Is the situation when, at a negative temperature outside, the water supply from the tap stops? Such a problem arises in your home with the onset of cold pores, but you do not know how to quickly eliminate it? For the struggle is required to find an effective method of restoring the health of the water supply network. Do you agree?
We will show you how to warm the frozen pipeline and how to prevent a problem situation in the future. We will talk about effective ways to quickly restore water supply on a cold winter day for sanitary purposes and cooking.
Our article provides a selection of the best ways to help cope with this trouble on their own. Methods for pipelines of various materials are considered. So that you can better understand the nuances of warming, we picked up a vivid photos and thematic videos with a detailed description of the recommendations for the rescue of water from the ice captivity.
The content of the article:
- Causes of system freezing
- How to find a problem site?
Effective solutions to the problem
- Method # 1 - use hot water
- Method # 2 - heating the building hair dryer
- Method # 3 - Use Electric Current
- Method # 4 - “Soldier Heater” for Plastic
- Method # 5 - heating the pipeline from the inside
- Method # 6 - Professional Equipment
- How to prevent system freezing?
- Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Causes of system freezing
With the sudden onset of frost, supplemented by strong winds, cases of freezing autonomous water supply systems with the formation of ice jams inside them, they are not uncommon.
Frozen as a result of improper installation or operation of the pipeline, the water at best will make it impossible to use the system, and at worst - will force you to eliminate the breakthrough.
The problem of freezing pipes is more relevant for the owners of dachas and houses of the private sector, whose water supply passes through the street
There are several reasons for the freezing of water in the water supply system.
The most basic among them are:
- extremely low temperatures outside;
- laying pipes to a smaller depth than the level of soil freezing;
- insufficient pipeline insulation;
- low or even zero water consumption.
At night or for a longer period when the owners do not use plumbing, the water in the pipes remains stationary. At subzero temperatures, it quickly freezes.
Not only pipelines can freeze through, but also valves that do not shut off in time, which supply water, both to an unheated basement room and to the courtyard
The pipe, which is in frozen ground, starts to cool after passing warm currents, and after a short period it acquires a low temperature. Small portions of water as they begin to freeze and crystallize, at some point, hammering the entire pipe section completely.
How to find a problem site?
The most difficult moment in this matter is to determine the place of freezing in the open area. water supply systems. Skilled craftsmen advise when viewing and probing the accessible part of the route to focus on temperature sensations.
Determining the place of the ice plug in the plastic pipe when probing is not difficult: a characteristic crunch is heard within the confined area when trying to slightly bend the pipe
Water supply usually freezes in those areas where the pipes come close to the surface of the earth. Vulnerable to frost are also technical wells, unheated basements.
It has been observed that concrete freezes faster than soil layers. Therefore, if the basement was unreliably insulated or slightly opened during the period of severe frosts, it is quite natural that the pipeline running through it froze.
If the freezing area cannot be determined, it is better to immediately abandon the idea of breaking through the ice jam by mechanical means.
If it is not possible to “calculate” a specific area, use the available methods at once at several of the most probable places of freezing.
Effective solutions to the problem
Plumbing can be thawed through external heat exposure, or by defrosting from the inside. Each specific case depends on the length of the frozen area and the material from which it is made. water pipesand therefore requires the use of different means.
In spite of the fact that ice with the same mass is bulkier than water, within the framework of its aggregative state, obeying the laws of physics, before it melts, expands.
To reduce the risk of pipe rupture during the defrosting of ice plugs, it is necessary to reduce the pressure on the walls of the structure by prudently opening the taps.
Before starting work, it is imperative to open the water tap or “discharge pipe” after valve at the entrance so that the water flowing from it determines the performance of action.
Method # 1 - use hot water
If the system is frozen in an open area with entering the houseOr, inside an unheated basement, the easiest way to warm a section of the water supply is to treat it outside with boiling water. Hot water saved plumbing from freezing at all times.
To do this, the pipe is wrapped in several layers with rags and cuts of old rags, which absorb moisture well. A wetted rag will prolong the contact time of the pipe walls with water.
A section wrapped in a rag is poured over with hot water until the fabric gets wet and the ice beneath it starts to melt.
When warming the frozen section of the pipeline, it is important not to damage it. Areas of construction that do not require heating, it is necessary to cover the insulating material. This will prevent the accumulation of pieces of ice moving along the pipeline with water.
Apply this method only in enclosed spaces and with the open method of laying the pipeline. And this technology is suitable only for steel pipelines. The system, which is underground, will have to be heated by boiling water for at least 12 hours.
Method # 2 - heating the building hair dryer
You can achieve the desired effect with the help of hot air generated by a powerful building hairdryer. The method is used to heat the frozen sections of the pipeline in those places where it is quite easy to reach them, for example, when the system is laid inside the building.
In order to melt the water along the shell of the pipeline, the surface of the structure is blown from all sides by a hot air flow directed by the nozzle.
To create conditions for the advancement of ice accumulation through the pipe, it is necessary to evenly distribute the flow of hot air, while not forgetting to open all the valves beforehand.
Consider that the building hair dryer gives out temperature which range can reach from 100 to 650 ° C. Therefore, it can not be used for pipes made of polymeric materials.
Strengthen the effect, while reducing heat loss, helps the construction around the heated area improvised protective casing. It will reflect the heat, evenly distributing it over the entire surface of the isolated area.
For this, a small pavilion is temporarily built, the walls of which are made of the same film or metal shields.
A photo of
Pipeline sections laid in unheated rooms are most susceptible to freezing during the winter period.
If the heating is suddenly turned off and there is a risk of pipes freezing, it is better to open some taps and drain the water with a thin stream. It is much cheaper than rebuilding a pipeline.
Slight icing under the sink, found due to insufficient rate of drainage of water into the sewer, it is better to warm up beforehand
Before proceeding to warming up the icy water supply system, you must inspect the pipe. If bursting is detected, it is not necessary to warm up, it is better to immediately call a plumber
It is not advisable to warm up the frozen water supply system with heating electrical equipment without experience. The best option is a hand dryer or a household heater in a reflex case.
In poorly heated premises on a water faucet is recommended to wear a piece of rubber hose. So the temperature in it will not fall sharply.
Thermal insulation works well against frost penetration in the frost period. All areas in unheated rooms need to be warmed.
It is mandatory to warm the elements of the aqueduct located above the earth's surface and its part, which lies above the freezing depth
Frost prone areas
Drain water in a thin stream or drops
Warming up the siphon under the sink
Check the plumbing for damage
Using a hair dryer or heater
The length of the hose against traffic jams
Thermal insulation of water pipes
External elements of the pipeline
When warming up the pipeline, special attention should be paid to the fittings in the fittings, turns and narrowings, because the smallest pieces of ice can get stuck inside them. The main thing is to leave the tap open.
When heating steel pipes, some craftsmen use methods of exposure to open fire, using a gas burner or a blowtorch.
But this method is permissible to apply only with the open visibility of pipes. And the efficiency of the use of a blowtorch is not too high, since it can take up to several hours to warm up even a short section.
Method # 3 - Use Electric Current
You can cope with ice jams using a welding machine. The principle of operation of the device is based on the fact that the metal from which the pipe is made is a conductor.
Under the action of the generated electric field, electrons begin to move in a given direction, colliding with ions, they transfer their energy to them. That, in turn, turns into heat, which is released to the outside.
The metal is heated by current and generates heat, which is transferred to the ice inside the pipe, gradually melting it
Terminals off the welding machine is fixed to the ends of the frozen area. First, the power regulator is set to the very minimum, and then, gradually raising it, the equipment is turned on for approximately 30-40 seconds.
After a short pause, the manipulations are repeated. Depending on the degree of freezing, the current can be adjusted less / more. As power increases, it is necessary to periodically check the degree of wall heating.
When working with the device it is important to observe safety precautions: do not touch the pipe with your bare hands, all work should be done with thick rubber gloves
As soon as the melting process is activated, first one drop at a time, and then water begins to flow out in a thin stream from the tap. Melt the entire area completely unnecessary. It is quite enough to provide an uninterrupted thin stream of water. And the moving water already helps melt the remnants of the unfrozen ice.
The welding machine is used only for heating stainless, steel, copper and other types of pipes made of metal alloys. Using the device on products made of polypropylene is meaningless. After all, plastic is not a conductor. The only thing you get in the end - a broken pipeline.
Method # 4 - “Soldier Heater” for Plastic
It is easiest to heat the plastic pipe using two-core copper wire with a cross section of 2.5 mm. According to the principle of operation, it is similar to a conventional kettle.
Due to the construction immersed directly in the pipe, the water will “boil” directly in the system; the task of the master is to ensure the rapid flow of thawed water
Water, in the composition of which salts are present, is a weak electrolyte. Therefore, in order to heat, it is only necessary to immerse a pair of electrodes into it, and then apply voltage to them.
To do this, the conductors of the wire disconnect:
- The first core is first bent to the side.
- The second core is bare and twisted around the pipe, forming 5-6 turns.
- Again, take the first core, bare and twist around the pipe in the form of coils.
- Connect the plug to the other end of the wire.
- The created billet is pushed into the pipeline until it hits the ice, and is powered from the mains.
When forming the coils and placing them on the surface of the pipe, it is important to ensure that they do not touch, otherwise a short circuit will occur at the moment of contact. Ideally, the distance between the turns of the cores should be at least 2-3 mm.
For blowing melt water in addition, you can use the compressor.
Method # 5 - heating the pipeline from the inside
For heating extended water supply system piping, having several bends in its path, you can apply a method of exposure from the inside. This method is effective when defrosting sewer pipes.
For the manufacture of the device will require:
- elastic wire D2-4 mm;
- hydraulic tube;
- Esmarch's irrigator;
- insulating tape.
To assemble the structure, the end of the wire is attached to the tube of the hydraulic level, fixing the elements with tape. To obtain a more rigid structure, the end of the wire is folded. The end of the tube should be 3-5 centimeters longer than the wire.
One end of the tube with wire is pushed into the water supply system up to the stop, and the other free end is connected to the Esmarkh circle. If the pipeline is connected by fittings, they must be unscrewed in order to assess how frozen the structure is.
When arranging such a structure, it is necessary to take care of the collection of melt water at the outlet in advance by placing an empty bucket for this purpose.
Esmarch's mug is filled with hot water and attached to the tube. Hot water flowing out of the rubber tank will flow into the pipeline, warming the icy water in it.
In the process of heating the pipeline, it is only necessary to push the ice pieces further with the help of a wire. As a result, the heat treatment of water in the receiving bucket should be slightly larger than the volume that was poured for defrosting.
Be prepared for the fact that this method is quite time-consuming. It will take about 60 minutes to warm one linear meter of pipe. But the cost of implementing this method is minimal.
This method is a simplified version of washing pipes with hot water, the temperature of which reaches 150 ° C. This procedure is performed by specialized organizations. They carry out preventive flushing of pipes, supplying hot water under high pressure within 100 atm.
Method # 6 - Professional Equipment
In winter, when there is an urgent need to enjoy water amenitieswithout spending on its resuscitation for several hours, you will have to use professional equipment. The use of special equipment - apparatus will help to quickly eliminate the formed ice jams. "The Dragon".
To do this, to the ends of the area to be heated, connect the pincers of the apparatus. After checking the fluid pressure in the system, turn on the device for several minutes. Depending on the degree of freezing of the pipes, the period of continuous operation of the device can be 20-40 minutes.
The device produces the desired effect by passing an electric current through the designated area, reaching 400 A
The current generated by the device depends on its modification. In addition, any model is equipped with an effective protection that ensures electrical safety of the device.
If necessary to defrost a long section of the pipeline, experienced craftsmen recommend using several devices simultaneously.
In addition to the "Dragon", heat guns, which are of two types: electric and gas, are also widely used for external influence.
To eliminate ice plugs in plastic pipes used steam generators and hydrodynamic washing apparatus. But they are used only if there is an opportunity to get access inside the structure.
In addition, this technique is limited by the length of the cable, and therefore in some situations, the pipeline has to be disconnected.
The steam generator creates steam, which under high pressure goes along the sleeve into the cavity of the pipeline and melts the ice plug, moving it deeper
Heat-resistant sleeve, equipped with a nozzle, as the ice melts moves through the pipe.
The use of such equipment allows us to solve two problems at once:
- Clean the inner surface of the pipes from various kinds of deposits, thereby improving circulation in the structure.
- Check whether there is a leak on the length of the treated area and, if necessary, neutralize them.
With all the advantages of professional equipment, its main drawback is its size and cost. If electric appliances such as "Dragon" can still be purchased or rented, the steam generator is a special case. Such equipment is used more by professional companies, whose services will have to be used.
How to prevent system freezing?
The question of the likelihood of pipeline freezing should be considered at the laying stage. According to the current norms of SNiP, pipes must be laid below the freezing depth.
For regions located in middle latitudes, the depth of freezing of the earth averages 1.0–1.5 meters from the day surface
The depth of freezing of soil layers is determined empirically in the coldest period for the region, taking into account the maximum soil moisture content and provided that there is no snow cover. If it is not possible to lay pipes at a sufficient depth, it is worth taking care of thermal insulation design.
The entry point of the pipe into the house is the most vulnerable and therefore needs effective insulation with waterproofing materials.
As a heat insulator is perfect:
- foam strips;
- mineral wool;
- glass wool.
It is not necessary to use rags, sawdust and paper as a winding even for temporary insulation. These materials readily absorb moisture from the air when the temperature changes, preventing the condensate from evaporating.
On sale you can also find chemicals that prevent the freezing of water. But their aggressive composition makes them unacceptable for the plumbing system. It is better to use a concentrated salt solution, which perfectly eats away the ice. It is fed through a hose whose diameter is slightly smaller than the cross section of the pipeline.
In addition, salt water at a temperature below zero does not freeze, so the formation of a plug for the salt solution is not exactly foreseen.
As an option, lay along the pipeline heating cable. It is equipped with thermal sensors, which, when the system is heated to a certain temperature, turn it off. The main advantage of self-heating cables is that they are able to adapt to external conditions. And this in no way affects the work of its other parts.
Self-regulating heating cable will be switched on as needed, and as the set temperature mark is reached, it will turn off
The length of the heating cable can reach 20 meters, thanks to which it can be used to warm up both individual sections of the pipeline and the entire system located in the zone of soil freezing.
Consider that water freezes faster in pipelines that have a small diameter. Therefore, when arranging autonomous water supply, it is preferable to use pipes with a diameter of 50 mm and above.
Since the concrete freezes through much faster than the ground, in places where the pipeline passes through the basement or the basement, it is desirable to place the pipe sections in the sleeves - pipes that have a slightly larger diameter. The resulting voids can be blown out with polyurethane foam.
In the future, in case of irregular use of engineering networks during periods of downtime during the cold season, it is necessary to completely remove water from the pipes and keep them in a dry state.
Insulate should not only directly the pipeline, but also itself water source, and other structural elements, passing outside the home and in unheated premises.
Despite the wide choice of effective equipment for removing ice plugs from pipes, it is best not to bring the situation to such problems. After all, the heating of frozen pipes is a rather problematic process, which is aggravated by the complexity of performing work in the cold.
By adhering to simple recommendations, you can prevent the pipes from freezing and stopping the system, thereby extending its service life.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Video # 1. Overview of the use of heating cable for pipes:
Video # 2. Video review of the method of heating with the use of new technologies:
Well, in extreme cases, if it’s freezing cold outside, and the methods listed above cannot be applied, then try, contrary to safety rules, to leave the faucet ajar at night.
Albeit slow, but still the movement of water will prevent the formation of ice jams. And at the beginning of the warm season, we still recommend that you go to the problem area and insulate the pipeline thoroughly.
Want to share your own method of warming the plumbing? Found controversies in the information presented, any questions on the topic of the article? Please write comments in the box below.