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Texas deep freeze carnage thread


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8 minutes ago, Skipper said:

I haven't even checked my 3 outdoor faucets.  What is the thought process behind trying to thaw out in the interim if a freeze vs. just waiting on the verdict once we finally warm back up?

My logic is that possibly (not definitely), if I get 'em to unfreeze, they'll re-freeze at worst about the same length.  If I let it go, possibly could extend the frozen length.  Also, tonight's freeze will be equally brutal, but with the wind way down, the cold blasts won't seep into every possible nook on my wraps, even though they were wrapped well.  My logic is that the wind will drive that cold into every crack and it'll find its way next to the pipe.

This could be claptrap, but I had planned on doing this all the way last week.  So it's going sorta according to plan.

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1 minute ago, utee94 said:

 

I suppose that's a reasonable theory.

But then my other thought is, that since it's already been below freezing for days, it's already frozen as far back into the house wall, or into the slab, or into the ground, as it's going to.  So not much point in thawing and then having it potentially re-freeze.  In fact, the multiple iterations of temperature variation from freezing-to-warm-to-freezing could potentially be worse for it, than not messing with it at all.

But I'm certainly no expert on thermodynamics.  

I don't know whether it will really grow or not. That's going to depend on a bunch of things. 

However, I suspect that you can get away with 1 or 2 frozen faucets before it over stresses things. 

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1 minute ago, TwiceHorn said:

I don't know whether it will really grow or not. That's going to depend on a bunch of things. 

However, I suspect that you can get away with 1 or 2 frozen faucets before it over stresses things. 

This is what I think.  Although if your inside is warm, the pipe won't ice past a certain point.  But, while most of the time a pipe bursts because of water pressure expansion caused by an ice block, sometimes ice can simply burst a pipe right there.  Not sure how long/what conditions this occurs, but I don't want to find out if i can help it.  Which is why I'm having so much fun in the 21° weather bent over a spigot with a blow dryer like some gay plumber.

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Just now, phdhorn said:

This is what I think.  Although if your inside is warm, the pipe won't ice past a certain point.  But, while most of the time a pipe bursts because of water pressure expansion caused by an ice block, sometimes ice can simply burst a pipe right there.  Not sure how long/what conditions this occurs, but I don't want to find out if i can help it.  Which is why I'm having so much fun in the 21° weather bent over a spigot with a blow dryer like some gay plumber.

Yeah, my operating assumption is that it's not going to freeze back past a certain point, into the wall of the house.  I wrapped mine 5 days ago and checked 2/3 exterior spigots for flow yesterday morning, they were okay.  I rewrapped them all and now I'm just going to let it ride until the thaw.

My house is newer and well-insulated, and that also has factored into my reasoning.

So far nothing has burst, but when The Great Thaw begins, I guess we'll discover if my assumptions were correct.

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21 minutes ago, Samson's Wig said:

I have a friend just on the other side of Mopac from Lamplight Village area (north of Duval west of Mopac), and they haven't lost power.  With St. David's North being nearby, I suspect your mom's area is not going to get the power turned off for blackouts.

South of parmer, west of Mopac across st from St David’s. Been down since 230 am. 

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8 minutes ago, phdhorn said:

This is what I think.  Although if your inside is warm, the pipe won't ice past a certain point.  But, while most of the time a pipe bursts because of water pressure expansion caused by an ice block, sometimes ice can simply burst a pipe right there.  Not sure how long/what conditions this occurs, but I don't want to find out if i can help it.  Which is why I'm having so much fun in the 21° weather bent over a spigot with a blow dryer like some gay plumber.

I’m doing the same thing right now. Two outdoor spigots frozen.  Inside fully functional. Just trying to mitigate ice growth but not sure at this point heating the outside does much. I’ll keep at it for 10 .... FUCK YES after 10 mins it unfroze !!! 

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44 minutes ago, Saint Tacky said:

I loaded up on feed last week and will need to refill all of my bird feeders again for the second straight night. Standing room only and they are just ignoring the dog running around underneath them. 

This winter mine have been drained daily by pine siskins. Today the huge ruckus of common grackles that usually patrols the grass for bugs elbowed the siskins aside and had at the seed. Fuckers even managed to topple the feeder. Oh well, all creatures great and small, the good lord loves them all. I bought some more seed and just threw it on the ground. 

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I don't know whether it will really grow or not. That's going to depend on a bunch of things. 
However, I suspect that you can get away with 1 or 2 frozen faucets before it over stresses things. 

This is my theory and I’m sticking to it. All my interior fixtures working and dripping. 2 hose bibs wrapped, protected and hopefully unfrozen. I’m not touching them until we get past this. if they are frozen I figure I’ve got a better chance unfreezing them once.
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5 minutes ago, Godzillatron said:


This is my theory and I’m sticking to it. All my interior fixtures working and dripping. 2 hose bibs wrapped, protected and hopefully unfrozen. I’m not touching them until we get past this. if they are frozen I figure I’ve got a better chance unfreezing them once.

Yep.  My two have had the stryofoam covers on for a couple of weeks at least.  I'm not uncovering them to find out.

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28 minutes ago, phdhorn said:

This is what I think.  Although if your inside is warm, the pipe won't ice past a certain point.  But, while most of the time a pipe bursts because of water pressure expansion caused by an ice block, sometimes ice can simply burst a pipe right there.  Not sure how long/what conditions this occurs, but I don't want to find out if i can help it.  Which is why I'm having so much fun in the 21° weather bent over a spigot with a blow dryer like some gay plumber.

I do the same with pots of boiling water. 

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11 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

I do the same with pots of boiling water. 

However. I have one that took multiple hot water trips. It went on flow about midnight and that has worked. 

 

I have one that froze once and I just put it on flow because of success with the other one.

 

The third has not frozen and remains bagged and insulated. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Biff Tannen said:

Yep.  My two have had the stryofoam covers on for a couple of weeks at least.  I'm not uncovering them to find out.

I uncovered one of mine on the north side and it was barely froze.  South side was OK.  You might reconsider.

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49 minutes ago, phdhorn said:

My logic is that possibly (not definitely), if I get 'em to unfreeze, they'll re-freeze at worst about the same length.  If I let it go, possibly could extend the frozen length.  Also, tonight's freeze will be equally brutal, but with the wind way down, the cold blasts won't seep into every possible nook on my wraps, even though they were wrapped well.  My logic is that the wind will drive that cold into every crack and it'll find its way next to the pipe.

This could be claptrap, but I had planned on doing this all the way last week.  So it's going sorta according to plan.

Whatever the mechanics, wind exposure makes a ton of difference. It carries that house heat away fast. 

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Hooked the generator up so I’m at least powering a heater along with a fireplace...called every Home Depot from miles around to buy a second bigger/better generator and as you can imagine sold out everywhere. Firewood is running low and out everywhere; I’ve started mixing some green wood in with some Amazon box kindling. Saw a neighbor out in his front yard with a handsaw hacking some firewood from his tree. Desperate times...

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csb:  I posted last page I was trying to get all 4 spigots thawed.  Got 2 (south and east), then was working on the western-facing (W) one.  Nothing was coming out, probably 20 mins.  I started to get a few drops which goaded me on, but nope after 5 more.  This spigot though sits facing west, and the sun sets and bombards this wall with sunlight.  Anyway, so I say well I need a shower and I'll come back and make a decision, sun's setting and temps will start to dive.  I'm in the shower, good hot water, but then like 1/3 of the way thru the pressure dives.  I'm like, "oh, great, well we rode this horse as long as we could."  My thinking was my well pressure switch or some pipe finally gave up the ghost.  I was very bummed and hopped out of the shower and got dressed - pressure still very low, but not dead.  So now I'm thinking I'm merely draining my pressure tank, then that'll be it.  Contemplating 2-3 days with no water (or melted snow).  Okay, I can do that, lots of people are doing far worse than me, suck it up.  Then I'm heading out the back door towards the well with a blow dryer, maybe I can thaw it or something.  Then I hear water running - loud.  I think it's inside but it's outside.  "Oh great, burst pipe," was what I thought next.  But then it hit me - 

- that's where the W faucet is!

Sure enough, it was gushing - I forgot to close it when trying to thaw.  At some point, Mr. Sun said "this is still my territory" and thawed it!

So I got 3 out of 4 spigots to thaw.  Will they freeze tonight?  Maybe, probably.  But I'll be out there thawing tomorrow, hopefully for good, as I had planned to do well before this began.

The Sun did some significant melting today - the Sun can melt at really any temp (it's not exactly melting either, it's a weird chemical reaction to snow or something at < freezing temps.  I am grateful for you, Mr. Sun.  Please come back a lot tomorrow.

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3 hours ago, TexasEd said:

We have tankless water heater so I set it to recirculate all night last night.  Had most of the faucets dripping in the house.

Will go check the outdoor faucets soon, wish me luck.

 

I went with wrap and no drip last night.  Both outside faucets were frozen today.  One took about 6 minutes with the heat gun and the other about 15 minutes.  Sigh of relief, no water in the walls.  I put pool noodles on with duct tape and set them to drip tonight.

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So I only have one shower that will spit out water. All faucets work. In Dallas, where this weather will remain through Thursday. Three questions: 

1) at what point do I try my showers that don’t work, or call to have them fixed?

2) anything I can do to fix them now?

3) am I resigned to my son’s shower, the only working one?  It’s dawned on me the reason it’s working is because it’s rarely used - the others get a lot of use and I’m nervous to use my son’s for fear of it freezing up. 

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45 minutes ago, DonkeyCigars said:

Hooked the generator up so I’m at least powering a heater along with a fireplace...called every Home Depot from miles around to buy a second bigger/better generator and as you can imagine sold out everywhere. Firewood is running low and out everywhere; I’ve started mixing some green wood in with some Amazon box kindling. Saw a neighbor out in his front yard with a handsaw hacking some firewood from his tree. Desperate times...

You were going to drive to a Home Depot in order to buy a second generator even though you already have one working? Ok.

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24 minutes ago, Dr. Beeper said:

So I only have one shower that will spit out water. All faucets work. In Dallas, where this weather will remain through Thursday. Three questions: 

1) at what point do I try my showers that don’t work, or call to have them fixed?

2) anything I can do to fix them now?

3) am I resigned to my son’s shower, the only working one?  It’s dawned on me the reason it’s working is because it’s rarely used - the others get a lot of use and I’m nervous to use my son’s for fear of it freezing up. 

Will they drip out any water at all or are just completely closed off?  Besides being rarely used...where in the house is your son's shower---exterior wall/interior wall, what direction are pipes oriented towards, and then how high/low does that shower sit from the city line in terms of pitch?  All of it makes a difference.  

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2 hours ago, Stinkpalm said:

Looks like I’m not the only one here that needs to get my prostate checked

given the temps, I feel like we can forgive the aim from what must've been a snub nose 

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4 hours ago, BrazilHorn said:

We had to bail from our crib. Power been out since 4am and there is no sign of it coming back on line. Checked in to a hotel downtown. I would have stayed at the casa and gone layers and layers but the natives (wife - no pics and kids were whining my ears off)

Crazy shit.

We bailed a couple of hours ago.  Power out all day.  First time I’ve had internet access since 10 a.m.  I could make phone calls, but that was the extent of my cellular service.  No texts, no internet, which sucks.  F Verizon.  Also makes it hard to book a hotel when you can’t even look up a phone number.  I wish I hadn’t thrown away the yellow pages dropped off on the porch a few months ago.  That would have made getting a hotel a little easier for tonight before they are all booked.  We’re couch surfing tonight.  House was 50 degrees when we left, and that was before the sun went down.  Praying for no broken pipes when we go check on it tomorrow.  I’d bitch more, but we don’t have a pool to worry about.

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I ran the load that was in it and when it was done, I ran it for another round with nothing in it, just to keep the water flowing in the pipes. 
The wife and I celebrated with some late-night nookie.

The heater is back in place and the process has started all over.


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3 hours ago, phdhorn said:

This is what I think.  Although if your inside is warm, the pipe won't ice past a certain point.  But, while most of the time a pipe bursts because of water pressure expansion caused by an ice block, sometimes ice can simply burst a pipe right there.  Not sure how long/what conditions this occurs, but I don't want to find out if i can help it.  Which is why I'm having so much fun in the 21° weather bent over a spigot with a blow dryer like some gay plumber.

Lots of pipe bursts occur during the thawing period once it warms up.

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3 minutes ago, conVINCEd said:

We bailed a couple of hours ago.  Power out all day.  First time I’ve had internet access since 10 a.m.  I could make phone calls, but that was the extent of my cellular service.  No texts, no internet, which sucks.  F Verizon.  Also makes it hard to book a hotel when you can’t even look up a phone number.  I wish I hadn’t thrown away the yellow pages dropped off on the porch a few months ago.  That would have made getting a hotel a little easier for tonight before they are all booked.  We’re couch surfing tonight.  House was 50 degrees when we left, and that was before the sun went down.  Praying for no broken pipes when we go check on it tomorrow.  I’d bitch more, but we don’t have a pool to worry about.

We had same issue in terms of cell service. My house normally sucks anyway in regards to cell but I drove to the Central Market parking lot off 38th and Lamar to get a better cell signal. Then I used the Marriott app and booked. I went ahead and added a day once I was here as I am worried tomorrow will be fucked as well.

I may take dog and he and I go home tomorrow night and let kids/wife stay at hotel so as to safeguard my bourbon collection (such as it is) from marauders.

This has been a shit show. I am getting read to take my dog on a lap around the hotel to get a bedtime shit out of him. Total first world problems, but jeez.

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10 minutes ago, BrazilHorn said:

We had same issue in terms of cell service. My house normally sucks anyway in regards to cell but I drove to the Central Market parking lot off 38th and Lamar to get a better cell signal. Then I used the Marriott app and booked. I went ahead and added a day once I was here as I am worried tomorrow will be fucked as well.

I may take dog and he and I go home tomorrow night and let kids/wife stay at hotel so as to safeguard my bourbon collection (such as it is) from marauders.

This has been a shit show. I am getting read to take my dog on a lap around the hotel to get a bedtime shit out of him. Total first world problems, but jeez.

I figured out the cell thing mid afternoon, thought it was rolling blackouts for a while, and having no way to check on that, I tried to be patient.  Eventually had to get a few miles from the house before I got anything.  By the everything was booked.  I too contemplated staying with the dog, but it was going get pretty fucking cold, and I’m not a big camper so I don’t have great gear.

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Space City Weather Twitter reporting a rumor - and important to note that they do describe it as such - that the South Texas Project is down. That’s the third largest nuclear plant in America in terms of generating capacity.

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Well I think I'm fucked. Power out 2 hours ago. Pool is freezing. I shut off water and power to the pool pump and wet vacd the pump out with generator. Hearing no power until midday tomorrow.  Fuck ercot and austin energy. Team no drip outside so we will see.

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Holy shit!  I just thawed out my frozen upstairs hot water (only big concern I had) problems by pulling the outside duct off of my clothes dryer in the garage and letting it run for an hour like the nice 240V heater/air circulator it is designed to be.  Warmed up the pipes just enough.  

Drip every faucet you can tonight boys.

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Wife had all the windows covered up by the time got home from work and had also hung sheets at doorways and halways to isolate our den and kitchen from the rest of the house. The gas fireplace has always been for fun, but tonight it is keeping us warm. It is already down to 55 in the other parts of the house. 
 

I was mildly nervous about being in a confined space all night with the gas burner going, but we’re fine. I unfortunately think we will wake up to a few tragic stories about people’s failed attempts to heat their homes through the night with no power. 

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