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alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

EXTREME freezing temperatures - What to worry about?

Sup guys
For the first time since we bought our house, I find myself HOME ALONE!!! Wife & kids & In-laws left for China this morning for the Chinese New Year.

I've never was startled by so many creeks and cracks since just now! I just got home from work, house is empty and it's freaking -22F (-30c) outside. The house is creeking and popping left and right everywhere I go and I can't blame it on other occupants!

GAH!

Anyhow...
With EXTREME temperatures we're having since Monday, and that should continue until Saturday, what precautions should I take for my old ghostly house of horrors? I can't think of anything aside from turning off water in places where the pipes might freeze.

BTW, want some delicious ironing ?

Our POCO is asking us to try and restrain our power consumption.
Oh the ironing is delicious.



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3

it's -8C right now, I don't even want to think of -30

You mean Irony?



jrs8084
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Statesville, NC
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to alkizmo

From somebody who grew up in northern IL (and remembers -30 and -80 wind chills), the most important thing you can do is get on your knees and pray that the furnace doesn't tear up or the power goes out.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by SparkChaser:

it's -8C right now, I don't even want to think of -30

-8C is quite comfy

said by SparkChaser:

You mean Irony?

You didn't see my Home Simpsons reference?
Yes I mean irony.

said by jrs8084:

From somebody who grew up in northern IL (and remembers -30 and -80 wind chills), the most important thing you can do is get on your knees and pray that the furnace doesn't tear up or the power goes out.

-80 windchills?!?!?!? Are you kidding me? You gotta be kidding me, I don't believe you.

At least I have a little gas stove in the basement if the power or furnace go out. It's a construction yard down there, but I'm willing to setup a camping ground if it comes to it

I don't know if I'd dare start my generator in a power outage right now :|


jrs8084
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Statesville, NC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

1 edit

1 recommendation

You are likely correct that I am incorrect. In checking some temps, the coldest I am seeing was -27 for one particular year in question. Now, what was official and what I heard may also come into play. I do know the wind chills were very severe due to the humidity. People form far more northern locations noted how raw the wind chills made it.

Then again, the one year that I really remember was my junior year of college. School was cancelled due to the cold. But, the liquor store two blocks away wasn't That might have clouded my memory as well.



Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2
reply to alkizmo

Back in Winnipeg, I've experienced -36C to -40C with windchill at 2400 watts sq/m. That's -68C.


dick white
Premium
join:2000-03-24
Annandale, VA
reply to alkizmo

We don't get anything like that here in Ol'Virginny, though it is colder today than in a long time. Some years ago we had an even worse cold snap and a couple of houses in the neighborhood had a problem with inside pipes freezing. The troubled pipes all ran up the inside of an outside wall from the powder room on the first floor to a bath on the second floor. The high winds and cold temps overnight drew enough heat out through the wall that pipes froze. The wall insulation had been installed over the water pipes, so the inside room was nicely insulated though the pipes were not. Because it was overnight, nobody was using those bathrooms so the water in the pipes was not moving and froze easier. In the morning there was no water in the upper bath, and later in the day when it warmed up a bit, the now-cracked pipe thawed and there was a mess, to put it mildly. Because it happened to the same pipes in several houses, all of which were facing the same direction, and only those facing in that direction, we were able to connect the dots and surmise why it happened. By now, you know where your plumbing is in your house, so if you have any vulnerable runs, just leave a faucet running with a slow drip overnight. The moving water will be less likely to freeze in the pipe.

cheers and shivers
dw



Rifleman
Premium
join:2004-02-09
p1a

1 recommendation

reply to alkizmo

Keep the house warm, turn on your water taps to a slow trickle so pipes won't freeze. The noise is normal. Was -45 back home last night.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by dick white:

By now, you know where your plumbing is in your house, so if you have any vulnerable runs, just leave a faucet running with a slow drip overnight. The moving water will be less likely to freeze in the pipe.

The water itself is nearly freezing in temperature. I think it only doesn't freeze due to pressure

But by now, this 46 years old house has seen it all.

said by Rifleman:

Keep the house warm, turn on your water taps to a slow trickle so pipes won't freeze. The noise is normal. Was -45 back home last night.

Crick crack pop... here we go again. Damn you wood.

Yeah the noise is normal, but this thread is distracting me from being home alone and hearing those noises

I wonder how my neighbor is doing.
He has had a small broken window covered by a piece of plastic wrap for a couple of years now. I bet they're feeling the cold!


hm

@videotron.ca
reply to alkizmo

Was -30-C here last night, -31C for tonight (-42C W/ windchill).
*shrug*
I don't turn water off or do anything.

But if you are worried about it, instead of turning water off, it's likely better to open a faucet some place and leave it open a little more than a drip (thin steady stream).

What sucks more is when the dog wants to go out and pee and I open that door. bRrRrRrR

Congrats on being home alone!
Make the most of it.
Pizza and beer
Call in sick tomorrow
Eat more pizza and have more beer
Because in a few day you are likely going to have 10-inches of snow that will need shoveling while it's -25 out
...And that will be one miserable little nippley job

Expand your moderator at work


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to hm

Re: EXTREME freezing temperatures - What to worry about?

Way ahead of you

Though no I can't call in sick. I want to save those "sick" moments for when it counts. With a 5 year old son and 6 months old daugther, you never know when THEY are sick and you gotta pretend to be.

However ya... pizza, wine (ya sorry, too cold for beer today) and a whole supplies of movies and tv-shows I haven't had the chance to watch until now.

FFFF YA!

10 inches of snow? Screw that, the wife & kids are gone, I can just hop in my SUV and drive over it, no wife around to complain!



KA0OUV
Premium
join:2010-02-17
Jefferson City, MO

1 recommendation

Trick my Dad shared with me was to open the doors under your sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms. In particular where they are against an outside wall. Gets a few extra º to the pipes.

As far as windchills go, the National Weather Service changed how they calculated Windchill a few years ago.

»www.crh.noaa.gov/ddc/?n=windchill#Old

»www.nws.noaa.gov/om/windchill/im···pare.pdf

With the old chart, -25ºF and 25MPH wind speed produced a -81ºF windchill.

So, jrs8084 was within the ballpark for Northern IL from a good cold snap with the right conditions.

I like the watts sq/m that Juggernaut quotes. I assume that is normal in "hydro" country?

Tim [KA0OUV]



jkj860
The Final Frontier

join:2002-01-10
Valparaiso, IN

said by KA0OUV:

Trick my Dad shared with me was to open the doors under your sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms. In particular where they are against an outside wall. Gets a few extra º to the pipes.

Tim [KA0OUV]

Good advice!
--
I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant. Nixon


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2
reply to KA0OUV

They used watts sq/m for a while, but then went back to 'wind chill' temps. I have to say, it was really confusing trying to get the jist of it.
--
"I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots." ~ Albert Einstein



hm

@videotron.ca
reply to alkizmo

Pizza and wine. Someone is gonna be snoring tonight and no one will be around to complain about it and rolling you off the bed to go sleep on the couch. Double-bonus.

At least sleep in and go in late! Battery problems you know...

said by alkizmo:

10 inches of snow? Screw that

That's even better
Offer some kid 10$ to shovel for you.
Do kids still shovel for money these days or can we be arrested for child abuse for that?

Oh, and good luck finding a kid who would want 10$ for shoveling anyhow.

Kids today, ay.


John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma
reply to alkizmo

I feel for you guys, having done 40+ years in PA before moving to FL.

This is my first time away from "winter" so to speak.

Leaving cabinets open is great advice along with opening the faucets just a trickle.

Best of luck to you all.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to alkizmo

God damnit, I just found out my downstairs bathroom's cold water pipe is frozen. Toilet won't flush, faucet won't flow. Hot water works though.

That toilet needs insulation (will get to it in the summer). It's always been VERY cold in there, 4 walls, 1 to the garage unheated, 2 to the outside, and one to the kitchen. We kept the door closed because it was very cold in there so we didn't want to lose heat. I guess today it's pretty bad. I'll leave the door open so warmth can get in. Good thing the pipe didn't explode.


HarryH3

join:2005-02-21
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

Keep watch on that bathroom with the frozen pipe. What's frozen now could become a problem when the ice thaws... If the pipe has a split then you'll have a real mess when the water turns to liquid again.

I've always done the "open cabinet" trick for all sinks that are on outside walls and be sure to leave BOTH the cold and hot water trickling a bit so the water in both pipes is constantly moving. At those temps you may need to leave a fairly decent stream running to prevent freezing up.



Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2
reply to alkizmo

Might want to put a small space heater in there, and close the door.



tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting
reply to alkizmo

The biggest risk of freezing plumbing is due to air leaks.

Turning off the water is not going to help unless you are able to drain it.

For areas that are vulnerable to freezing I'd crack the hot and cold water open a little so there is a little water flowing in the pipes.

BTW it is currently - 2 F here in Southern NH.

Good luck.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to alkizmo

Ok guys, let's get the details hammered down in this delicate operation. It's already 10:40pm so I can't spend hours at this.

Cold water started coming back a bit after I opened the door for half an hour.

How's this: I place a small space heater set to 400w (for safety so it doesn't get too hot in one spot) to keep the room at a decent temperature. In the basement, underneath that bathroom, the temperature is fine, it's not freezing cold. So it's really just the bathroom itself.


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

1 recommendation

reply to alkizmo

Your from Canada and you don't know how to handle cold weather?

Don't shut off the water, let it run.

Expand your moderator at work

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Ormond Beach, FL
reply to Bob4

Re: EXTREME freezing temperatures - What to worry about?

said by Bob4:

Your from Canada and you don't know how to handle cold weather?

He's not really in Canada but New France and it's "you're" not "your".

Further his house is new at 46 years. Mine is 140 and I turn the heat right down at night at which the creaking and groaning would make for some excellent horror movie sound effects.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

Your from Canada and you don't know how to handle cold weather?

Don't shut off the water, let it run.

Yeah well I never had such problems before. First time owning a non-new house. I KNEW that the downstairs bathroom was a problem, I just didn't expect -22F to hit at the same time that my family vacated the house.

Super freezing temps
+
Badly insulated bathroom
+
Nobody home to use the water
=
FROZEN PIPES!

Anyway... weird, only the tap works, the toilet won't get any water yet they share the same pipe and the toilet should be before the tap.

I'll let the heater run in that bathroom overnight and leave the door open

GOOD NIGHT BRA!

said by peterboro:

He's not really in Canada but New France

And you're in new Hong Kong.
Vancouver is New China.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

Shut the door, and keep the heat in.



rogersmogers

@start.ca
reply to alkizmo

Leave the doors open to any rooms with pipes so heat can get in, leave the doors open under the sinks as well.

If you have a basement door and have heat in the basement turned on close the door or all your heat will just bleed up stairs.

Frozen pipes won't explode if the ice has someplace to go. If the pipe is frozen leave the taps turned on this allows the air to escape and the ice can expand up the pipe rather then blow the pipe. Also it's possible leaving the tap open will allow warmer air into the pipe and unfreeze. If the hot and cold pipes are close together in the wall run the hot water and it may warm up the inside of the wall enough to get the cold water going again.


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
Reviews:
·Optimum Online

1 recommendation

reply to tschmidt

said by tschmidt:

Turning off the water is not going to help unless you are able to drain it.

It will reduce the subsequent amount of flooding if the pipe breaks.


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

At least I have a little gas stove in the basement if the power or furnace go out. It's a construction yard down there, but I'm willing to setup a camping ground if it comes to it

Incredibly dangerous idea. Stoves use air to burn. Your house is fairly air tight. The stove will use up the oxygen in the air, producing carbon monoxide. Your wife will be a widow. Your children will have no father. Don't ever run a stove, propane furnace or generator indoors.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.