, 09:08 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 9,216
Default How do you thaw the underground supply water pipe.

On Dec 27, 4:50*pm, TheOldFellow wrote:
Did all the right things. *Left the (sealed system) heating on, turned
the water stopcock off, drained down the cold water system right to
the stop-cock.

After five days returned to no supply at the drain-down just 3 inches
above the stop-cock which is just 4 inches above the slab.

United Utilities says they are very busy, and they might call me back
in a few hours to take details. *Sounds like a long wait.

So how can I move the thawing of the supply pipe forward? *The
15mm black plastic incommer is gently curving as it enters the slab, so
pushing a thaw-pipe in is going to be hard. *Is there any electrical
way - water does conduct a little?

I suspect, that like the electricity supply, it isn't buried far enough.
So I might be into trenching.....

I hate winter.

R.


I leave the tap most remote from the stoptap dribbling. Enough water
goes through to prevent freezing. You need to watch it doesn't freeze
up the drains, My drains are all internal.
  #6  
Old December 27th 10, 09:26 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 339
Default How do you thaw the underground supply water pipe.


"cynic" wrote in message
...
On Dec 27, 4:50 pm, TheOldFellow wrote:
Did all the right things. Left the (sealed system) heating on, turned
the water stopcock off, drained down the cold water system right to
the stop-cock.

After five days returned to no supply at the drain-down just 3 inches
above the stop-cock which is just 4 inches above the slab.

United Utilities says they are very busy, and they might call me back
in a few hours to take details. Sounds like a long wait.

So how can I move the thawing of the supply pipe forward? The
15mm black plastic incommer is gently curving as it enters the slab, so
pushing a thaw-pipe in is going to be hard. Is there any electrical
way - water does conduct a little?

I suspect, that like the electricity supply, it isn't buried far enough.
So I might be into trenching.....

I hate winter.

R.


Change your service pipe to lead then connect a small welder output
across the section from street stoptap to indoor stoptap just as we
had to do in 1964 when the problem was common all over the country.
This new fangled plastic pipe is no good for passing enough current to
create heat :-)


On the other hand ice is more resistive than water, so any current you can
pass into the stopcock will largely heat only the plugs of ice. Assuming
the plug of water the other side is earthed somehow! It might also be a
good idea to isolate the internal piping first.

Anther advantage of plastic pipes is that they are largely transparent to
microwaves, though the idea of a magnetron with it's power supply outdoors
is perhaps a little beyond DIY!!


  #7  
Old December 27th 10, 11:13 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 610
Default How do you thaw the underground supply water pipe.

On 27/12/2010 20:26, Fredxx wrote:
On the other hand ice is more resistive than water, so any current you
can pass into the stopcock will largely heat only the plugs of ice.
Assuming the plug of water the other side is earthed somehow! It might
also be a good idea to isolate the internal piping first.


No chance of getting an earth through water in a plastic pipe if it's
more than a metre or so long.

--
Mike Clarke
  #8  
Old December 28th 10, 12:09 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 339
Default How do you thaw the underground supply water pipe.


"Mike Clarke" wrote in message
o.uk...
On 27/12/2010 20:26, Fredxx wrote:
On the other hand ice is more resistive than water, so any current you
can pass into the stopcock will largely heat only the plugs of ice.
Assuming the plug of water the other side is earthed somehow! It might
also be a good idea to isolate the internal piping first.


No chance of getting an earth through water in a plastic pipe if it's more
than a metre or so long.

--
Mike Clarke


What sort of "earth" are we talking about? What sort of current would pass
at a few kV? In practice it would depend heavily on the purity of the
water. My comment is that the resistivity of ice is even higher, such that
all the voltage, and hence power, would be dropped across any plug of ice.


  #9  
Old December 28th 10, 12:29 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
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Posts: 2,990
Default How do you thaw the underground supply water pipe.

On Mon, 27 Dec 2010 23:09:36 -0000, "Fredxx" wrote:


"Mike Clarke" wrote in message
news:KsOdnW9Smvk6koTQnZ2dnUVZ8r6dnZ2d@brightview. co.uk...
On 27/12/2010 20:26, Fredxx wrote:
On the other hand ice is more resistive than water, so any current you
can pass into the stopcock will largely heat only the plugs of ice.
Assuming the plug of water the other side is earthed somehow! It might
also be a good idea to isolate the internal piping first.


No chance of getting an earth through water in a plastic pipe if it's more
than a metre or so long.

--
Mike Clarke


What sort of "earth" are we talking about? What sort of current would pass
at a few kV? In practice it would depend heavily on the purity of the
water. My comment is that the resistivity of ice is even higher, such that
all the voltage, and hence power, would be dropped across any plug of ice.

The water company could dose the supply with ethylene glycol.

Or common salt.

--
Frank Erskine
 




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