Jim Fry wrote:One time my brother had a frozen pipe on his farm. He stuck a wire in each end of the blockage, connected the wires to his welder, and turned it on. The arc through the ice melted the blockage. I make no claims that it was a good idea. What I have done is to wrap all vulnerable pipes with heat tape and insulation. Another thing you could try is to just put another drain pipe thru the wall and let it drain on the ground until your permanent pipe thaws.
Keith Ahlstrom wrote:Hi Mark,
All good as long as you are in a "warm-ish" cold climate. Where I live there is no keeping a compost pile warm or a greenhouse warm...or a compost pile in a greenhouse warm for that matter. We just came through a week of -35C (-31F) and nothing stays warm in those conditions.
But I like the idea for sure!
The main culprit in my system is the small dribs and drabs of water going down, (washing your hands etc) and this flows down and freezes in layers before it reaches the end of the pipe. It builds up and builds up until it blocks the pipe completely.
Keith Ahlstrom wrote:Well...Jane...I say give the waterline trick I use a try. It works great for me. I cleared the three foot greycicle in about 45mins. You can also try a pressure washer (heated) You can rent them from just about any equipment rental place.
Good luck with your pipe.
Keith Ahlstrom wrote:Jane!...don't suffer...where there is a will, there is a way!
So, The waterline I have is from Canadian Tire...I think I spent 20 bucks for 100'. (it comes in a big roll...think garden hose, but black and more rigid...like pex tubing, but not as expensive) I originally used garden hose, but scared the bejeezers out of myself when the two sections I was using pulled apart in the pipe. Thankfully, it happened where just as the connection came out of the pipe. Having a garden hose stuck up in your grey water line would SUCK! If you have a short-ish run of pipe from the outlet to the house and only need one hose...go for it. Garden hose works, but it can sometimes be like pushing a rope up a hill...the water line is far more rigid and just doesn't buckle.
The pump was from Canadian Tire as well...whatever you can get cheaply. I love and use these kinds of pumps all the time. I can't even count how many times they have saved me from disaster. $60...$80 it's all money well spent! I can wager your nieghbour has one you could borrow.
The hot water comes from my canner. I boil up some water and fill the bucket. Fill it up again so I can top up the water in the bucket. (remember some of the water will be in the line and coming back down the pipe so you will need more than the single bucket for the pump to have something to pump back up.) Cold water works as well....just slower.
Keith Ahlstrom wrote: You can also try a pressure washer (heated) You can rent them from just about any equipment rental place.
Good luck with your pipe.
Regan Dixon wrote: It's good to remember that burying something deeper, doesn't automatically equate to digging a deeper trench. Piling materials on top can accomplish the same thing. (Why had I forgotten that?) ... so I can place soiled bedding effectively.
Travis Johnson wrote:Regan, I know your intent was not to start a discussion on trying to prevent the water line from freezing, but I believe you have the solution to your problems right on premise.
We have a waterline going out to our house and there is a certain spot that despite insulation and burial, it is not low enough to prevent freezing. This is frustrating, so we take a bucket load of sheep manure and place over that spot in the line. It has never froze since doing this, the manure and hay bedding causing the area to warm up and stay running.
We do not have a lot of manure over the spot, may 2-3 wheelbarrow fulls, but it gets VERY cold here, we are talking -10 to -20 below (f) and it has yet to freeze. I am not sure if you have a tractor or not, nor do I know the length of your pipe, but maybe you could layer the pipe with your animal manure and prevent the line from freezing? (I might stay back from the stream edge so you manure does not foul it, which may mean burying your line a bit deeper there, but a wee bit of digging is better than a lot.
Just a suggestion! If you think it is silly, carry on my friend! I admire your ability to live without!
Keith Ahlstrom wrote:Worth a shot! It should work, but I don't have an intimate knowledge of those hydrants.
I wonder if you built up the ground level around the hydrant if this would raise the frost line? I mean a pretty large circle...radiating 5 or 6' out from the...ahhh nevermind! Winter is truly a pain in the butt!
I keep wondering if it just doesn't make more sense to pack up and swing in a hammock on a beach for 6 months a year. I am pretty sure the expense of heating, fixing and defrosting would pretty much cover the vacation.
Abe Coley wrote:i'd put some de-icing salt down it and let it do its thing
Travis Johnson wrote:.....my hydrant ended up being damaged at the valve. There was no salvaging mine; I had to buy a new one. :-)