Water - didn't do wat I oughta!

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Langtoftlad, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    Cold snap has taken me a bit by surprise - ie; I was working abroad and it was mild when I left.
    So I've come today, freezing temperatures.

    I've dived in the van and pulled the bung on the fresh water tank to dump it's 80 litres onto the drive.
    I've opened the grey waste pipe, a dribble came out - tank was/is pretty much empty.

    Opened the taps - nothing [the kitchen sink has a dribble] but nothing from the bathroom, basin, loo or shower.

    I think my pipes may well already be frozen :crying1:.

    I assumed the water heater would auto dump when the temperature fell below a certain temperature but digging out the handbook, it seems it might have a manual valve only - I'll switch it to drain a bit later...

    Given that I haven't taken appropriate "preventative" measures - what can I do to minimise any damage/risk of damage to the pipe work.

    Would it be a good idea to run the space heater [on low] for a few hours, perhaps raising the internal van temperature a bit, maybe slowly melt any pipes that are frozen...

    I'm afraid I'm neither technically minded nor practically competent :rolleyes:, so please no advice involving spanners or tools in general.
    Thanks.
     
  2. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    I would have thought if you have dumped your water there will be none to come out of the taps.
     
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  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    biggest risk from freezing are the taps/mixer .. expensive to replace.. but as said.. if you drained they should be ok.. leave them open

    if worried do as you said.. warm the van up inside with all the cupboard doors open..
     
  4. Larby

    Larby Funster

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    Temperature is rising in the day time, leave taps open.
    Says the one who is about to drive to his storage to drain his own water !!!!
    But will use as an excuse to have a drive in the MH................
     
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  5. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    I would be surprised if water has frozen, temperature only dropped yesterday (down here anyway), it would need to be quite a few degrees below zero for a few days for the van to get cold enough inside for pipes to freeze.
     
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  6. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    Only just dumped it about an hour ago...
    Hope you're right - just thought what was already in the pipe runs would have flowed - unless frozen...
    I guess I'll find out :cautious:.
     
  7. scotzsue

    scotzsue Funster

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    Ditto
     
  8. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    If there is no water for the pump to pump it won't push much out of the taps , if you have a dribble I would say it's not frozen
     
  9. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    This might sound like a daft question, it sounds daft to me... But when it gets warmer, and I fill up the tank again - given that most of the piper work appears to be concealed - how will I know if it's all ok...?
     
  10. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    Water will come out of the taps but not from underneath:whistle::)
     
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  11. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    I only drained the tank this morning.
    Are you saying that the pipes themselves, being 'flexible' might be able to handle being frozen - but the taps being rigid are more prone to damage.
    I guess the positive, trying to ignore any expense, that at least taps are visible and so should any problems with them.

    Off to put heating on...
    Presumably that can be left on low - unattended ???
     
  12. Larby

    Larby Funster

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    Pump will keep cutting in trying to maintain pressure if there is a leak, not to mention the eventual evidence of water where it shouldn't be.
     
  13. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    I hope I don't have the same problem. I haven't drained down yet. Intended to do it yesterday but somehow the day ran away from me so last night I put the heating on low and the hot water on too so hopefully when I go to dream it later today all will be well.
     
  14. mickyc

    mickyc Read Only Funster

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    If it's a pressurised system it will not "pressure up" ie the pump will continue to run when taps are off.

    You will also notice a leak, the pipes may well be hidden but the water will still run from under the cupboards.

    As others have said the most vulnerable parts are mixer taps (we once had a shower head crack due to ice) the "hidden pipes" are a bit more protected (soft plastic can also stand a bit of ice without cracking)

    Joints are vulnerable (they push apart as ice expands) but you will notice one of thes the minute you restart the pump as it will gush out.
     
  15. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    Something to look forward to :whistle:.
     
  16. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    God! It's flippin' freezin' out there!
    So water heater valve [yellow] flipped to drain position - no satisfying sloshing of water :( but maybe, clasping at straws, it was empty anyway...

    Just dismantled showerhead, and hose from tap connector - definitely frozed. Can see proper ice.

    Heater on and already the inside temp is a balmy 1.6deg
     
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  17. Larby

    Larby Funster

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    Had slight air and ground frost here but how low did it get where you are?
     
  18. Langtoftlad

    Langtoftlad Funster Life Member

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    Dunno - wasn't here :)... just flew in this morning.
     
  19. OldAgeTravellers

    OldAgeTravellers Funster Life Member

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    After draining down I always blow down the taps and shower to clear all water out of the system. Some I can get my mouth over and just blow hard till I hear no gurgling others I have a tap to hose connector. Especially make sure you do the hot with the boiler drain open as that is the most expensive thing to freeze. I also put an egg cup full of cheap AntiFreeze in the waste traps but be careful not to get any on your sinks some AntiFreeze can damage some plastics (or a couple of egg cups of meths if you don't have antifreeze) I also leave the waste drain tap open.
    The worst place to clear is the Cassette flush if you have an electric flush. Usually before draining anything out I get the wife to press the flush button while I blow down the nearest tap, hold it for a few seconds after I stop blowing then release it the pipe should then be empty and not fill again while you clear the rest of the pipes. Also leave the fresh tank and water heater drain taps open. Also after doing all this run your pump dry for about 30 seconds to move any water that may be in the filter and pump into the flexible pipework where it will do little damage. Don't forget the shower in the garage if you have one as well.
    Hope you have caught it in time before any damage.
     
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  20. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    I drain down after every trip, blow thro the pipes and dry out the inside of the Water tank, and leave all the taps open.
    Mid Oct, early nov I cover the water pump with an part of old duvet, (the plastic filter housing still is generally half full if it freezes it cracks) and I also cover the Boiler with the rest of the old duvet, this stays on until We use it again, and, until the frost season is over.
     
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