Water pipes and taps frozen

Nov 3, 2016
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Whopps

Forgot to de pressure the system after I last used it and came today to check it.

Icicle 1 inch long from the bathroom sink tap! Pulled the cover off the living room seat where the water pump is and the pipes are clearly frozen full of water. So far can’t find any leaks.(will see when it thaws)

Current plan is I have turned on the hot water and heating to 60deg & 22deg respectivly and I am going to leave it a few hours to hopefully thaw out.

There was 1 shower worth of water in the grey tank which I just opened the tap on and it seems to drain ok with a few bits of ice coming out with the water. Hopefully it all warms up ok and I can de pressure the system with no issues. Fresh tank was 100% full so did not freeze been a large body of water.

Oh and water pump was and is obviously still off.

Any thoughts from people? Any trick I am missing?
 
Jan 28, 2013
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The biggest (and most expensive) issue is your boiler ... hopefully that's ok.
It must have been really cold. Our pipes have never frozen.
 
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DuxDeluxe

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Fingers crossed, I guess.....

Whatever damage is done will be done by now. Just take it slowly to avoid uneven defrosting.

Best of luck

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Jul 10, 2016
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hucknall
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the last thing I would do is turn on the heating system I would try and thaw it out very gently, try a hair dryer on pipes may be a good idea.
turning on the heating with its pressure i would think would definitely blow something.
 
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Mar 23, 2012
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the last thing I would do is turn on the heating system I would try and thaw it out very gently, try a hair dryer on pipes may be a good idea.
turning on the heating with its pressure i would think would definitely blow something.
Depends on the heating system if its hot air can't see a problem if its alde????
 
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davidathomas42
Nov 3, 2016
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It’s a Truma hot air system. The outside temperature last night was down to -4 but it’s current 8-9deg so it’s had a little chance to come away from Baltic temperatures before I whacked the heating on. I have opened all cupboards etc and removed seating cushions to try to get the whole van up to an even temperature. Not planning on switching on the water until later tonight and only if I am 100% positive it’s fully thawed everything out. Last thing I want is a piece of ice clogging a pipe or the pressure rupturing a seal as the pump tries to pressurise.

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Jul 10, 2016
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hucknall
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Depends on the heating system if its hot air can't see a problem if its alde????

said hed turned on the heating and water, whichever system he's got if the water pipes are frozen I wouldn't turn on the water heating it's the easiest way to get a burst pipe.

if its alde the heating side should be ok as its got antifreeze in it. but you cant have heating only on an alde. personally id just put something like an oil rad in and pray :(

hope its ok for him though
 
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Jul 10, 2016
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hucknall
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It’s a Truma hot air system. The outside temperature last night was down to -4 but it’s current 8-9deg so it’s had a little chance to come away from Baltic temperatures before I whacked the heating on. I have opened all cupboards etc and removed seating cushions to try to get the whole van up to an even temperature. Not planning on switching on the water until later tonight and only if I am 100% positive it’s fully thawed everything out. Last thing I want is a piece of ice clogging a pipe or the pressure rupturing a seal as the pump tries to pressurise.
you originally said youd turned on both, with heating only and gently should with luck be ok

just make sure totally unfrozen

hope it goes ok
 
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TheBig1

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you may well be very lucky and no damage done, but damage can vary from rupturing the fusible plug through to splitting a weld inside the heater. can be a very expensive lesson to learn

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davidathomas42
Nov 3, 2016
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It’s been on about 90mins now. I have turned off the water heater part of the Truma and now just got the blown air on at 22deg to try and warm everything through for the remainder of the day.

I’ll keep checking it periodically until later tonight when hopefully it’s all defrosted otherwise I’ll lower the heating to 15-16 deg through the night so it gets even all over without hitting the heater to hard.
 
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Aug 6, 2013
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Be very careful leaving it overnight. Expansion (and therefore bursts) occurs just as the ice changes to water. You don't want to find any leaks in the morning.
 
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TheBig1

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my advice is switch off the pump and open the taps to equalise the pressure as the pump and boiler defrost. will minimise any further damage as you defrost

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davidathomas42
Nov 3, 2016
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my advice is switch off the pump and open the taps to equalise the pressure as the pump and boiler defrost. will minimise any further damage as you defrost

Pump is off and all taps open. Grey waste is also open incase the worst happened and the pump just ran and emptied the fresh tank. Cant really see that happening but never know.

The stress of it all! :(
 
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Sep 25, 2009
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Don't know what your system is. But boiler would probably have dumped the water.so you may be lucky and not damaged it.I would leave heating only on all night it' going to be freezing again tonight .make sure pump is turned off
 
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davidathomas42
Nov 3, 2016
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Don't know what your system is. But boiler would probably have dumped the water.

Ahh. Now I read about the dumping procedure under +3 deg but for some reason always thought that would be the fresh tanks water (n)

Of course not. That would take some serious work to freeze.

Did not notice any water under the van but possible it did that and dried before I saw it.

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davidathomas42
Nov 3, 2016
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Ok Update..... Hopefully the only one needed

At 8pm - 7 Hours after turning the heating on. I checked all the connections and pipes I could see without getting giddy with a screwdriver and they were still dry and no longer icy to the touch.

I closed the now open taps and turned on the water pump :eek:

After a couple of seconds of it pressurising to about the same level as my heart the pump went silent..... Ok no leaks so far.... Potential they could be pugged by ice pellets so I continued on to open each tap on 50/50 hot & cold setting..... Well they all ran great. I pulled though about 3 litres of cold and 3 litres of hot and they all ran faultlessly and got nice warm water though so happy there is no ice or leaks currently. Always the possibility one is on the edge of splitting but hopefully not.

I finished off by turning off the pump and opening the taps to take the pressure out and then removed the shower head and blew into it until all the water was clear of the pipes.

Left the heating on 16 deg tonight so I can be sure everything is well above freezing and have another good check tomorrow. But so far looks like I dodged a potentially expensive bullet (y)

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