I just bought a 1930's bungalow style duplex last summer in WI. The attic
was converted into an upper flat some years ago. The faucet behind the tub
froze and was replaced about a month ago, including the hot/cold cylinders.
The access area behind the tub (where the faucet is located) is just below
the roof line. After it was fixed, I placed R36 insulation in all crevices
to keep it from freezing again. No problem until last weekend. Temperature
has been in the teens. The tenant stated that his faucet wasn't working for
a day or two (hot or cold), and then when he checked it later. When he
turned on the faucet, yellow and brown "stuff" came out, and then gradually
turned to regular water. He thinks it froze again, but I beg to differ.
It's working fine now, but I'm concerned that in the near future it will
break again. Hard to figure this one out. Do all the pipes need replacing?
Any suggestions are appreciated!
I don't think the pipe freezing would cause yellow and brown stuff to come
out. It sounds like a problem somewhere else, maybe not even in your house.
Pipe freezes. Water doesn't flow. Pipe thaws, water flows , clear
water. This is the usual case.
Is it possible that some gunk got into the system when you had the recent
work done, got stuck, and then the pressure of the water finally pushed the
gunk out ???
Whhhhdddddaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuu guys think ??
I would agree with the gunk theory but I suspect freezing dislodged it.
I'll bet this isn't the first time there's been problems with those water
lines. The previous owner probably left water running into the tub whenever
really cold temperature was expected thus keeping it from freezing.
On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 19:07:23 -0600, "Michael Hurlock"
Yes, they froze again, and that caused the rust and crap to loosen in
the pipes. If the pipes leading to that faucet are on an exterior
wall, they will continue to freeze. You need to trace them all the
way back to the source and find out where to insulate, or better yet,
replace them to an interior wall. I had a relative who had the same
problem, EVERY WINTER. I finally ran new pipes up an INTERIOR wall.
No more problems.
But copper does not rust. I'm more in line that there was crap in the
line leftover from the replace. Its even within the realm of
possibility that enough crap was in the line it clogged the faucet at
No, it doesn't rust, but it does oxidize and collect deposits
along the walls and especially at any elbows, unions, or material
changes. Colored water from a frozen pipe is NOT at all unusual,
and usually comes from the frozen area, so how long it takes to
appear is sometimes an indication of how far away the frozen part
is. Only a hint, not a definite locator; if the color is
immediate, it was frozen with a few feet of the faucet.
IF the insulation being used is fiberglass, that won't stop
drafts no matter how much of it is there. I had a similar
problem and the freezing pipes were located at the juncture of my
laundry room wall and a bedroom, about a 6 foot length whrere it
went up the wall to an elbow.
Once I got inside the wall, it was a windy day, I felt air
coming in from outside at the joint area. I had put 12"
insulation in there but didn't know about the draft when I ran
the pipes (summertime and nice weather).
First I wrapped the pipes in those tube-insulators and taped
the seams shut. That' helped, but the first time it went past
ten below and wind chills reached 40 below, they froze again.
Finally I went in and added a sort of wooden "funnel" to
create a small crack I could caulk all along that corner. I
filled the majority of the slit I created for the wind with
spray-expanding caul, and then GE Silicon II caulk the juncture
of my "funnel" to the wall.
The wind chill was -45 F last night, and it's headed to over
20 below F tonite with winds again at abt 15 mph, so the testing
is on! No problem so far. I -think- I've got it whipped. If
not, the wall covering there is going to turn into pegboard!!
BTW, usually leaving a faucet dripping will keep pipes from
freezing until you can get to a fix. Did I mention I had plastic
I often wonder when someone writes "I placed R36 insulation in all
crevices to keep it from freezing again." Did they put all that insulation
between the pipes and the cold outside walls, or did they just fill the
whole area with insulation, not only insulating the pipes from the cold, but
also the warmth?
Thats a good point....
If you wrap the pipes up in insulation you will only slow down the
What you should do instead is place the insulation only between the
pipes and the cold side leaving the pipies open and exposed to the warm
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