September 29, 2023

Frozen Inlet Pipe demands a drastic Remedy to Reopen

Frozen Inlet Pipe

At -30 Celsius below zero it’s not uncommon in the North that a frozen inlet pipe demands a drastic remedy to reopen it for business.

Mind you it’s also true that one man’s version of a drastic remedy will differ a whole lot from someone else’s, but at 30 below zero I’m not about to stand there and debate the issue with any of them.

At those temperatures it’s only common sense that the job needs to get done as quickly and painlessly as possible, so when I learned today that our water inlet pipe was frozen solid precluding further fresh water deliveries until dealt with I simply did what I had to do.

The overriding factor that helped put an immediate stamp of approval on the drastic actions I chose was the fact that for the first time in near on twenty years our water tank had run dry on us, and the water delivery truck was due at our house in an hour. He wouldn’t be able to fill our tank if the line wasn’t open by then. A pretty simple situation that demanded an equally simple response.

With ten or so inches of solid ice plugging the line and no time for fancy alternatives I simply sawed the sucker off – by no means the straightest or the neatest cut but it got the job done – leaving just enough of the underlying stump protruding so I’ll be able to attach a new piece when the weather warms up a tad.

While that took care of about seven inches of both pipe and ice, the remainder still needed to be chiseled out until I finally hit the end of it inside the 90 degree elbow that feeds the waterline into our tank inside.

I’m not sure how glad you’ll be to know that this solved our problem but it definitely raised our spirits, along with the level of water in our tank too when the driver was finally able to refill it for us a short while later.

I laid the sawed off piece on top of the stump of pipe for these pictures to show you I was serious when I said it was froze solid – you can see that for yourself. The other one’s there just to show you the frozen sprays of water on the side of the house from his previous attempts to fill it, when it sprayed back at him and froze against the siding. You can click the pics to enlarge them for a better view if you like.

Frozen water spray against building

It’s so easy to take fresh water for granted no matter where you live – until you run out and discover this sudden inconvenience is due to a frozen pipe.

So the next time you hear that a frozen inlet pipe demands a drastic remedy to reopen it don’t be surprised if you hear they sawed theirs off too – some of us northerners have a real practical streak to us when it comes to fixing a frozen pipe.

Got a comment about drastic northern remedies? Feel free to let me hear about it by using the form below. Odds are good you’ll hear back from me about it too.


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