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How long does it take to thaw out an underground pipe?



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 30th 10, 01:56 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 42
Default How long does it take to thaw out an underground pipe?

My previous thread about my frozen supply pipe elicited no helpful
suggestions, frankly just as I expected. There just isn't any way to
thaw out a pipe in the ground.

So now it's 4 days later, and the air temperature here has been above 4
for all that time, even at night, and most days above 6. Pits dug
around the garden in the likely places have not found the pipe yet, but
do confirm that the ground is NOT frozen now - at any depth.

I've checked that the stopcock in the road is OK, and that there is
nothing impeding flow at the house. The pit was full of ice on Monday,
but has been clear since I cooked that out with boiling water.

Does anyone know how long it will take to thaw a pipe, or does this
sound like a 'hire a digger' job?

Much appreciate some help on this, as watching SWMBO with the bucket of
her head going to the village pump is getting boring.

R.

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  #2  
Old December 30th 10, 02:08 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,362
Default How long does it take to thaw out an underground pipe?

TheOldFellow wrote:

My previous thread about my frozen supply pipe elicited no helpful
suggestions, frankly just as I expected. There just isn't any way to
thaw out a pipe in the ground.

So now it's 4 days later, and the air temperature here has been above 4
for all that time, even at night, and most days above 6. Pits dug
around the garden in the likely places have not found the pipe yet, but
do confirm that the ground is NOT frozen now - at any depth.

I've checked that the stopcock in the road is OK, and that there is
nothing impeding flow at the house. The pit was full of ice on Monday,
but has been clear since I cooked that out with boiling water.

Does anyone know how long it will take to thaw a pipe, or does this
sound like a 'hire a digger' job?

Much appreciate some help on this, as watching SWMBO with the bucket of
her head going to the village pump is getting boring.

R.


How cold did it get in the air and roughly how long?

My supply is 2' down and have never frozen though the top layer of the
ground does freeze for some random depth - probably a few inches.

I suspect as you found ice in the stopcock pit that that is where the
freezing took place.

Can you pour some more boiling water down there?


If the ground is now unfrozen at any depth, the pipe should follow suit -
the difference being the ground is not solid water/ice so has a lower amount
of heat per cubed required to thaw it. The pipe if frozen of course may take
longer but it is only a small diameter.



Cheers,
Tim

--
Tim Watts
  #3  
Old December 30th 10, 02:20 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 71
Default How long does it take to thaw out an underground pipe?


"Tim Watts" wrote in message
...
TheOldFellow wrote:

My previous thread about my frozen supply pipe elicited no helpful
suggestions, frankly just as I expected. There just isn't any way to
thaw out a pipe in the ground.

So now it's 4 days later, and the air temperature here has been above 4
for all that time, even at night, and most days above 6. Pits dug
around the garden in the likely places have not found the pipe yet, but
do confirm that the ground is NOT frozen now - at any depth.

I've checked that the stopcock in the road is OK, and that there is
nothing impeding flow at the house. The pit was full of ice on Monday,
but has been clear since I cooked that out with boiling water.

Does anyone know how long it will take to thaw a pipe, or does this
sound like a 'hire a digger' job?

Much appreciate some help on this, as watching SWMBO with the bucket of
her head going to the village pump is getting boring.

R.


How cold did it get in the air and roughly how long?

My supply is 2' down and have never frozen though the top layer of the
ground does freeze for some random depth - probably a few inches.

I suspect as you found ice in the stopcock pit that that is where the
freezing took place.

Can you pour some more boiling water down there?


If the ground is now unfrozen at any depth, the pipe should follow suit -
the difference being the ground is not solid water/ice so has a lower
amount
of heat per cubed required to thaw it. The pipe if frozen of course may
take
longer but it is only a small diameter.



Cheers,
Tim

--
Tim Watts


Your supply pipe should be at a "mimimum" depth of 30" to prevent freezing.
the pipe normally goes straight to the house from the stop cock, you
shouldn't have to dig all
over the garden to find it.
good luck in your search


  #4  
Old December 30th 10, 02:44 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 42
Default How long does it take to thaw out an underground pipe?

On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:20:26 -0000
"A Plumber" wrote:


"Tim Watts" wrote in message
...
TheOldFellow wrote:

My previous thread about my frozen supply pipe elicited no helpful
suggestions, frankly just as I expected. There just isn't any way
to thaw out a pipe in the ground.

So now it's 4 days later, and the air temperature here has been
above 4 for all that time, even at night, and most days above 6.
Pits dug around the garden in the likely places have not found the
pipe yet, but do confirm that the ground is NOT frozen now - at
any depth.

I've checked that the stopcock in the road is OK, and that there is
nothing impeding flow at the house. The pit was full of ice on
Monday, but has been clear since I cooked that out with boiling
water.

Does anyone know how long it will take to thaw a pipe, or does this
sound like a 'hire a digger' job?

Much appreciate some help on this, as watching SWMBO with the
bucket of her head going to the village pump is getting boring.

R.


How cold did it get in the air and roughly how long?

My supply is 2' down and have never frozen though the top layer of
the ground does freeze for some random depth - probably a few
inches.

I suspect as you found ice in the stopcock pit that that is where
the freezing took place.

Can you pour some more boiling water down there?


If the ground is now unfrozen at any depth, the pipe should follow
suit - the difference being the ground is not solid water/ice so
has a lower amount
of heat per cubed required to thaw it. The pipe if frozen of course
may take
longer but it is only a small diameter.



Cheers,
Tim

--
Tim Watts


Your supply pipe should be at a "mimimum" depth of 30" to prevent
freezing. the pipe normally goes straight to the house from the stop
cock, you shouldn't have to dig all
over the garden to find it.
good luck in your search


Mmm. Thanks for the information.

Nice in theory. My house is an L-shaped bungalow, the long side points
to the road (country lane), the rising main comes up at the other end
of the short side of the L. About 35 metres from the supplier's
stopcock, diagonally across the plot.

So unless the dorks that built it in 1970 ran the pipe under the slab,
through 90 and through the rest of the slab, it runs right under the
lawn.

Strangely the stopcock appears to be running parallel with the road,
and not pointing towards the house at all. It's also at least 10
metres from the edge of the tarmacked drive in all directions So I
can't dig round it to find a direction.

Thanks for the good wishes. I rather suspect that hiring a minidigger
is going to be nightmare here for the next six months... Still I do
own a pick.

Incidentally, do I have a complaint against United Utilities as my
stopcock is only 15" below the road? I realise that the pipe from
there to my stopcock is my responsibility.

Let's say that I do have to replace the pipe. Can I bring it into the
house at the end futhers from the kitchen sink, and take it (lagged
with the right stuff) through the roof to the serve the various taps
and the HW tank? Or does it have to come up under the sink?

If I can do that, I still have to cut through the tarmac, but it's the
shortest route to the inside. The stopcock would be in the attached
garage though.

R.


  #5  
Old December 30th 10, 02:53 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 42
Default How long does it take to thaw out an underground pipe?

On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:08:32 +0000
Tim Watts wrote:

TheOldFellow wrote:

My previous thread about my frozen supply pipe elicited no helpful
suggestions, frankly just as I expected. There just isn't any way
to thaw out a pipe in the ground.

So now it's 4 days later, and the air temperature here has been
above 4 for all that time, even at night, and most days above 6.
Pits dug around the garden in the likely places have not found the
pipe yet, but do confirm that the ground is NOT frozen now - at any
depth.

I've checked that the stopcock in the road is OK, and that there is
nothing impeding flow at the house. The pit was full of ice on
Monday, but has been clear since I cooked that out with boiling
water.

Does anyone know how long it will take to thaw a pipe, or does this
sound like a 'hire a digger' job?

Much appreciate some help on this, as watching SWMBO with the
bucket of her head going to the village pump is getting boring.

R.


How cold did it get in the air and roughly how long?


Not sure as I was away from Thursday to Monday. Last week was very
cold, -13.5 on Monday night, and people say that it was -11 on
Christmas Eve (Friday). I don't think it got above freezing in the air
from Monday to Sunday (Boxing Day)


My supply is 2' down and have never frozen though the top layer of
the ground does freeze for some random depth - probably a few inches.

I suspect as you found ice in the stopcock pit that that is where the
freezing took place.

Can you pour some more boiling water down there?


It has water welling up through the gravel at the bottom of the pit, so
the hot water cools almost instantly. The pit is only 15 inches below
road level. It's a rural lane. We're in North Cumbria here.


If the ground is now unfrozen at any depth, the pipe should follow
suit - the difference being the ground is not solid water/ice so has
a lower amount of heat per cubed required to thaw it. The pipe if
frozen of course may take longer but it is only a small diameter.


There is quite of lot of ice and snow on the roads round here still,
especially where the sun never reaches. My garden is shaded just where
the pipe would run (I think). I can't check below the paths, which is
where the pipe might run, and they are in the deepest shade.

I'm definitely thinking replacement with a trace heater for next year.
Even though it does mean trenching through the tarmac drive. Good
excuse to buy a big angle grinder

R.

  #6  
Old December 30th 10, 03:18 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,989
Default How long does it take to thaw out an underground pipe?

TheOldFellow wrote:
My previous thread about my frozen supply pipe elicited no helpful
suggestions, frankly just as I expected. There just isn't any way to
thaw out a pipe in the ground.

So now it's 4 days later, and the air temperature here has been above
4 for all that time, even at night, and most days above 6. Pits dug
around the garden in the likely places have not found the pipe yet,
but do confirm that the ground is NOT frozen now - at any depth.

I've checked that the stopcock in the road is OK, and that there is
nothing impeding flow at the house. The pit was full of ice on
Monday, but has been clear since I cooked that out with boiling water.

Does anyone know how long it will take to thaw a pipe, or does this
sound like a 'hire a digger' job?

Much appreciate some help on this, as watching SWMBO with the bucket
of her head going to the village pump is getting boring.

R.


Firstly, if the house was built in the 70's, it's highly likely that the
main is less than the required 30 inch minimum depth, a lot less - it's
possible it's only a foot down, given the laxidasical way building was
carried out in this country during the 70's.
I'm assuming it's in black plastic?

There's a cold spot where the main enters the building - if you can find
where the main enters either the concrete footings or the brickwork (below
ground) this is the most likely place for a freeze, and it's why 150mm
lagging is used at this point during new mains installations, regardless of
depth

--
Phil L
RSRL Tipster Of The Year 2008


  #7  
Old December 30th 10, 03:25 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 264
Default How long does it take to thaw out an underground pipe?

On 2010-12-30 13:56:03 +0000, TheOldFellow said:

My previous thread about my frozen supply pipe elicited no helpful
suggestions, frankly just as I expected. There just isn't any way to
thaw out a pipe in the ground.

So now it's 4 days later, and the air temperature here has been above 4
for all that time, even at night, and most days above 6. Pits dug
around the garden in the likely places have not found the pipe yet, but
do confirm that the ground is NOT frozen now - at any depth.

I've checked that the stopcock in the road is OK, and that there is
nothing impeding flow at the house. The pit was full of ice on Monday,
but has been clear since I cooked that out with boiling water.

Does anyone know how long it will take to thaw a pipe, or does this
sound like a 'hire a digger' job?

Much appreciate some help on this, as watching SWMBO with the bucket of
her head going to the village pump is getting boring.

R.


Can't remember if I replied to your previous thread.

I've had a rising main, in an outbuilding, freeze this year.

At first I thought it froze in an inspection pit (before the rising
main in the outbuilding), so left an oil filled radiator in sad pit on
for 24 hours. Didn't solve the problem (presumably because it wasn't
frozen there).

I moved on to the outbuilding. This rising main basically comes out of
concrete in plastic then a stopcock, with 22mm copper pipe up into a
more insulated/very slightly heated room above. Half-way up is a tap.
Turning the tap on yielded no water. So I brought the above radiator
and sat it next to where the rising main comes out of the ground,
surround it will polystyrene (could have used some kingspan off cuts)
and left it.

About 2 hours later I got a small amount of water out of the tap - as
presumably the water above ground had thawed and was coming back down
the pipe. About an hour after than the whole thing had flawed.

So, can you try long concentrated heat where the pipe comes out of the ground?

  #8  
Old December 30th 10, 03:28 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,216
Default How long does it take to thaw out an underground pipe?

On Dec 30, 2:53*pm, TheOldFellow wrote:
On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:08:32 +0000





Tim Watts wrote:
TheOldFellow wrote:


My previous thread about my frozen supply pipe elicited no helpful
suggestions, frankly just as I expected. *There just isn't any way
to thaw out a pipe in the ground.


So now it's 4 days later, and the air temperature here has been
above 4 for all that time, even at night, and most days above 6.
Pits dug around the garden in the likely places have not found the
pipe yet, but do confirm that the ground is NOT frozen now - at any
depth.


I've checked that the stopcock in the road is OK, and that there is
nothing impeding flow at the house. *The pit was full of ice on
Monday, but has been clear since I cooked that out with boiling
water.


Does anyone know how long it will take to thaw a pipe, or does this
sound like a 'hire a digger' job?


Much appreciate some help on this, as watching SWMBO with the
bucket of her head going to the village pump is getting boring.


R.


How cold did it get in the air and roughly how long?


Not sure as I was away from Thursday to Monday. *Last week was very
cold, -13.5 on Monday night, and people say that it was -11 on
Christmas Eve (Friday). *I don't think it got above freezing in the air
from Monday to Sunday (Boxing Day)



My supply is 2' down and have never frozen though the top layer of
the ground does freeze for some random depth - probably a few inches.


I suspect as you found ice in the stopcock pit that that is where the
freezing took place.


Can you pour some more boiling water down there?


It has water welling up through the gravel at the bottom of the pit, so
the hot water cools almost instantly. *The pit is only 15 inches below
road level. *It's a rural lane. *We're in North Cumbria here.



If the ground is now unfrozen at any depth, the pipe should follow
suit - the difference being the ground is not solid water/ice so has
a lower amount of heat per cubed required to thaw it. The pipe if
frozen of course may take longer but it is only a small diameter.


There is quite of lot of ice and snow on the roads round here still,
especially where the sun never reaches. *My garden is shaded just where
the pipe would run (I think). *I can't check below the paths, which is
where the pipe might run, and they are in the deepest shade.

I'm definitely thinking replacement with a trace heater for next year.
Even though it does mean trenching through the tarmac drive. *Good
excuse to buy a big angle grinder

R.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


The biggest problem with underground pipes is not freezing but ground
heave due to frost. A joint may have broken. The water you mention in
your stoptap pit may point to the problem. If there is unfrozen
groundwater it doesn't sound like your pipe has frozen, more like
broken. What you need is a listening stick and starting from the stop
tap listen for the leak. Works well on the pipe and hard surfaces
thought some experience helps. A big screwdriver can be used but not
as good. Press blade onto stoptap and ear against end of handle and
listed for hissing noises. Press hard.
  #9  
Old December 30th 10, 03:32 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,216
Default How long does it take to thaw out an underground pipe?

On Dec 30, 3:28*pm, harry wrote:
On Dec 30, 2:53*pm, TheOldFellow wrote:





On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:08:32 +0000


Tim Watts wrote:
TheOldFellow wrote:


My previous thread about my frozen supply pipe elicited no helpful
suggestions, frankly just as I expected. *There just isn't any way
to thaw out a pipe in the ground.


So now it's 4 days later, and the air temperature here has been
above 4 for all that time, even at night, and most days above 6.
Pits dug around the garden in the likely places have not found the
pipe yet, but do confirm that the ground is NOT frozen now - at any
depth.


I've checked that the stopcock in the road is OK, and that there is
nothing impeding flow at the house. *The pit was full of ice on
Monday, but has been clear since I cooked that out with boiling
water.


Does anyone know how long it will take to thaw a pipe, or does this
sound like a 'hire a digger' job?


Much appreciate some help on this, as watching SWMBO with the
bucket of her head going to the village pump is getting boring.


R.


How cold did it get in the air and roughly how long?


Not sure as I was away from Thursday to Monday. *Last week was very
cold, -13.5 on Monday night, and people say that it was -11 on
Christmas Eve (Friday). *I don't think it got above freezing in the air
from Monday to Sunday (Boxing Day)


My supply is 2' down and have never frozen though the top layer of
the ground does freeze for some random depth - probably a few inches.


I suspect as you found ice in the stopcock pit that that is where the
freezing took place.


Can you pour some more boiling water down there?


It has water welling up through the gravel at the bottom of the pit, so
the hot water cools almost instantly. *The pit is only 15 inches below
road level. *It's a rural lane. *We're in North Cumbria here.


If the ground is now unfrozen at any depth, the pipe should follow
suit - the difference being the ground is not solid water/ice so has
a lower amount of heat per cubed required to thaw it. The pipe if
frozen of course may take longer but it is only a small diameter.


There is quite of lot of ice and snow on the roads round here still,
especially where the sun never reaches. *My garden is shaded just where
the pipe would run (I think). *I can't check below the paths, which is
where the pipe might run, and they are in the deepest shade.


I'm definitely thinking replacement with a trace heater for next year.
Even though it does mean trenching through the tarmac drive. *Good
excuse to buy a big angle grinder


R.- Hide quoted text -


- Show quoted text -


The biggest problem with underground pipes is not freezing but ground
heave due to frost. A joint may have broken. The water you mention in
your stoptap pit may point to the problem. If there is unfrozen
groundwater it doesn't sound like your pipe has frozen, more like
broken. What you need is a listening stick and starting from the stop
tap listen for the leak. *Works well on the pipe and hard surfaces
thought some experience helps. A big screwdriver can be used but not
as good. *Press blade onto stoptap and ear against end of handle and
listed for hissing noises. Press hard.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


BTW if it is a leak don't let any bugger go digging up yards of pipe
until the leak has been located. Biggest con/ripoff in the book tp get
money off of you . Leaks can be pinpointed these days, you need the
right people who will have sophisticated electronic devices. Leaks
sometimes appear hundreds of yards from their source, they follow the
trench & then pop up..
  #10  
Old December 30th 10, 03:37 PM posted to uk.d-i-y
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,216
Default How long does it take to thaw out an underground pipe?

On Dec 30, 3:32*pm, harry wrote:
On Dec 30, 3:28*pm, harry wrote:





On Dec 30, 2:53*pm, TheOldFellow wrote:


On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:08:32 +0000


Tim Watts wrote:
TheOldFellow wrote:


My previous thread about my frozen supply pipe elicited no helpful
suggestions, frankly just as I expected. *There just isn't any way
to thaw out a pipe in the ground.


So now it's 4 days later, and the air temperature here has been
above 4 for all that time, even at night, and most days above 6.
Pits dug around the garden in the likely places have not found the
pipe yet, but do confirm that the ground is NOT frozen now - at any
depth.


I've checked that the stopcock in the road is OK, and that there is
nothing impeding flow at the house. *The pit was full of ice on
Monday, but has been clear since I cooked that out with boiling
water.


Does anyone know how long it will take to thaw a pipe, or does this
sound like a 'hire a digger' job?


Much appreciate some help on this, as watching SWMBO with the
bucket of her head going to the village pump is getting boring.


R.


How cold did it get in the air and roughly how long?


Not sure as I was away from Thursday to Monday. *Last week was very
cold, -13.5 on Monday night, and people say that it was -11 on
Christmas Eve (Friday). *I don't think it got above freezing in the air
from Monday to Sunday (Boxing Day)


My supply is 2' down and have never frozen though the top layer of
the ground does freeze for some random depth - probably a few inches.


I suspect as you found ice in the stopcock pit that that is where the
freezing took place.


Can you pour some more boiling water down there?


It has water welling up through the gravel at the bottom of the pit, so
the hot water cools almost instantly. *The pit is only 15 inches below
road level. *It's a rural lane. *We're in North Cumbria here.


If the ground is now unfrozen at any depth, the pipe should follow
suit - the difference being the ground is not solid water/ice so has
a lower amount of heat per cubed required to thaw it. The pipe if
frozen of course may take longer but it is only a small diameter.


There is quite of lot of ice and snow on the roads round here still,
especially where the sun never reaches. *My garden is shaded just where
the pipe would run (I think). *I can't check below the paths, which is
where the pipe might run, and they are in the deepest shade.


I'm definitely thinking replacement with a trace heater for next year..
Even though it does mean trenching through the tarmac drive. *Good
excuse to buy a big angle grinder


R.- Hide quoted text -


- Show quoted text -


The biggest problem with underground pipes is not freezing but ground
heave due to frost. A joint may have broken. The water you mention in
your stoptap pit may point to the problem. If there is unfrozen
groundwater it doesn't sound like your pipe has frozen, more like
broken. What you need is a listening stick and starting from the stop
tap listen for the leak. *Works well on the pipe and hard surfaces
thought some experience helps. A big screwdriver can be used but not
as good. *Press blade onto stoptap and ear against end of handle and
listed for hissing noises. Press hard.- Hide quoted text -


- Show quoted text -


BTW if it is a leak don't let any bugger go digging up yards of pipe
until the leak has been located. Biggest con/ripoff in the book tp get
money off of you . *Leaks can be pinpointed these days, you need the
right people who will have sophisticated electronic devices. *Leaks
sometimes appear hundreds of yards from their source, they follow the
trench & then pop up..- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


Listening sticks, halfway down page.
http://www.msfengineering.co.uk/products.asp?id=1
 




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