Entire House Fills with Ice

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I find this hard to believe. This house was in foreclosure, the heat was turned off, and a pipe broke filling the house with an estimated 100,000 gallons of water. The outdoor temperature was MINUS 40 deg. F The entire first floor (if not more) of the house filled with ice, which was coming out of windows, light fixtures, and through the siding. Here are the links to the photos from the tv news channel.
http://lacrosse.youpostitwisconsin.com/upload/user_photos/2009/01/16/a4e2cc4f67f9798fb04c4139c5c823b2_large.jpg
http://lacrosse.youpostitwisconsin.com/upload/user_photos/2009/01/16/ae9318bc7d4eb994a7656286e2ee6cf6_large.jpg
http://lacrosse.youpostitwisconsin.com/upload/user_photos/2009/01/16/309ee52e1e4894f4c41012a45c7f0b31_large.jpg
http://lacrosse.youpostitwisconsin.com/upload/user_photos/2009/01/16/b357d45cac356ffab2a3a8353f329905_large.jpg
http://lacrosse.youpostitwisconsin.com/upload/user_photos/2009/01/16/fab2cb1a37df140ab01d5723ca7809bf_large.jpg
http://lacrosse.youpostitwisconsin.com/upload/user_photos/2009/01/16/369230a1ffadf65c8d9b87a77a3904c2_large.jpg
http://lacrosse.youpostitwisconsin.com/upload/user_photos/2009/01/16/4754e52a830a06c183ff3b4cbefe3d20_large.jpg
http://lacrosse.youpostitwisconsin.com/upload/user_photos/2009/01/16/33275a1f5e24aff71eab9f016468a2d2_large.jpg
http://lacrosse.youpostitwisconsin.com/upload/user_photos/2009/01/16/8ffb07610b22b4b6173a6277f4688147_large.jpg
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When they get it all cleaned up, they will discover that it wasn't a pipe that broke. Someone broke in and stole the plumbing to sell as scrap.
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Very likely that is the case. Or vengeance from the previous occupant.
Looks like the cleanup crew will probably use a bulldozer and just start over. In August.
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On Jan 18, 7:46 am, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

re "Someone broke in and stole the plumbing to sell as scrap."
Huh? While the water was on? Or did someone steal the plumbing and then turn the water back on?
Please explain how this "someone stole the plumbing and the house filled with water" thing would work.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

The pipes were frozen - then they thawed?
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So they so stole pipes that were filled with ice? Possible...
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The home we live in had been a rental years ago.
a tenant fail;ed to pay rent for months, so landlord evicted him.
tenant left in middle of nite turned bath watyer on, closed tub drain: (
Brought down nearly all cielings, warped hardwood floors. neighbor noticed water coming out of garage running down street.
such things do happen. although this occured here in the 60s and was largely fixed traces still exist today:(
Primarily in minor marks where cielings were patched. water ruined furnace too.
I knew the landlord, who died years ago
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Any photos of the inside?
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
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On Sun, 18 Jan 2009 09:31:41 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"
What I posted is all of the pics of it that are on their website. I dont know how they would get pics inside except maybe the second floor. It looks like it filled the first floor to the ceiling or darn close, with all the ice coming out by the outdoor lights and tops of windows. What gets me, is why the basement floor drain didnt work, or even the water going down the toilet and other drains, but maybe that stuff iced over first. It had to be a good sized leak. I'd guess that beyond the walls, the water is still liquid in the middle of the house. I think they need a very long drill bit like for ice fishing.....
If they leave it freeze solid, the walls will come outward off the foundation, which could damage other houses nearby. I dont think they could even demolish it right now. The rush of water coming out could do severe damage to houses next door. I'd like to find out what comes of it, but these news stations dont always followup on things like this.
Jim
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

That was my first thought as well- 'I'd pay a dollar to see the inside'.
Like the other guy said, I highly doubt the place is a solid block. Unless it was a real slow leak, freezing in layers, the water pressure would blow out the windows. My SWAG is that an upstairs bathroom let go, and flooded out to the walls, and ran down the stud bays. If there was a really well done ceiling on first floor, the joist cavities could act like water channels.
And I'd still pay a dollar to see inside.
-- aem sends...
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Several years ago, there was a Siberian blast cold wave in Las Vegas. Not known for its cold winters. There were hundreds of buildings that looked like this and worse. Buildings and houses that had second floor patios had icicles that stretched from second floor to ground, and were 12 to 18" in diameter at the top. Water "appearing" to be flowing out of windows, but in reality, following the trails from the second floor down, and exiting at the windows. You'll notice in these pictures, one corner where there is an ice block, probably at a seam that didn't get sealed. I really doubt that this was one solid block, but that it was a hell of a mess, and a really cold day/night. I do not think that any house is well enough built to hold water to that degree, and as we all know, water expands as it freezes, and I didn't observe any real buckling outward.
Steve
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Some scenario such as that is almost certainly the case "the other guy" agrees...

Yeah, I'd chip in at least a quarter, too...
And, do you suppose the mortgage holding company just _might_ be considering checking whether any of their other foreclosured propertiess are also vacant and unheated w/o the water having been turned off? :)
--
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Well, as they say on the John-Boy and Billy radio show here in NC, "Hey big fella. Lemme hole a dolluh".
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If nobody was living there the insurance co wont want to pay
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That would make a great window ad. -----
- gpsman
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wrote:

That would make a great window ad. -----
- gpsman
I was thinking the same thing! If water can leak OUT cold air can leak IN. Interesting that it leaked more around the porch light than around the electric outlet lower on the wall.
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Yea, I thought the same thing.
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...
I don't believe the house is full at all -- the windows pictures don't look like a solid block of ice inside to me. See upthread posting but I think it simply broke an exterior line and ran down the wall cavities for the most part.
That there's more coming out the porch light mounting opening than the other electric outlet simply means there's a larger hole around the one than the other or other obstruction(s) damming the outlet more than the light.
_IF_ it were indeed full, not only would windows have broken, it's highly unlikely imo there wouldn't have been a full wall blowout
Let's see---if it were a 1600 sq-ft area, the volume at 8-ft ceiling height would be 12,800 cu-ft --> ~96,000 gal (ok, that's pretty near the 100k earlier guess) ==> ~~6,640,000 lb-wt
That would translate to a distributed lateral load of ~5200 lb-f/sq-ft or 36 psi. That's expecting the house to hold the equivalent of 2-1/2 atmospheres w/ no apparent failures (even bowing walls aren't visible in the pictures to any extent)--ain't agonna' happen.
And, of course, the floor loading would be 500 lb/sq-ft so it would that w/ a 40 psf design load and 2X SF still would be about 1.5X that so at least marginally likely wouldn't hold it.
As noted earlier, there's bound to be a bunch of water in the house, basement, etc., but I think most of the ice visible from the outside came through the walls first, not from filling the house like a tank.
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wrote:

I've been thinking about this too, and doing some weight calculations. Even if the walls did not bow or collapse, the windows would have blown out. This makes me think that the pipe break was actually on the second floor. The water ran across the floor to the walls and down into the walls. That's about the only thing that makes sense. That might be why there is more water by the light fixtures than the outlet, it came out higher first. Of course like you said, the size of the cutout would matter too.
It's hard to see what is inside the windows from the pics, but I'd have to agree with you. The first thing I thought when I saw this, was how could the glass hold the pressure. That was before doing soem weight calculations. The leak had to be upstairs. Now why it didn't go down the stairs? All I can imagine the house is not exactly level and water ran toward the walls, plus if the leak was big enough (which it must be for 100K gallons), then it was rushing down the stairs AND down the walls. Then too, closed interior doors could have an effect too.
All because some idiot didn't shut off the water main valve !!!! Lets see, if it's foreclosed, then the bank owns it. I guess bankers dont know about valves, providing heat in cold weather, and things like that.....
Jim
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...

I had already posted the computations based on 96,000 gal which is close enough to 100k for these purposes... :)
Some probably did run out during the early stages, but I'd suspect that most of that came out after the wall cavity between those two particular studs filled to that level -- again, see upthread posting but w/ a sizable break, water is filling up the walls from openings such as aem points out of running along the ceiling and pouring in far faster than there are openings for it to leak out.
If you ever have an upstairs plumbing leak or a upper story A/C condenser line plug or similar, you will soon experience how water will very soon start coming from light fixtures in the ceiling in rooms quite distant from the actual leak source.
OBTW, one more calculation -- 100,000 gal/10 gpm/60 min/hr/24 hr/day --

Banks have so many foreclosures these days and the mortgage holder is probably somewhere very far removed from the location of the house since the mortgage undoubtedly was sold within weeks or months of origination (or it may be in one of those "toxic asset" pools and nobody even knows who actually is the holder any longer. One would have hoped their properties overseer would have been more diligent, but...
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