No hot water pressure kitchen seemingly only in winter

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Samsa, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Samsa

    Samsa New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I have lived in the same condo for just over a year and this makes the second winter where my hot water will suddenly stop flowing to the kitchen sink. It works everywhere else and the cold water works in all rooms, even the kitchen. This happened to me maybe three times around this same time last year and always corrected itself. I had pretty much forgotten about it since it hadn't happened since. The dishwasher is connected to the same shut off valve as the sink and is not receiving any water either. Since the water works fine in the bathroom I don't think its the hot water outlet on the tank, and since the washer isn't getting pressure either, it cant be the external tubing. I have an end unit with my kitchen piping running against the outside wall, so I thought maybe it froze, since it only happens during very cold days, but it doesn't make since that the hot would freeze and the cold not. I am really at a lose here and so far have not been able to find any other posts related to this specific problem. It appears the issue is taking place in the pipes behind the walls; I own the place and can't really afford to have someone come out and tear through my wall to insulate the pipes or anything, so I am open to all suggestions.
  2. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Does your unit have a basement? Can you see the supply pipes going up into the exterior wall? If so, can you feel any breeze/draft around the pipes? Is there insulation stuffed between the pipes and the exterior framing (band or rim joist)? (Maybe post a picture?) These are the only things you might be able to address without opening up the wall.

    A low-tech solution is to simply leave a trickle of hot water running into the sink on those cold days; that will (probably) prevent the hot water supply line from freezing.

    It's not entirely impossible for one supply line to freeze and the one (seemingly) right next to it not to. The last house I owned had a laundry room with supply lines run in an exterior wall, and on extended periods of very cold days the hot water supply line was prone to freezing while the cold did not. The only solution was to open the wall and add additional insulation and seal drafts.
  3. Samsa

    Samsa New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Kentucky
    No basement, but there is a place below mine. Six total in the same building, one above, one below. I can't see any external pipping but there is definitely a drastic temperature drop right around the holes where the piping extends into the kitchen. This problem has never lasted more than a day but unfortunately this whole week has a low listed in the teens. Here is a pic of everything I can see:

    https://www.icloud.com/photostream/#A25oqs3qGun7im

    Through the wall on this picture is outside.
  4. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    If the line has been frozen for a week there is a good chance that it's broken. When it thaws it can flood your condo in a short time. I would be calling a plumber before that happens.

    John
  5. Samsa

    Samsa New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Great...
    Thanks for the help though and quick responses.
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