late (too late) winterizing of water faucets: 24F, can't open outside faucet

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aemeijers used bad usenet style when improperly full-quoting:

Tell me where in the US / Canada, in climate zones that regularly experience sub-zero weather, do they build homes that don't include interior shut-off valves for exterior faucets (or where they don't install long-reach exterior valves) ?
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On 12/10/2010 9:37 AM, Home Guy wrote:

Well, in the case of this house at least, I'm pretty sure they were part of a previous-owner and buddies self-install, like most of the addition apparently was. Backyard spigot is currently a quarter-turn ball valve, with pipe just poked through wall. I'm pretty sure original footprint of house had 1 outside spigot on a wall that no longer exists due to addition. Basement ceiling looks like copper spaghetti in spots.
Lotsa entry-level houses were built in 50s and 60s with nothing that was not required by code. -- aem sends...
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mike unnecessarily full quoted:

Yes, that was stupid.

The home-owner or jobber-grade plumbing torch is still the first tool of choice for thawing outside water valves and copper lines.

If it's a brick-sided house, with a water faucet sticking out 6 inches through a hole in the bricks, you're not going to set the house on fire - even if the valve has a film of wd-40 on it.

I'll take the torch first, hairdryer-in-a-bucket second, and boiling water dribbled into a small towel third.

The only way to drain an outside spiggot is by closing the inside valve and then opening the outside valve. If the outside piping is full of frozen water, then how the hell are you going to drain it?

How the hell can you have an outside water valve that's a foot *inside* the wall? How thick are the walls of your home anyways? How exactly do you reach a valve that's a foot *inside* your exterior wall? How do you attach a garden hose?
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re: "How the hell can you have an outside water valve that's a foot *inside* the wall?"
http://bowersplumbingcompany.com/faucetout2.gif
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On 12/9/2010 8:47 PM, Home Guy wrote:

Freeze-proof spigot. The actual valve body is inside the heated envelope. Long shaft for the knob, and supposedly self-draining. It is what I will have a plumber install here, one of these days.
--
aem sends...

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Home Guy wrote:

You might want to reread what I said. In particular, one of my outside faucets goes thru the wall and straight down to the shutoff valve and drain. It is quite possible to drain the pipe without letting air in the outside spigot. Not as easy, but quite possible. IF you want proof, open a bottle of yuppie water and turn the bottle upside down. I betcha you can't keep the pop from draining out.

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http://wetheadmedia.com/top-five-ways-to-unfreeze-your-plumbing-pipes /
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Noahbuddy wrote:

Some of the material in that web-article is horse shit:

There is no way that a "piping hot" machine qualifies in the top-5 ways to thaw an outside faucet. Never even heard of such a crazy-ass gadget before. Who sells it - Ron Popeel via TV infomercial?

I'm sure every home-owner is going to remember that, next time it's 6 pm and below freezing outside and they realize they need to winterize their outdoor faucets.

For those home-owners that do industrial-strength heat-shrinking at home, naturally they're going to pull out their heat gun and point it at their frozen faucet. Makes sense to me.

Here we go. This one is #3 on this so-call "top-5" list.

Yes, because when it's freezing outside, there's nothing better I want to do than the shlep to the nearest home depot and spend $50 for a heat-tape kit and then work my freezing fingers off installing it, turn it on, and then hope that by next week my faucet will be thawed.
Heat tape is for pipes that must carry flowing water in freezing conditions, not for thawing a pipe full of frozen water that was not winterized.

Number 5 on the list.
This list does not seem to be specifically geared to address the problem of the frozen outside spiggot - which I would think would be the most common frozen-pipe issue that people would have.
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Earlier today, Should-Be-In-A-Home Guy spouted:
<snip>
> > For those home-owners that do industrial-strength heat-shrinking at > home, naturally they're going to pull out their heat gun and point it at > their frozen faucet. Makes sense to me. >
<snip>
There are lots of other reasons for a home-owner to have a heat-gun aside from "industrial-strength heat-shrinking". I'd wager that the majority of home-owners that have a heat gun use it for a variety of those other reasons. I know I do.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Can you name one?
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No imagination?
Defrost a freezer faster Dry a spill Unfreeze a door lock
Can't say I've used one often and a hair dryer does about the same.
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On 12/10/2010 10:27 PM, Home Guy wrote:

Stripping thick buildups of old paint. Removing old-style floor tile from concrete floors. Spot-drying wet things to see where a leak is. Installing old-style auto/refrig door seals.
I could probably think of more, but admittedly the uses are mostly rather retro by modern standards.
--
aem sends...

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aemeijers wrote:

Yes, I'd believe that someone would buy a heat gun for a project like that.

Can't see that as being more effective than a tile-scraper.

Can't see a home-owner buying a heat gun specifically for that.

Can't see a home-owner buying a heat gun specifically for that.
Can't see that as being a typical or common home-owner project.

Other than for paint stripping, or exterior / below-grade electrical projects using heat-shrink tubing, I can't see a heat gun in the tool chest of the average home-owner.
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Re: late (too late) winterizing of water faucets: 24F, can't open outside faucet:

You be blind dude. Maybe you brain be dead.
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I have one. I use it for heat shrink insulation on electronics projects and heat shrink plastic film on rc planes. But I agree, a hair dryer works nearly as well. When I bought the heat gun 20 years ago they were not making these 1500 watt hair dryers.
I don't agree about the wind being much of an issue. You can hold the heat gun or hair dryer an inch or so from the faucet. It would have to be a lot of wind to interfere.
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jamesgangnc wrote:

You have no idea how cold a cold wind can be - how much heat it can remove from something exposed out in the open.
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Still-Looking-For-A-Home Guy claimed:
> You have no idea how cold a cold wind can be
er...cold?
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On 12/11/2010 8:27 AM, Home Guy wrote:

Like a leaf blower in a freezer? 8-)
TDD
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wrote:

My heat gun besides working great for work, softens caulk, helps remove adhesives and stickers, heat shrink tubing, has thawed pipes, melted ice under garage door, thawed frozen locks, and more....
after losing mine i know have 2 one in vehicle for work and a second one in basement shop.
i thought i lost one at a customers site but found it later with some other special tools from that job. by that time i had bought a replacement
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wrote:

<I have one. I use it for heat shrink insulation on electronics projects and heat shrink plastic film on rc planes. But I agree, a hair dryer works nearly as well. When I bought the heat gun 20 years ago they were not making these 1500 watt hair dryers.>
Same here. I found that commandeering the wife's blow dryer to peel paint and reflow failed hot melt glue worked until I got a blob of thermoglue on the end and didn't notice it. SHE did. Got a Craftsmen on sale for some ridiculously low price the very next day. Much heavier duty with a metal grille in front. Puts out way more heat than the hair dryer, probably because the fan speed is slower.
-- Bobby G.
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