Frozen water pipes inside (1 Viewer)

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pappajohn

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Aug 26, 2007
43,502
50,930
Dark side of the moon
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172
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Since 2005
Go and buy loads of absorbent cloths and paper towels.
Every chance it's popped some pipe joints and maybe ice expansion has split the taps.....hence the clothes and towels to clean up when it thaws.
ALWAYS drain down in winter if it's likely to freeze.
 
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Falcon 269

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Jul 11, 2013
381
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Melton Mowbray, UK
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26,897
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Coachbuilt
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2014
Dumb question at this point, but how do you drain down water from the pipes to sinks, shower etc on pressure-fed lines?

I'm not aware of any drain taps on the pipework in our Adria but with this current very cold snap would like to protect against damage when the thaw comes.
 
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Sep 9, 2019
900
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Autotrail Apache 632
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Since Sept 2019
Make sure that the water pump is switched OFF. Open all the taps and hunt through the van looking for leaky pipes. Fix/replace damages. Moho‘s normally have speedfit style pipe joints, these will be pushed off the ends of pipes if the pipes have frozen but it may not be very obvious so gently tug each joint for soundness and push them back together if they’ve parted company. It may be a good idea to cut off the section of pipe that has come out of the joint as it maybe scratched and make a poor seal when pushed back together. USE A VERY SHARP KNIFE AND CUT STRAIGHT THROUGH THE PIPE TO LEAVE A SQUARED OFF END. Unfortunately you’ll probably find that quite a lot of pipe joints are inaccessible behind cabinets, beds, seats etc. Check all the ones you can find then I think you need to bite the bullet, shut all the taps and fire up the pump. In my Moho the pump runs for about 15-20 seconds to pressurise the pipework. I guess Your’s should take about the same time. If it takes even 5 seconds longer than usual shut it off and start hunting for leaks. I hope you haven‘t knackered your hot water heater, a new matrix is quite pricey and I think this would require an insurance claim. If you’re not capable of the above then get a plumber to have a look.

Just a thought, you could drain everything down via the drain cocks in the cold water tank and hot water system, ensure you open ALL the taps, then you could hire a pressure tester from somewhere like HSS (product code 68820, you’ll need some pipe joint adapters too) and connect it to the outlet pipe from the pump to the water systems in the van, shut all the drain cocks and taps and pressurise to around 10 psi (others will know the correct pump pressure that the pipes should withstand). It should hold this pressure indefinitely or not hold anything at all if there is a leak.

Hope you don’t have one!!!

Keep us posted!!! Your hard won experience may help others in a similar situation!!

Cheers!

Russ

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Sep 9, 2019
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Dumb question at this point, but how do you drain down water from the pipes to sinks, shower etc on pressure-fed lines?

I'm not aware of any drain taps on the pipework in our Adria but with this current very cold snap would like to protect against damage when the thaw comes.
No such thing as a dumb question!! Open the drain cock on the cold water tank under the van (normally a pipe with a tap on it running out of the bottom of the water tank), then open the dump valve for the hot water, (normally a yellow lift up tap affair very close to the hot water tank) and then open ALL the taps AND the shower to a setting that would normally give you a mix of hot and cold water from the tap/shower and let it all drain away. Leave them open so that residual water in the pipes can expand and not split any joints or taps. This is basic drain down procedure and I do it every time I know I’m going to leave the van parked up for more than around 10 days, even in the summer.

Cheers!

Russ
 
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Oct 9, 2019
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Van conversion
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As I use my van as a daily vehicle I am concerned about moving it if the pipes are frozen, so I have been switching the diesel heater on for a couple of hours to keep the ambient temperature up inside the van and fingers crossed it seems to have worked so far, but I have both tanks drain taps open.
 
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TerryL

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Mar 5, 2010
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After years of draining down the freshwater tank and the boiler then leaving all the taps open while I run the pump for a minute, I've found two taps next to the pump, which is at the lowest point in the van, which drain any residue. To date have had no problems.

As for your problem let it defrost slowly, trying to accelerate by heating may just cause the damage you're trying to avoid. Although if it's already done...................!

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Pookanixsy
Apr 16, 2015
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Make sure that the water pump is switched OFF. Open all the taps and hunt through the van looking for leaky pipes. Fix/replace damages. Moho‘s normally have speedfit style pipe joints, these will be pushed off the ends of pipes if the pipes have frozen but it may not be very obvious so gently tug each joint for soundness and push them back together if they’ve parted company. It may be a good idea to cut off the section of pipe that has come out of the joint as it maybe scratched and make a poor seal when pushed back together. USE A VERY SHARP KNIFE AND CUT STRAIGHT THROUGH THE PIPE TO LEAVE A SQUARED OFF END. Unfortunately you’ll probably find that quite a lot of pipe joints are inaccessible behind cabinets, beds, seats etc. Check all the ones you can find then I think you need to bite the bullet, shut all the taps and fire up the pump. In my Moho the pump runs for about 15-20 seconds to pressurise the pipework. I guess Your’s should take about the same time. If it takes even 5 seconds longer than usual shut it off and start hunting for leaks. I hope you haven‘t knackered your hot water heater, a new matrix is quite pricey and I think this would require an insurance claim. If you’re not capable of the above then get a plumber to have a look.

Just a thought, you could drain everything down via the drain cocks in the cold water tank and hot water system, ensure you open ALL the taps, then you could hire a pressure tester from somewhere like HSS (product code 68820, you’ll need some pipe joint adapters too) and connect it to the outlet pipe from the pump to the water systems in the van, shut all the drain cocks and taps and pressurise to around 10 psi (others will know the correct pump pressure that the pipes should withstand). It should hold this pressure indefinitely or not hold anything at all if there is a leak.

Hope you don’t have one!!!

Keep us posted!!! Your hard won experience may help others in a similar situation!!

Cheers!

Russ
Thanks Russ,I usually drain everything but I went away when the weather was fine here,and should of known better,came back to sub zero and even the outside taps on my house had been neglected,I’m hoping I haven’t burst anything,thanks for the info it’s much appreciated 👍👍
 
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May 14, 2021
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The only other thing I used to do was once everything was drained and opened I ran the pump briefly which used to expel a small amount of water out of the tap.

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Feb 19, 2020
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Adria Matrix 670SC
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Dumb question at this point, but how do you drain down water from the pipes to sinks, shower etc on pressure-fed lines?

I'm not aware of any drain taps on the pipework in our Adria but with this current very cold snap would like to protect against damage when the thaw comes.
Which adria do you have? On mine as well as the auto dump Truma valve there is a drain tap next to the pump there's also a filter next to the pump which should be removed and emptied or it can crack there's also a drain on the fresh tank
 
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Falcon 269

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Jul 11, 2013
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Coachbuilt
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2014
Adria Matrix Axxess 670SC. I've done the necessary with the auto dump valve for the Truma but wasn't aware that filter needed to be removed.

Thanks for all the other replies, folks. This is what happens when you encounter your first cold winter back in the UK after owing the van from new in Spain. :)
 
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Jul 29, 2011
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Dumb question at this point, but how do you drain down water from the pipes to sinks, shower etc on pressure-fed lines?

I'm not aware of any drain taps on the pipework in our Adria but with this current very cold snap would like to protect against damage when the thaw comes.
Open drain at lowest point, open all taps and shower, only way to be sure of draining fully is to blow through with compressed air, but leaving everything open should be enough as it gives ice the opportunity to expand and not break pipes.
 
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