Miller Electric

Welding Discussion Forums

Home » Resources » Communities » Welding Discussion Forums
 
Miller Welding Discussion Forums - Powered by vBulletin

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    starkville, ny
    Posts
    16

    Default thawing frozen water pipes

    Besides Lincoln bulletin E695.1
    http://www.alaska.edu/uaf/cem/ine/au..._TRC_94_20.pdf
    Appendix 2 has the full bulletin.
    Anyone got any other tricks or ideas?
    Thank you for your time and consideration.
    Sincerely,
    Kent
    Welding is an art. But is also science in action. Chemistry and Physics. Got to love it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    There are some real dangers to burning down houses, a good understanding of residential electric systems is helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Plainview, TX
    Posts
    334

    Default Avoiding Frozen Water Lines, a contractors perspective.

    The Alaska DOT document was referring to culverts in bar ditches for water runoff draining. Although it referenced a Lincoln Electric Document, the LincThaw device may no longer be available.

    Over the years, water lines to houses and with houses have changed. For the most part, steel pipe is no longer used for water line use. Galvanized steel pipe has been replaced by PVC and other types of "PLASTIC" lines. Qwest Pipe and PolyButylene have been the most recent additions. Use of steel piping in housing has changed as well. Many use rolled copper, as opposed to cut rigid copper tubing. Quest Pipe and Polybutylene type tubings have been used in the manufactured home (i.e. mobile home) for years. It is now being used in permanent site built construction today.

    In the water well business, my competitors use primarily PVC, for all plumbing and do a rather poor job at it. I use PVC for the underground long run lines myself, but start with steel at the well head (pitless adapter unit) wrapped with 2" 10 mil pipe wrap tape to protect the pipe from corrosion from the soil. When I say steel, I am referencing Galvanized Schedule 40 Pipe. At the end where my tank and controls are, steel leader pipe to steel riser, all wrapped with pipe wrap. The above ground or floor plumbing is generally left exposed in the well house or closet the plumbing is in. I use 250W heat lamps to provide heat. I set the light near the floor to heat the floor. This works only with tile or concrete because I am using the "HOT ROCK THEORY". Warm rock under pipe acts as heat source to keep lines warm and thawed out. Thermostat controls on the plugs for the heat lamps allows for safe economical use of the lamps. The following attached photo is from a well house at a feed lot. As long as the power remains on, and the door remains shut, the thermo controlled lamps keep the lines and the well house warm.

    Photo_121509_007.jpg

    As far as plumbing in a house, a heat source and time is your best friend. In extremly cold weather, the best practice is to open all under sink cabinets to allow the warm house air to be exposed to the pipes and walls the pipes are in. Open the faucet and allow the water to run slowly to keep freezing of the lines to a minimum. If the lines in the wall have froze, due to extreme cold or power outage, again a heat source and time is your friend. I have used 1000W work lamps to heat the wall under a sink in order to warm the wall to thaw out the pipes. This should be done with care and caution. High heat sources can ignite wood or wood products if not done with caution.

    What about well houses with NO FLOOR or WOOD FLOORS? Well, this is where the HOT ROCK THEORY works again. We have used 2" thick 8"x16" solid cinder bricks placed under the pipes to be heated by the heat lamps. Works just like concrete.

    As for buried lines, well they should be below the known frost level in your area. Here in the Texas Panhandle, about 24" is generally the best depth, the frost line is around 14". In Michigan and Minnesota, many lines are buried over 11 feet. If you have watched "Bigger in Alaska" or "Ice Road Truckers" on the History Channel, you know they have their water lines above ground in special ducts because of PERMA FROST. If the permafrost in the ground was damaged, the footing support for the house above could be compromised and the house would collapse. Plus, even with the best rock bucket, digging in permafrost is almost impossible.
    '77 Miller Bluestar 2E on current service truck
    '99 Miller Bobcat 225NT for New Service Truck
    '85 Millermatic 200 in Shop

    '72 Marquete 295 AC cracker box in Shop
    '07 Hypertherm Powermax 1000 G3 Plasma Cutter in Shop
    Miller Elite and Digital Elite Hoods

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    starkville, ny
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flukecej View Post
    The Alaska DOT document was referring to culverts in bar ditches for water runoff draining. Although it referenced a Lincoln Electric Document, the LincThaw device may no longer be available.

    Over the years, water lines to houses and with houses have changed. For the most part, steel pipe is no longer used for water line use. Galvanized steel pipe has been replaced by PVC and other types of "PLASTIC" lines. Qwest Pipe and PolyButylene have been the most recent additions. Use of steel piping in housing has changed as well. Many use rolled copper, as opposed to cut rigid copper tubing. Quest Pipe and Polybutylene type tubings have been used in the manufactured home (i.e. mobile home) for years. It is now being used in permanent site built construction today.

    In the water well business, my competitors use primarily PVC, for all plumbing and do a rather poor job at it. I use PVC for the underground long run lines myself, but start with steel at the well head (pitless adapter unit) wrapped with 2" 10 mil pipe wrap tape to protect the pipe from corrosion from the soil. When I say steel, I am referencing Galvanized Schedule 40 Pipe. At the end where my tank and controls are, steel leader pipe to steel riser, all wrapped with pipe wrap. The above ground or floor plumbing is generally left exposed in the well house or closet the plumbing is in. I use 250W heat lamps to provide heat. I set the light near the floor to heat the floor. This works only with tile or concrete because I am using the "HOT ROCK THEORY". Warm rock under pipe acts as heat source to keep lines warm and thawed out. Thermostat controls on the plugs for the heat lamps allows for safe economical use of the lamps. The following attached photo is from a well house at a feed lot. As long as the power remains on, and the door remains shut, the thermo controlled lamps keep the lines and the well house warm.

    Photo_121509_007.jpg

    As far as plumbing in a house, a heat source and time is your best friend. In extremly cold weather, the best practice is to open all under sink cabinets to allow the warm house air to be exposed to the pipes and walls the pipes are in. Open the faucet and allow the water to run slowly to keep freezing of the lines to a minimum. If the lines in the wall have froze, due to extreme cold or power outage, again a heat source and time is your friend. I have used 1000W work lamps to heat the wall under a sink in order to warm the wall to thaw out the pipes. This should be done with care and caution. High heat sources can ignite wood or wood products if not done with caution.

    What about well houses with NO FLOOR or WOOD FLOORS? Well, this is where the HOT ROCK THEORY works again. We have used 2" thick 8"x16" solid cinder bricks placed under the pipes to be heated by the heat lamps. Works just like concrete.

    As for buried lines, well they should be below the known frost level in your area. Here in the Texas Panhandle, about 24" is generally the best depth, the frost line is around 14". In Michigan and Minnesota, many lines are buried over 11 feet. If you have watched "Bigger in Alaska" or "Ice Road Truckers" on the History Channel, you know they have their water lines above ground in special ducts because of PERMA FROST. If the permafrost in the ground was damaged, the footing support for the house above could be compromised and the house would collapse. Plus, even with the best rock bucket, digging in permafrost is almost impossible.
    I used the culvert link, so I did not have to scan my copy of "The Procedure handbook of arc welding."
    Or as some call it the BIBLE!
    Also I have never heard of PVC pipe used for incoming housing water lines, or incoming building water lines.
    And as far as being 11' under ground, not that I have heard of.
    BTW I live in upstate NY. (Gets a little cold up here.)
    And lived and worked in Southern California for 20 years.
    So I do know a little about building code.
    Hope this helps.
    Thank you for your time and consideration.
    Sincerely,
    Kent
    Last edited by kcd616; 12-03-2010 at 11:39 PM.
    Welding is an art. But is also science in action. Chemistry and Physics. Got to love it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Atl, Ga
    Posts
    371

    Default

    I wondered for the longest time why Lincoln always printed a spot/circle around the "75" amp setting on the faceplate of their AC225 (cracker box). Found out while reading an old owner's manual that 75 amps was the approved setting for pipe thawing, rated for 1 hour.

    I don't know if that helps your situation any, but I guess it's one possible solution. Just about every weldor I know has had a 225 cracker box laying around at one time or another. They usually go for about $100 used on Craigslist. Not a really spectacular welder, but they're cheap and easy to come by.

    Lincoln doesn't seem really keen on advertising the machine as a "pipe thawer" because I think they've run into some liability issues in the past - At least that's the feeling I get while reading their product info. It's worded very cautiously.
    2007 Miller Dynasty 200 DX
    2005 Miller Passport 180

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    At 70A that machine is running 100% duty cycle.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ceres, California
    Posts
    357

    Default

    At the Lincoln School I went to, we were told BY Lincoln not to give out pipe thawing advice. But to refer them to Lincoln direct for a copy of the pipe thawing manual.
    We were given horror stories of people burning down their houses and or their neighbor's.
    Glenn 300 amp stick
    Millermatic 35
    L-tec plasma

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    564

    Default

    Worse thaw job I done was in my washroom. The hot water flexible line froze going to the washing machine. I used a hairdryer, the line busted, out came hot water and steammed up the room so bad I couldnt see to get the water shut off.

    I had a mess.

    Using an unvented heat source inside makes for some cold pipes under the house and cold rooms inside where the heat don't go. You'll hear about it when your honey gets up and its 50 degrees in the bathroom.

    The down side is when you run to the shower and she's used all the hot water.

    I know, not really related.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Welding Projects

Special Offers: See the latest Miller deals and promotions.