frozen water pipes in concrete floor

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Old 01-24-03, 05:51 PM
WaterlessOH
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frozen water pipes in concrete floor

Most of my water pipes are laid in (encased in) concrete. (When a laundry room and bathroom were added on to this house, the water pipes were ran then a concrete floor was poured over them.) I failed to leave water running during the recent freezing temperatures and my pipes have frozen. Is there anything I can do besides wait for warmer temperatures? I am keeping these rooms warm but the concrete floor is not heating up so the pipes are still frozen. Any ideas?
Thanks. :-)
 
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Old 01-24-03, 05:55 PM
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Wait it out, or call a plumber that has a pipe thawing machine.
 
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Old 01-24-03, 06:11 PM
WaterlessOH
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Pipe thawing machine? Does it force warm water or air towards the ice blockage? Anything that could be done with dryer duct or warm water? (Maybe I'm just having pipe dreams ;-)
 
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Old 01-24-03, 06:13 PM
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It is doubtful that the pipes are frozen the entire way through the concrete. My guess would be that there is some small place where a draft could get to them, or the cold temp was close to the pipe and it is frozen there. Still no idea on how to thaw but if that area is behind a wall, you might consider opening the drywall and exposing the pipes. You could then insulate them better before closing up or adding access panel.
 
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Old 01-24-03, 06:14 PM
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It works on electric, clamps to the pipe between two point, it energizes the pipe and warms it up, a hair dryer will not work in your case, sweet dreams.
 
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Old 01-24-03, 06:54 PM
WaterlessOH
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Hmmm.... No pipes behind walls.... Main line appears to come into house below ground and directly into/beneath the concrete floor.... I'll concentrate heat there and on the other exposed pipe coming out of the concrete and into the adjacent bathroom. Maybe I'll get lucky but it sounds like I might have to wait for warmer temps.

Does the thawing machine work on PVC?
 
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Old 01-24-03, 07:01 PM
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Pipe thawing machines need metal pipes. I'm not sure if it matters whether it is steel ot copper, but NOT pvc.
 
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Old 01-24-03, 08:01 PM
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Ron's right (about the hair dryer thing), but then he almost always is!!

And KFieldis right about the thawing machine only working on metal pipes, not PVC.

But waterlessOH, if you have PVC embedded in the concrete, a frozen pipe is the least of your concerns!!
 
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Old 01-25-03, 06:05 AM
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Amen lefty. Should have asked Santa for a concrete saw.

I doubt it is as bad as is sounds but I can't help but wonder why all these new homes and additions aren't properly constructed to withstand the very cold temps. In Atlanta it may not be a required practice but in Ohio it should be addressed prior to closing things up. We get complacent after 5 ot 6 years of temps not reaching single digits and then when it does, all the work that was done sub-standard stands out like a sore thumb. That can be the difference in which plumbers price is lowest to rough in the addition and now 5 years later, it becomes obvious that the money saved was only saved for a few years. Even more than price, it is important to address issues such as this before the concrete mixer truck is in the driveway. If those pipes were encased on Armoflex insulation, you would darn near need frost under that concrete to freeze the water.

Sorry for getting on the soap box but I have had a week of explaining to people the same thing about heating oil. Save 5 cents a gallon and make candles with the wax in your tank.
 
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