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Old 12-20-2004, 09:45 AM   #1
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Heat's on...can pipes be frozen?

Good Morning,

This morning the outside temp was 5 degrees, inside my GT was 55.

I have no water in the kitchen or bath.

I opened all the cabinet doors and sofas, to let heat into the more inaccessable areas.

I thought all water lines were inside and if the heat was on they wouldn't freeze.

Any sugestions?

Thanks!

Courtney
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Old 12-20-2004, 09:54 AM   #2
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I'm not sure of the year when A/S started the practice of ducting the furnace to the water pipes. Did you run your furnace or are you using some other source of heat?

Jack
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Old 12-20-2004, 10:00 AM   #3
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Be cautious. I assume you are operating off the tank and pump, and don't have it hooked up to city water.

1. turn off or disable the pump until the lines are thawed. If the pipes are frozen and break a fitting, when it thaws you will have a major leak. You DON'T want that to happen if the pump is turned on, and you're not there.

2. if you are hooked up to an outside water supply, the first thing to freeze will be the hose from the yard hydrant or hose bib.
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Old 12-20-2004, 01:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help,

It is a 63 Globetrotter. I have the air pressure system- no water pump.

I was not hooked up to a hose.

How can I thaw it out enough to drain it?

I was thinking about heating up the through-hull fittings carefully with a propane torch. Thats most likely how the cold transfered in.

How about lighting the water heater?

I have to tow it to Michigan tomorrow, so I'd like to get it sorted out today!

Thanks again,

Courtney
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Old 12-20-2004, 01:29 PM   #5
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How about.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotek
I have to tow it to Michigan tomorrow, so I'd like to get it sorted out today!
...finding a heated garage or hanger you can rent for the night and in the morning, before you leave, throw some "pink stuff" at all of the liquid tanks/lines/drains......

There is a possibility that the water lines are routed next to the outer skin (with no insulation between the line and the outer skin), allowing the "cold" to conduct to the metal directly through the skin.....be careful on thawing - you could have water all over the place if a line happened to burst!
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Old 12-20-2004, 02:13 PM   #6
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I always use a hair dryer instead of a propane torch. One little mistake with a torch and you have a funny looking spot in the aluminum.
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Old 12-20-2004, 02:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
...One little mistake with a torch and you have a funny looking spot in the aluminum.
Or in the driveway!

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Old 12-20-2004, 07:11 PM   #8
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Well I found the problem: the water supply line runs through the fridge vent. Very cold in there.

I got it thawed out with my ceramic heater but it froze again almost immediatly. My second problem is that the drains are frozen, so when I did have it unblocked, I couldn't drain the system. It's COLD here and I'm right on the water.

I'm at Home Depot now. I got 6 feet of electric heat tape, some insulation and some zip ties.

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer...

Wish me luck!
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Old 12-21-2004, 06:44 AM   #9
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Courtney... first... went to Tom's website and looked at your GT... it's gorgeous! What a fine trailer!

Regarding your problem, Dennis' suggestion was probably the best... find a heated garage or storage place where you can let the trailer thaw and you can properly winterize it. After it's thawed, thoroughly check every inch of line for splitting. If it has the original copper water lines, you may have some real problems. I had a '61 Bambi that I essentially had to re-plumb because of split pipes because of freezing.

Your lines may or may not be damaged, depending on how thoroughly they froze. Don't forget your shower plumbing either; it's also exposed to freezing, but not visible behind the wall. It appears that your GT has the unducted, gravity space-heater furnace that was typical of that era. It doesn't push warm air to the places you need it, so your tanks and drain plumbing are also at risk.

Good luck, and keep us posted about how you made out!

Roger
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:48 AM   #10
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Thanks for the compliment Roger, and many thanks to all for the helpful suggestions.

I put some heat tape on the offending pipe last night and the water was fine this morning. The system seems to be holding pressure without the compressor kicking in, so I'm hoping nothing split (still have my fingers crossed)

I'm at Ace Hardware now looking for a heat gun. After I thaw my drains I'll winterize properly then drive to Michigan!

Thanks again,

Courtney
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:14 AM   #11
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Well, looks like I may have a similar problem. Temps down to 19. Thought all was well with all the closet and kitchen cupboard doors open. I get water in the kitchen sink, but nothing in the bathroom. I have a 1500w heater blowing through the back clothes closet, under the bed (even though it's metal lined - so doesn't get to lines), and radiant heat under the kitchen sink. I'm not cold, but somewhere it must be. Here's hoping nothing's broke.. but it's late and I gotta sleep. Or, should I be out there with a blow dryer.. eek!

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