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Frozen Pipes- How to thaw with welder?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by 88sub4x4, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    The heating pipes in my house froze. The plumber said to call a welder and he could heat the pipes up. I've seen this done before, but I'm not sure what kind of welder was used, or on what settings. I know to isolate the frozen zone and that this welder clamps onto each end. Anybody here done this before, or know about it?
     
  2. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Here's some help.....

    You need to use a DC welder. AC welders can send current just about anywhere including out your main electrical line and burn down the house next door!

    If an AC welder is the only thing you have, make sure to disconnect the main ground in your breaker pannel and I would suggest turning off all breakers and disconnecting all electronic equipment. AC welders can be dangerous if not handled correctly. If your using a DC welder and I'm assuming you have hot water baseboard heat, connect your leads between short sections of the loop, one or two baseboards at a time. If you can, cut one end of the section you are thawing so the current flows only in one direction (optional). Always start with the smallest amount of amps you can. If you can monitor the output, stay down to 20 amps or so. It's also a good idea to have a hose hooked up to one end so that as it thaws, you can tell when it starts to flow. Make sure your cable connections are clean on the copper and constantly check them to make sure they are not getting to hot. You don't want to melt them or burn your carpet!!.
    Whatever you do, BE SMART AND CAREFULL! and put some non-toxic antifreeze (propylene glycol - inhibited) in youer system. You can pick it up at most plumbing wholesale stores. The above is only advice and I accept no responsibility for your actions on doing this. If you don't feel good about doing it you should have it done by a profesonal.
    Hope this helps.....................
    Got to get to work, I'll check this in a while or later today to see how you did. Good luck.:xmas:
     
  3. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the info, I am going home on my lunch break, I'll post up later when I have tried it. Thanks again.
     
  4. 70jimmy

    70jimmy 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    We used to boil water in a large pot and put a beach towel in it. Go to the frozen pipe and wrap the towel around it and pop pop pop. The line would unthaw. We used large channel locks and good gloves so as to not get burnt.

    This was in North Dakota in a 100 year old farmhouse. If it worked there it should work anywhere.
     
  5. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    My problem is that the pipes freeze in the slab and I can't get to them. I'm going home now to try the welder. Hopefully it works
     
  6. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    You didn't say they were in the slab. Oh well, any luck???
     
  7. hi pinion

    hi pinion 3/4 ton status

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    Hey.......i thought you were just a poop poo turd hearder? :) I diddnt know you could thaw the pipes too old dawg!!! Good job !!!! (joke) :)
     
  8. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Well, when I got home the house seemed quite warm, so I checked and I guess since it warmed up a but from yest. morning the pipe thawed out on it's own and the heat was circulationg. It is supposed to drop down into the teens again in a few days, so I have a guy coming to put antifreeze in and replace a few leaking pipes. None are in the slab, but I don't have much plumbing experience so I'm letting the pro's do their job. Thanks again for the help.
     
  9. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    No problem, glad it worked out and the antifreeze is a good thing to have in your case.

    Jake, I'm a man of many jobs and trades but poo is NOT one of them :D .
    Although I've had a few guys tell me I'm FOS (Full of S... ).
     
  10. hi pinion

    hi pinion 3/4 ton status

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    I know, i was just pullin yer chain :), glad to hear you got your plumbing working again too, here in my part of cali, the pipes never freeze, i cant remember one call ever for a thaw job, later, jacob :)
     
  11. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Give me some CO2 and I'll freeze some pipes out there for you. Just so you can say you had to work on a frozen pipe. Out here, we don't just deal with an ocassional frozen pipe, sometimes we deal with entire frozen houses. Here's a good picture for you -

    :blush: :D [​IMG]
     
  12. hi pinion

    hi pinion 3/4 ton status

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    That is amazing.......ive never seen that before. No wonder you drink Jack n coke!!! Ya gotta stay warm!!! :)
     
  13. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    I hate plumbing. I was told yesterday I need to dig up the lawn and replace my sewer line. Apparently it is collapsing which is causing reduced flow. If I run the washing machine, it dumps fast enough that it can't take it away and it backs up. Oh well. Life goes on. Glad to hear your having some amount of luck.
     
  14. hi pinion

    hi pinion 3/4 ton status

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    Dont buy that!!! I would offer up 200.00 bucks just too have it cleaned really good,by another plumber. You have orangeburg pipe, i know exactly what youve got,there just trying to make some money .....off of you.....unless the line is completly collapsed,then it needs replaced.Granted ,orangeburg is CRAP, you can sometimes stretch more years out of it, than what they say. Have it cleaned real good, chances are,you will be able to sqeeze by for a while longer. So dont replace it, unless youre having to call every other week. Places like mr rooter, even train there guys to do a half ass job on the cleaning, so it will back up again, and again, and again, to trick you into thinking you need new, when you dont. ALL BS!!!!!!!! all of it dude. If i was there i would clean the piss out of it for you, to make it last along time.Mr rooter only uses a little bitty small hook on the snake, i use huge double hooks to hook the roots out.Lots of places are a rip.Be carefull,because i know the owner of mr rooter, and its scam city there.

    In the 50s , orangeburg pipe, (tar and paper pipe) was created, because the military had a shortage of steel, and were using it for bombs, tanks, and such.That is why it is there. They were using the steel, and cast iron, on other things, because of the war going on.I think it was late 40s too, but i really suck at history. Good luck, later, Jacob
     

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