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If electricity and water should happen to go out, even if just for 3 or 4 days, is it not inevitable that water pipes will freeze? It will be January after all!!


-- HEY (hey@hey.com), March 01, 1999


HEY, that reminds me: Has anyone heard of putting a special anti-freeze in forced hot water heating pipes to protect them from freezing? Maybe propylene glycol? Must be a way to prevent a problem.


-- Lewis (aslanshow@yahoo.com), March 01, 1999.

How much did the plumbers union contribute to the Clinton campaign? The denial is part of the payoff by the unions. Don't tell people that the electricity may go off so we can get the business to repair the busted frozen pipes. Why will the government not tell the truth?

-- Tom (dumb@aaa.com), March 01, 1999.


That's pretty SOP in cold country. Check around. It's not that hard.

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), March 01, 1999.

The trick is to load your pipes with RV antifreeze, available at auto supply (NAPA) etc... Otherwise blow out water with compressed air starting at the highest point in the system and "chase it downhill" Good Luck....Dennis

-- Dennis S. (souza@ptialaska.net), March 01, 1999.

Don't forget that antifreeze is toxic. Death is not always optional.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), March 01, 1999.

Non-toxic plumbers anti-freeze is availible. Otherwise use glycol. As Greybeard said SOP.

-- Jim P.E. (outstrip@hotmail.com), March 01, 1999.

Sorry: Don't use glycol in potable water lines.

-- Jim P.E. (outstrip@hotmail.com), March 01, 1999.


You just made me do a double take with the blow out the pipes recommendation. I was under impression you may need to blow out things like undergroung sprinkler systems but that you could gravity drain household plumbing. What's the risk on gravity draining house? My plan calls for draining 1st and 2nd floors (including the toilet w.c., adding RV style plumbing antifreeze in the drain traps (toilets,sinks,tubs,run some through diswasher and 1st floor washer so the pumps are covered) but to keep the water lines in the basement pressurized.

Will that cover me?


-- john hebert (jt_hebert@hotmail.com), March 01, 1999.

From experience, and frozen and broken pipes, unless you are sure there aren't any sags (no way to tell inside the walls) in the horizontal copper lines you are best to blow out the lines.

-- Jim P.E. (outstrip@hotmail.com), March 01, 1999.

John Herbert ; Sometimes I go a little overboard on winterizing That could come living here In Alaska for the last 30 years. I put a tug boat to bed for the winter last October using The air and RV anti freeze Process I mentioned. By the way the boat is sitting on the beach at West Dock, Prudoe Bay, Alaska. Someone mentioned that antifreeze is toxic, it is ! Rv antifreeze less so and flushes out of systems quickly once the water starts running again. If your worried about the house you will be in next winter , you'll probably be doing something to keep yourself warm long befor it gets cold enough to start busting pipes.. Good Luck. Dennis

-- Dennis S. (souza@ptialaska.net), March 01, 1999.

Can't you just shut off the main, and run water to drain the pipes?

Also, my Dad says when the heat goes out let water run at a trickle (assuming there's water) this should keep the pipes from bursting. He's a Pipefitter.

We have never had a problem following this advice. Midwest Winter.

-- Deborah (info@wars.com), March 01, 1999.

I also live in the north, not quite as far north as Dennis, and I have a summer/winter home that I use every weekend. I installed a drain valve at the lowest point in the system. I then would shut off the main water supply, drain the system by opening all the taps etc., fill the traps with anti-freeze (usually windshield washer, its cheap)and leave. This was okay until the time it went down to -15c for five days and when I got back, closed the taps, closed the drain valve and turned on the main line I had raindrops falling on my head. Busted line. Any sags in the horizontlal lines will not allow all the water to drain out. After cutting out ceiling I installed small drain cocks in the low points, (hidden but accessable). I now do the same as before and haven't had a problem with frozen lines in three years. Moral: Blow out the lines with air if your not sure. And yes keeping a tap slightly open will keep the lines from freezing, but you need to be around to keep an eye on it. Sorry for the long post but if it helps so be it.

-- Jim P.E. (outstrip@hotmail.com), March 01, 1999.

Lived up in a cabin on a 6,000 ft. mountain top, with snow, and when departing for more that two days, simply turned off the main, opened all the taps to drain -- bathtub and shower included -- and when, done closed the taps.

Put conventional anti-freeze in the toilet tank and bowl and about a quarter cup down each drain. Could leave it alone for a few weeks. Never had a busted pipe. When youve got water again, just turn the main back on.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), March 01, 1999.

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