No water in home


I've got a coach house in Chicago (house behind the main house at the street). We went on vacation and never left a faucet trickling and Chicago just had a very bad freeze. We came back to zero water in our coach house. The water main is not frozen (front building has water). The line which runs underground from the front building to the coach house is what I assume is frozen. We've had a full week of temps in the 40's, but we still don't have water. Any ideas?? Thanks is advance!
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Could still be frozen. Takes a very long time to thaw underground. 40's in the day, but what about at night? Is it a copper pipe? There are ways to defrost without digging up assuming the pipe is not split. You probably need a pro.
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It is a copper pipe. Ahoudln't I be getting at least some dripping after the weather warmed up for a week?
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It was very cold for a long time. A few hours a day above freezing is not going to cure it.
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snipped-for-privacy@janecykconstruction.com wrote:

No, it will stay totally frozen until the entire line is thawed and that means all the ground down to where the pipe is frozen needs to thaw. At 40 that is going to take a while.
BTW the electrical trick is to use an electric welder to put some heavy current through the pipe to warm it. You need to have some idea of what you are doing to do that or it can cause damage. It does work however.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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On 24 Feb 2007 07:22:16 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@janecykconstruction.com wrote:

I don't think it works that way. Once there was a slight opening, water going through it would melt the opening bigger pretty quickly.
But when there is no flow, everything around the ice is also cold and it will take time.
WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T LEAVE THE FAUCETS ON, OR WHEN THE PIPES THAW, THEY WILL FLOOD YOUR HOUSE. MAYBE YOU CAN LEAVE ONE WHICH HAS A GOOD DRAIN OPEN A CRACK, BUT I AND OTHERS CAN TELL YOU THAT YOUR "OVERFLOW" IS NOT BIG ENOUGH TO DRAIN AWAY A LOT OF WATER, AND IF THE FAUCET IS OPEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT THERE, THE SINK WON'T BE STOPPED FROM OVERFLOWING BY THE SO-CALLED OVERFLOW.
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snipped-for-privacy@janecykconstruction.com wrote:

How could they do that? Pipe should be buried below frost line which is 6 feet where I live.
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Where the heck is that? 36" is deep enough in most of the US of A.
--
Steve Barker




"Tony Hwang" < snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca> wrote in message
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wrote:

6 Feet? Where do you live, Antarctica?
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Just a wag here but since Tony's email ends in .ca >>>>> that might indicate Canada
& since a lot of Canada gets as cold or colder than Minnesota, his 6 ft number is probably right
here are current & historical frost depths for Minnesota
http://www.mrr.dot.state.mn.us/research/seasonal_load_limits/thawindex/frost_thaw_graphs.asp
ain't the internet got all sorts of data
and for those interested in the current season snow depth in Yosemite
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryID?s 07&end_date$-Feb-2007+19:18
cheers Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@janecykconstruction.com wrote:

Will the city help? Maybe, if it is separately metered.
The line must run at shallow depth to freeze underground. Just seems surprising.
If the line is metallic (copper/galv), commercial firms can thaw it electrically.
Don't rule out stuck valves somewhere in the service (as an example).
Jim
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On Feb 24, 9:04 am, snipped-for-privacy@janecykconstruction.com wrote:

I am in Wisconsin, and even with the severe cold over the past couple of weeks, we didn't get frost to any significant depths. It seems very hard to believe that any competent plumber buried the pipe shallow enough where it would freeze. The water laterals on most houses here are buried at least 4' down.
Please keep us up to speed once you solve the problem.
JK
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wrote:

i HAD A friend who said her well was dry and for weeks she was getting water at work. Finally she called someone and found out that the well pump had broken!
To top it off, it was only 2 or 4 years old.

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wrote:

True, but he did not say it was a competent plumber. Being a coach house in back of the main house, it may have been done by the original owner with no permits or inspections 100 years ago.
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I was thinking that too, but you would think that it would have frozen on a regular basis over that time, and probably burst. Overall, this winter has been pretty mild. BTW, coach houses, multiple houses on one lot and mulitple houses sharing the same water service are pretty common in my area. I never get to see a shallow service unless I am vacationing somewhere warm. But, of course, you may be right...
JK
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He did mention that water was not left dripping so it may have happened before. After once, I'd have wanted to fix it right, but . . . . .
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cut off the supply to the coach house till it gets warmer or you can get it checked in case there is a leak
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You might have another problem ahead of you. The pipe might have split. Freezing water expands and often burst or splits or disconnects the unions of copper water lines.
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