Possible frozen line between main and meter

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by shadowjfaith, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. shadowjfaith

    shadowjfaith New Member

    Feb 5, 2014
    It's supposed to get well above freezing here next week. Hopefully we can keep the warmer weather for awhile.
  2. craigpump

    craigpump In the Trades

    Apr 12, 2012
    Self employed water system tech
    Two weeks with no water?

    My wife would have been gone 13.5 days ago.

    Here is what I have done to thaw frozen buried water lines.

    Run a hose from a neighbor and back feed your house through a spigot

    Remove the pressure relief valve from your water heater and install a boiler drain that you can connect a 1/2" piece of hose to that is long enough to reach your meter

    Cut the pipe coming into the house, install a valve so you can shut off the water once it starts to flow, slide the small diameter hose down the pipe and open the boiler drain to allow the warm water to flow through the hose and thaw the ice block

    Be prepared for a mess

    Put everything back together and don't forget the pressure relief valve!
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    If the pipe between the main and the meter (in the driveway pit) is frozen, do you think he would be able to feed that warming pipe through the meter and the in-pit shutoff valve? I could see the shutoff valve being rodable, but I would think the meter would block the hose.

    Tom Sawyer's compressor method would have that same limitation, I expect.

    Regarding the hose from the neighbor, that could give some temporary water for flushing and showers even if the water supply line remained frozen. I wonder if taping a heating tape to that hose would keep it from freezing once the big flow stops. Would keeping a tap on solve that?
  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Mar 30, 2011
    Rocket Scientist
    Houston, TX

    Please do post pictures of that heat gun when you are done.

    Wagner is good, but may yield the same result as the other brand.

    It may have a better fuse link.

    Just judging by the number of bricks, that line should be below the frost line.

    Good Luck.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  5. shadowjfaith

    shadowjfaith New Member

    Feb 5, 2014
    I really didn't expect the heat gun to work in the basement as I wasn't going to leave that one on all night. Fire hazard in the meter pit way out in the driveway I'm okay with, but my basement is another story. I don't really expect it would melt as too much heat escapes. The pit was almost completely sealed off not letting the heat escape which is what caused the melt down, but I can't replicate that in my basement nor would I want to (fire hazard stuff again).

    I do like the back feeding of water to my water heater and running that down the pipe. This does solve some of the issues I would have had with my line-in-line method. It not only gives constant water, but for the most part will be hot.

    As for the mess I have a sump pump so I wouldn't be too concerned as long as it keeps working.

    I've missed too much work to take off to accomplish this so hopefully I can arrange something with the neighbors for this weekend.
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