Frozen well line

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Old 03-09-14, 10:00 AM
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Frozen well line

I wasn't sure if I should post here or under "wells and pumps". I've had a lot of challenges with these frozen pipes. In a thawing effort, we caused a lot of other problems, but I'm down to this: I know the pipe is frozen under the garage. When they added on to this house, the well pipe supplying the house is just barely under the concrete slab. It's been bitterly cold up here these year. So the pipe froze solid. Adjacent to the garage, we have a little root cellar. I exposed the pipe by digging up the dirt floor. I tunneled a little bit under the foundation wall that is the wall of the garage. I've had a small space heater on the pipe in an enclosed space for about a day now. Do you think the heat will continue to travel along the galvanized pipe to help melt it under the concrete? I know metal is a good conductor, and my thought is that, if the pipe is continually being heated at one end, it will continue to transfer the heat out to the less warm portion. Does that make sense or is this a useless endeavor?
 
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Old 03-09-14, 10:26 AM
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It makes sense but the fact that it froze in the first place proves that heat in the pipe is also conducted out of the pipe as well. So the question is, will your space heater supply more energy then what is being lost. If the answer is yes, your line will warm up. If the answer, is no, it will not.

I am just thinking about the physics here. I have no personal experience with your situation and therefore the above is just my opinion.
 
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Old 03-09-14, 11:13 AM
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At this point, I'm hoping against hope. The little room and the pipe are pretty warm. Granted, the sand under the garage is really damn cold, but every bit helps. If I can get it just a few degrees above freezing . . .

I had a big space heater in the garage (200,000 BTU), but it put out so much CO, and it's directly under my bedroom, that the house quickly became unsafe. Like . . . 270ppm of CO. I ran the heater for several hours anyway and took everyone out for dinner. Half tempted to try it again. I have to get that slab warm somehow I think. On the flip side, I can't get the well pump working now, but I'm reasonably confident that isn't frozen. I'm about ready to cut the pipe open and see about getting hot water directly in there somehow.
 
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Old 03-10-14, 06:52 AM
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There are plumber that specialize in thawing frozen pipes using a portable welder. It may be costly but it will thaw out frozen waterlines quickly. Make sure it is someone experienced in preforming this operation. It is dangerous if you don't know what your doing.
 
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