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(WMUR New Hampshire)   Well, they're thawed, aren't they? Mission accomplished   (wmur.com) divider line
    More: Scary, The Residents, Accident, Firefighter, Dunbarton Fire Department, Injury, frozen pipes.Fire officials, p.m.The Dunbarton Fire Department, Liquid  
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4992 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Jan 2022 at 4:02 PM (22 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



29 Comments     (+0 »)
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2022-01-23 12:32:41 PM  
I saw a wooden 2-story apartment building completely destroyed by fire. It was a block away from our house.

It was the freaking coldest week of the year. Temperature were below zero F. Some dummy decided to defrost the pipes from the basement with a blow torch. The building was probably from the 50s-60s so it went up like a pile of crumpled newspaper.

I walked over to watch (carefully staying out of the way of the fire fighters.) The sides of the trucks and the front of the firefighters were warm/hot and dry, EVERYTHING else was encased in ice. The backs of the firefighters, the trucks, the hoses were sticking to the ground. It was terrible all around.

It was night, I imagine most of the tenants got out with little more than the clothes on their backs and whatever they could grab as they evacuated. Fortunately nobody died.

Our pipes froze the same day (crappy old rental house). Fortunately we chose to defrost them with an electric fan heater from the basement.
 
2022-01-23 12:59:24 PM  
I had a neighbor once who managed to destroy his mobile home by trying to thaw the pipes with a space heater he put underneath the trailer.  At least no one got hurt, and he failed to set anyone else's trailer on fire.
 
2022-01-23 4:08:34 PM  
Our insulated pipes would freeze when outside temps dropped below 15F. We got this gizmo to thaw pipes: an electric cord that had around 6 ft of heating element embedded in it. You wound it around the pipe, plugged it in, and let it go. And then *walla* you waited and waited and waited. And then the ice melted.

We learned to set a drip when the temps would drop.
 
2022-01-23 4:25:16 PM  
Reasons to burn down your house - #1  Spiders, #2  Frozen water pipe, #3  So your ex-wife doesn't get it.
 
2022-01-23 4:30:50 PM  
If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid. Right?


....r-right?
 
2022-01-23 4:37:33 PM  

pjbreeze: Reasons to burn down your house - #1  Spiders, #2  Frozen water pipe, #3  So your ex-wife doesn't get it.


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I saw a spider
 
2022-01-23 4:39:16 PM  
Unthaw....aaaaggggghhhhhhh
It's thaw you squirrel brain
 
2022-01-23 4:39:33 PM  
My outside faucet froze last week because I forgot to turn the valve to it off. I needed to drain the water out of to make sure the pipes in the wall don't burst.

First I though a heat gun would thaw it. Then I thought blow torch would be quicker. Then I decided that I put a lot of work into the house and didn't want to burn it down, so I used a hair dryer. I realize now I'm a sucker and could have saved 10 minutes if I used the torch.

I'll know better for next time.
 
2022-01-23 4:42:07 PM  
The only thing more reliable than these stories every winter is deep fryer disaster stories every Thanksgiving.
 
2022-01-23 4:47:57 PM  
Blow dryer/ heat gun or maybe some heat tape they use for pipes under trailers. Or leave your faucet on just a little next time and it probably won't freeze.
 
2022-01-23 4:48:25 PM  

pjbreeze: Reasons to burn down your house - #1  Spiders, #2  Frozen water pipe, #3  So your ex-wife doesn't get it.


Number 1 and 3 are the same reason.
 
2022-01-23 5:12:27 PM  
I am curious as to how you set your house on fire though.  At one point your are applying flame to metal pipe... and then what?  Toss the still burning torch in a pile of oily rags? Accidently try thawing the gas pipe instead of the water pipe?
 
2022-01-23 5:23:03 PM  

MythDragon: I am curious as to how you set your house on fire though.  At one point your are applying flame to metal pipe... and then what?  Toss the still burning torch in a pile of oily rags? Accidently try thawing the gas pipe instead of the water pipe?


Poor torch control. There are lots of things around pipes that can catch fire if you aren't careful or sometimes even if you are careful.
 
2022-01-23 5:36:33 PM  
What Thaw smoke might look like

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2022-01-23 5:42:31 PM  
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2022-01-23 5:44:43 PM  
We used to get frozen pipes all the time, as our home had a well run from a small uninsulated shack next to our polebuilding (basically a big metal workshop).  So, one day, my dad goes out to do his usual gas torch magic trick.  He comes running in a few minutes later, saying he needed to take a shiat.  As he runs past, I glance out the window and note the smoke coming out from under the eaves of the pumphouse.

The pumphouse is now well-insulated, and the phrase "pumphouse run" is now ingrained firmly in our family's vocabulary.
 
2022-01-23 6:18:24 PM  

MythDragon: I am curious as to how you set your house on fire though.  At one point your are applying flame to metal pipe... and then what?  Toss the still burning torch in a pile of oily rags? Accidently try thawing the gas pipe instead of the water pipe?


You're typically applying heat in an upward direction so all it takes is some insulation or something to catch on fire and WHOOPS! people blow on the flame to try and put it out but that spreads it more and WHOOPS! it's really spreading fast now and how do I put this out and WHOOPS! now it's uncontrollable unless you actually had a fire extinguisher sitting right next to you for immediate use in an emergency.
 
2022-01-23 6:18:45 PM  
Actually had to deal with that today. Woke up yesterday with no water. Fortunately it was only frozen out by the main and a few minutes with a turbo heater cleared it up. But also found out the heat tape under the trailer was badly installed, so getting that replaced was today's project.
 
2022-01-23 6:44:27 PM  
Is this about the escapee from the overturned truck of monkeys?
 
2022-01-23 7:04:52 PM  

MythDragon: I am curious as to how you set your house on fire though.  At one point your are applying flame to metal pipe... and then what?  Toss the still burning torch in a pile of oily rags? Accidently try thawing the gas pipe instead of the water pipe?


Mobile homes (for an example) tend to use plastic pipes of various sorts -- it's cheaper to glue plastic fittings on than mess around with soldering, and the pipe itself is often cheaper.  Then you get a genius trying to thaw plastic pipes with a torch...
 
2022-01-23 7:05:50 PM  

yakmans_dad: Our insulated pipes would freeze when outside temps dropped below 15F. We got this gizmo to thaw pipes: an electric cord that had around 6 ft of heating element embedded in it. You wound it around the pipe, plugged it in, and let it go. And then *walla* you waited and waited and waited. And then the ice melted.

We learned to set a drip when the temps would drop.


The word you wanted is "voila", which you could easily have looked up if only the internet had some kind of search function. Your browser would have flagged it for you if only they made browsers with spelling checkers. You could have used a word that you actually know how to spell, if only you weren't the kind of person who eagerly embarrasses himself in public.
 
2022-01-23 7:12:31 PM  

lizaardvark: yakmans_dad: Our insulated pipes would freeze when outside temps dropped below 15F. We got this gizmo to thaw pipes: an electric cord that had around 6 ft of heating element embedded in it. You wound it around the pipe, plugged it in, and let it go. And then *walla* you waited and waited and waited. And then the ice melted.

We learned to set a drip when the temps would drop.

The word you wanted is "voila", which you could easily have looked up if only the internet had some kind of search function. Your browser would have flagged it for you if only they made browsers with spelling checkers. You could have used a word that you actually know how to spell, if only you weren't the kind of person who eagerly embarrasses himself in public.


I just like to walla in my ignorance.
 
2022-01-23 7:39:32 PM  
How do you live in a historic home in New Hampshire and not know how to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place?
 
2022-01-23 7:46:59 PM  

thornhill: How do you live in a historic home in New Hampshire and not know how to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place?


I was going to ask this myself. Pipes freezing is one of those things that rarely comes up in cold weather locations because everyone knows it's a risk and everything is already built to prevent it from happening.

My parents had an addition to their house that relocated the laundry, and the shiatty contractor ran uninsulated pipes in an outside wall. First time it was like -10ºF it was frozen, and one morning we woke up to water spraying out of the wall and flowing down the floor vent into the crawl space. The repairs involved moving the pipes to be inside the walls, and now when it gets cold my parents know to just keep the laundry room door open so some extra heat gets in there.
 
2022-01-23 8:17:55 PM  
This would never have happened in Smartbarton.
 
2022-01-23 8:52:33 PM  
A variable temp heat gun is the unsung hero of winter.
 
2022-01-23 9:20:34 PM  

mrmopar5287: MythDragon: I am curious as to how you set your house on fire though.  At one point your are applying flame to metal pipe... and then what?  Toss the still burning torch in a pile of oily rags? Accidently try thawing the gas pipe instead of the water pipe?

You're typically applying heat in an upward direction so all it takes is some insulation or something to catch on fire and WHOOPS! people blow on the flame to try and put it out but that spreads it more and WHOOPS! it's really spreading fast now and how do I put this out and WHOOPS! now it's uncontrollable unless you actually had a fire extinguisher sitting right next to you for immediate use in an emergency.


Many years ago, I worked for a mechanical contractor. We did all kinds of jobs all over Los Angeles County, a ton of it downtown , century city and beverly hills. Average size of the refrigeration pipes was 1.25" , type K ( thickwall)  copper. OXY/Acetylene welding rigs were the norm, as we sweated using silfloss ( almost pure silver ) for the joints , and the guys got those nice and hot when working them. Even in buildings with asbestos and more modern flame retardents, there was always a 12 gauge piece of sheetmetal  behind the joints and 2 fire extinguishers  right there. Never had a fire .
 
2022-01-24 3:47:32 AM  
"unthaw", would be "freeze".
pretty sure they meant "thaw"
 
2022-01-24 6:26:04 AM  
Loved  this stuff when I was living in an RV
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