Temporary Loss of Hot Water Pressure

I have a 2003 Rheem Natural Gas Water heater. The weather here has gotten extremely cold and my mother and I installed some foam pipe insulation on the cold water supply line into the water heater. She had some trouble getting some of the insulation to stay and was bumping the ball valve which controls the water flow to the water heater.
Immediately after we finished this, I checked the hot water pressure on all the faucets and it was a trickle. After opening all the hot water faucets in the house, it took less than 45 seconds for full pressure to be restored. I went outside and turned the ball valve on and off several times. Then I checked the hot water pressure again and all seems to be fine. I have checked underneath the house and it is dry no leaks so far as I can tell.
It has been a few hours since this happened, but the water pressure seems to be o.k.
Should I stay alert to this situation or could we have knocked the ball valve partially closed and it took a few minutes for the pressure regulate itself.
Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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CJ wrote:

Maybe there was a bit of ice in the cold water feed?
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The cold water pressure has remained constant the whole time. How would a bit of ice get in the cold water feed? Sorry to seem so stupid, but I have lived in the desert for 5 years and moved to the mountains late this spring.
Do I have to run the water to keep it from freezing or can I drip both the hot and cold water to prevent freezing.
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CJ wrote:

You said it was very cold, and the insulation was in need of repair -- that suggested freezing of the line. It wouldn't have to freeze solid if a small bit of ice formed and then broke loose, temporarily clogging the valve -- just a thought.

Every situation is different, but down here in Texas where the insulation on water lines is generally poor, we drip the faucets (hot and cold) on especially cold nights.
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The ice doesn't "get in". There is water in there, and when it gets cold enough, it turns to ice.

Wouldn't hurt, at least tonight until you have this all figured out.
My incoming water is underground and never freezes. Once in the house it won't freeze unless the house gets too cold.
I've only let it drip once, when I was going to Texas in the winter, and I was almost out of oil, and fighting with my oil company.
I was leaving the next day, so I went to anotehr company, gave them my credit card and told them to fill me up. They said they would. But, on principle, that doens't prove they will. So I left it dripping.
When I got back the place was warm enough, but I ran out of oil a week later. They had never come, and never called. The credit card was good, and they lost a sale. I did the right thing by not assuming they would come as agreed and by letting the faucet(s?) drip.
I meant to call and complain but didn't get around to it.
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The indoor cold water pipe into the WH? someone will correct me tomorrow if I'm wrong, but istm that that would just keep the water as cold as it was when it came into the basement. Why not let it warm up a little once it is in the house, so it's prewarmed a bit for the WH. Unless you are trying to save on fuel, and want the cold water as cold as possible.
She had some trouble

Was t he pressure low for 45 seconds or was it spitting out water, with bursts of air in the middle. If the first, I guess CJT is right about the ice.
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It was spitting out water with burstsof air in the middle but the pressure was low at first and then start normalizing.
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Well that means something, but I have no experience with this and don't know what it means.

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CJ wrote:

I believe this is the cause of the problem. If you insulated the supply line to the heater inside the home, it may have allowed the line to freeze.
Inside, I am assuming is above freezing. That will warm the pipe. The heat will travel through the pipe towards any cold spots (likely outside close to the home) and warm them. Insulating the pipe is preventing that warming which may have kept that pipe from freezing in the past.
I would guess it only partly froze and allowing the water to flow would have brought in some water above freezing and thawed the partial ice block. You may even want to add heat tape to the pipe on the inside after removing that insulation. Insulation on the outlet side of the heater should be fine.

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