Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
Topic Author
chickadee
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:13 pm

Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by chickadee »

Well the snowpocalypse that hit Texas got my outdoor hose pipe. It busted right above the hose bib. I guess if we had to have our pipes burst, that's where we'd want it.

So, question for all you folks who have more experience with this than we do. Since we shut the water off, we can't "drip" our indoor faucets. Is this a problem? All the news folks have said how we're supposed to be dripping the faucets in a constant stream.

Should I turn the water back on and just let it spew outside? It's not actually harming anything, it's just a huge waste of water.
User avatar
nedsaid
Posts: 14589
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:33 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by nedsaid »

In the future, if you get freezing weather again, let your faucets drip a bit. A little movement in the water helps keep the pipes from freezing in the first place. You lucked out, you have a very minor problem to fix.
A fool and his money are good for business.
123
Posts: 7216
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by 123 »

If you're not into DIY it's likely time to call a plumber.

To me it seems there is more value in letting an outdoor faucet drip than an indoor one since the outdoor pipes are more likely to freeze.
Last edited by 123 on Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
User avatar
Topic Author
chickadee
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by chickadee »

All of the inside faucets had been dripping for 2 days. I didn't drip the outdoor ones. Is that where I went wrong?

I was wondering if we are risking even more damage TONIGHT, when it's supposed to be in the teens since we CAN'T drip our indoor faucets, because I turned the water off. That's my question that I"m hoping some more northerly folks could advise me on.
Last edited by chickadee on Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
123
Posts: 7216
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by 123 »

chickadee wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:07 pm ...I didn't drip the outdoor ones. Is that where I went wrong?..
Yep (as they say in Texas)
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 2162
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by galawdawg »

Is there a separate shut-off for the broken line to your hose bibb?

If not, it is probably best to leave the water off. Find the lowest fixture and with the water still off, open the faucet. That will drain much of the water from your lines and allow for expansion if it drops below freezing. You'll probably want to leave the main water shut-off and that faucet open until you can get a plumber out or temperatures climb well above freezing and remain there.

If Sandtrap or another Boglehead has a better suggestion, I'm sure they'll chime in.

Good luck!
123
Posts: 7216
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by 123 »

While draining the pipes as mentioned in the preceding post is likely the best option another option is to open the main shutoff a little to allow the other faucets to drip but not so open that it spews water from the busted area.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
User avatar
nedsaid
Posts: 14589
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:33 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by nedsaid »

In the Condo complex where I live, the maintenance guys put styrofoam covers over the outside faucets. In many of our buildings there is a shutoff valve for the outside faucets. It won't help you now but maybe have your plumber install a shutoff valve for the outside faucet so that so don't have to shut all of your water off in the future.
A fool and his money are good for business.
User avatar
ram
Posts: 1814
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by ram »

chickadee wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:07 pm All of the inside faucets had been dripping for 2 days. I didn't drip the outdoor ones. Is that where I went wrong?

I was wondering if we are risking even more damage TONIGHT, when it's supposed to be in the teens since we CAN'T drip our indoor faucets, because I turned the water off. That's my question that I"m hoping some more northerly folks could advise me on.
Your water mains are off. Open the tap at the lowest level in the house till all water runs out. Also open an upper level tap for air to get in. Flush the lowest level toilet a couple of times. Now there is air in the pipes. Not water. Nothing to freeze.

Get the plumber, fix the damage, open the main and now let ALL faucets drip a little bit if temp is low enough.
Last edited by ram on Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ram
Katietsu
Posts: 4845
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by Katietsu »

A bit of practical living advice. If you have not already, turn the water on and fill up the bath tub. Get something like a 2 gallon bucket. Grab the bucket and scoop up water from the tub. You can flush your toilet just by dumping the water directly into the bowl.
NoblesvilleIN
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:04 pm
Location: Noblesville IN

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by NoblesvilleIN »

Do you have heat in your house? If you do, then you probably are ok, but open the cabinet doors under the sinks to let warm room air help out (especially if any sinks are on an outside wall. If you have lost power and since you have your water shut off and there is more risk of freezing, I would recommend draining your water lines.

Step 1: open all faucets (both hot and cold) to get the water level lowered.
Step 2: if you have an electric water heater, turn off the breaker for it. If you have a gas water heater, turn off the gas valve to the water heater.
Step 3: there should be a hose bib at the bottom of your water heater, hook a garden hose to it and run it to a drain and open that valve. This has the effect of draining your hot water lines to below the water heater level.
Step 4: to drain your cold water lines, open an outside faucet.
Step 5: turn on any showers to introduce air into the lines to help drain things down.

Since you will probably have to call a plumber, as part of the repair, ask them to install an inside shut-off to the outside lines. This way you can isolate the outside line in the future. A plumber can help you turn things back on.

If you do the above steps and need help on turning your water back on, come back or send me a PM.

Edit to add: I am not a plumber, but used to shut down a cabin for winter each year.

Good Luck.
Last edited by NoblesvilleIN on Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
HomeStretch
Posts: 6246
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by HomeStretch »

+1 on checking for a separate shutoff valve for your outdoor hose bib.

If you don’t have one and need to get your house water back on before your plumber can get there, try Flex Tape (as seen on TV :D ) sold at Home Depot. A couple wraps of the tape around the break may hold with the house water turned on. The tape is amazing. I had a main waste pipe leak, opened the wall and used the tape to completely seal the leak for two days until the plumber replaced the pipe. It held up during several showers, etc.

When you get the hose bib replaced, ask your plumber to install a frost free hose bib and a separate shutoff valve (if there isn’t one already). When the weather gets cold, close the shutoff valve, bleed any water from the hose bib and leave it slightly open.
adamthesmythe
Posts: 4163
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by adamthesmythe »

Continuing to run water (well, dripping) is a questionable solution. How do you decide how much is enough? It depends on the outdoor temperature, insulation, heat transfer,...

In the Frozen Northeast we have shutoff valves for exterior taps, and we close them every fall. And then drain the tap.

If you have little insulation in the walls, and other pipes are in danger of freezing, draining the whole system is the only sure way to prevent problems.
wanderer
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:09 pm
Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by wanderer »

galawdawg wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:12 pm Is there a separate shut-off for the broken line to your hose bibb?

If not, it is probably best to leave the water off. Find the lowest fixture and with the water still off, open the faucet. That will drain much of the water from your lines and allow for expansion if it drops below freezing. You'll probably want to leave the main water shut-off and that faucet open until you can get a plumber out or temperatures climb well above freezing and remain there.

If Sandtrap or another Boglehead has a better suggestion, I'm sure they'll chime in.

Good luck!
+1

That’s what I would do based on previous experience when living “up north”.
You might want to leave a high point faucet open too, and do both hot and cold lines.

We are w/o power here in Houston, hoping for best tonight.
Stay safe and hang on.
User avatar
runner9
Posts: 2149
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:49 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by runner9 »

Up North we have a shut off about a foot inside the house for each outside hose bib, even the frost free type. Turn off each fall for the winter equals no problems.
GrowthSeeker
Posts: 1043
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 10:14 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by GrowthSeeker »

I’m surprised there is no shut off inside the house just before the pipe exits to the outside.
Or at least somewhere if you trace the pipe from the outside faucet back to where the water first comes into the house.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.
User avatar
Topic Author
chickadee
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by chickadee »

Well, down here in the South, we don't have those nifty shutoffs for the outdoor bibs. Or at least I don't. I'd like one now, that's for sure. I'll ask the plumber when he comes, but I'm sure he's busy with about a jillion customers, so we'll see what he says.

We have power right now. Many do not. The rolling blackouts seem to start at 2 am, so we'll see if we're one of the lucky ones in a few hours.

I turned the water back on and filled the tubs, 2 buckets and some pitchers. Then I shut it back off and drained all the lines as best I could.

I'm too afraid to drive to Home Depot on the roads right now to get some Flex Tape. The only thing I have is some JB Weld, but I guess that's not a very good solution.

I THINK the guy is coming in the morning. At least that's what the dispatcher said. If he doesn't come and the roads clear a bit, I guess I could look for some Flex Tape. If there's any left on the shelves! There's a Harbor Freight near me...might be able to slide over there.
User avatar
StevieG72
Posts: 1336
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by StevieG72 »

Another vote for checking for a separate shut off valve. The laundry area is a good place to look.

Up north we use insulating covers for hose bibs in the winter. They are ugly!

https://www.lowes.com/pd/CompanyBox-Har ... 1000651599
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
User avatar
Topic Author
chickadee
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by chickadee »

I've got those ugly insulators on them (there are 3). Plus a beach towel wrapped around. Didn't help. I'll got look for a shut off. I've lived here 28 years, but maybe I've overlooked it.
User avatar
anon_investor
Posts: 6213
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:43 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by anon_investor »

StevieG72 wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:49 pm Another vote for checking for a separate shut off valve. The laundry area is a good place to look.

Up north we use insulating covers for hose bibs in the winter. They are ugly!

https://www.lowes.com/pd/CompanyBox-Har ... 1000651599
Haha, that is a must where I live (up north).
kevinf
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:35 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by kevinf »

Assuming there is NO water shutoff valve for your hose bib... If you're able to go to the hardware store, a length of PEX, a copper pipe cutter, and some sharkbite fittings (one valve, one coupler) will run you about $40. Turn your main water off and drain it, cut out a section of copper in your house that goes to the hose bib (use some sandpaper or steel wool to clean the ends of the pipe and deburr the edge), and push the sharkbite valve onto the copper, push the pex onto the sharkbite valve, and then push the pex and sharkbite coupler together into the other side of the copper pipe. About 10 minutes to install.

Open your main line, check for leaks, shut water off to hose-bib, and let your faucets drip.

Or call an emergency plumber if you aren't feeling up to a DIY adventure.
Last edited by kevinf on Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
vitaflo
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:02 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by vitaflo »

runner9 wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:33 pm Up North we have a shut off about a foot inside the house for each outside hose bib, even the frost free type. Turn off each fall for the winter equals no problems.
And where I live there are bleeder screws to help purge all the water from the hose bib piping. Since some of the pipe to my bib goes through a wall cavity, it's important for me to drain the pipe before winter, since we regularly get -20 degree days here.
30west
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:22 am

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by 30west »

If you are not able to get a plumber right away, you could cut the pipe leading outside and install a pushon sharkbite endcap and this woukd allow you to restore water pressure to the rest of the house. Might not be worth the trouble if the plumber is coming soon.


Sharkbite
1-1/2 in. Push-to-Connect Brass DZR End Cap
Part #SUXL0441 | Item #7643929 | Manufacturer Part #UXL0441
123
Posts: 7216
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by 123 »

kevinf wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:00 pm ...cut out a section of copper in your house that goes to the hose bib (use some sandpaper or steel wool to clean the ends of the pipe and deburr the edge), and push the sharkbite valve onto the copper, push the pex onto the sharkbite valve, and then push the pex and sharkbite coupler together into the other side of the copper pipe. About 10 minutes to install...
This seems like a good plan only IF the OP has copper pipes. I've lived in houses that didn't. They had galvanized steel pipes.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
User avatar
Topic Author
chickadee
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by chickadee »

Pretty sure the pipes are galvanized steel, not copper.
absolute zero
Posts: 908
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:59 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by absolute zero »

Katietsu wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:23 pm A bit of practical living advice. If you have not already, turn the water on and fill up the bath tub. Get something like a 2 gallon bucket. Grab the bucket and scoop up water from the tub. You can flush your toilet just by dumping the water directly into the bowl.
Thanks for this. Don’t know how I didn’t think of it. We have no power and our pipes froze so no water either to flush toilet. Neighbors water is still flowing though. I just spent the past 30 minutes (after reading your comment) making trips back and forth to his outdoor faucet with a five gallon bucket. Got our tub filled and therefore water on-hand for a functioning toilet! Thanks.
chw
Posts: 1047
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 4:22 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by chw »

If your indoors is still heated, you should be okay with indoor plumbing, unless some of your pipes are buried in exterior walls, in which case, you still may get additional frozen pipes. I'd get a plumber out ASAP to fix the burst pipe so you can get the water turned back on at the main. (Edit) Just saw your post that you have no power... Perhaps call a company like ServiceMaster to see if they can get you hooked up with a generator to try and get your furnace running again. Your homeowners insurance may be able to help with this, as if you don't get heat back, you could be potentially filing a large claim. In the meantime, if you have a fireplace, get a fire going, which may maintain some heat level in that area.

Suggestion- look for a shut off for the outdoor faucet just inside the house near that faucet. Hear in New England, that is standard practice so that the outdoor faucet can be "shut off" and drained for winter. I would ask the plumber when he's out to install a shut off for the faucet so that you don't have to worry about freezing the outdoor faucet again.

Agree with others here- generally leaving your indoor faucets on a slow drip is a good idea during times of extreme cold. You asked if you should do that with the outdoor faucet that is burst- I wouldn't, even though it's outside, water can cause problems you can't forsee if left to run unchecked.
Yooper
Posts: 523
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 7:25 am
Location: Nothern Michigan

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by Yooper »

chickadee wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:44 pm Then I shut it back off and drained all the lines as best I could.

PLEASE don't forget to turn off your water heater!!!
User avatar
Topic Author
chickadee
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by chickadee »

We definitely don’t have shut offs for the outside bibs. I know that blows the mind of Yankees. It’s just not how they build houses here in central Texas. Sounds like a good idea, but maybe not for the emergency plumber. I’ll ask him though. There are 3 outside hose bibs, one on each side of the house, not including the front.

Also, just found out one of the tubs doesn’t hold water any longer. I filled it, and now it’s empty. I hate this house 🏠 and home ownership in general today.

Coastal Texans would laugh, they survive hurricanes and flooding on the regular.

We do have heat and gas still.

Why do I need to shut off the gas water heater? I will, just want to learn why.
Last edited by chickadee on Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ddurrett896
Posts: 1529
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by ddurrett896 »

Can you get to the pipe from under your house?

If so, cut it and throw a sharkbite cap on it. This cuts off the leaking line and allows the rest of the house to be used.

There cheap enough to keep a couple in hand during an emergency.

I’d definitely not let it leak out. Worst case, turn on the water and to fill a tub for toilets the shut off. Only cut on when you need water.
diy60
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:54 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by diy60 »

I have repaired my fair share of split hose bibs for family, friends, and neighbors. If it were me, I would hack off the pipe on the inside, make a trip to the local big box store, and make a temp repair and fix it properly in the spring. Good luck.
User avatar
Topic Author
chickadee
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by chickadee »

Oh I can see the pipe and the break in it clearly. It’s just a 5 inch pipe sticking out the siding of the house with a 1 inch or so break in the middle of it. I just can’t get to Home Depot to try any DIY. The roads are iced and the stores are closed.

There is no “under” under the house. It’s a poured slab foundation. Sadly they don’t build houses with basements around these parts.

If the plumber doesn’t come in the morning, and assuming I can get to Home Depot, I’ll try either the Flex Seal idea or the shark bite. There are overpasses between me and Home Depot, and I’m not sure if the roads are cleared or sanded. I probably can get to Walgreens which is right next to our neighborhood and they might have the Flex Tape in their “as seen on TV” aisle!

So you just cut the pipe before the break with a hacksaw? Clean off the cut and then pop on the shark bite connector?

Thanks to ALL the responses. My nerves are frayed with the pandemic plus now the snowpocalypse and the Bogleheads came through as always.
NoblesvilleIN
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:04 pm
Location: Noblesville IN

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by NoblesvilleIN »

by chickadee » Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:17 pm

We do have heat and gas still.

Why do I need to shut off the gas water heater? I will, just want to learn why.
My suggestion to shut off the water heater was if you were going to drain your water lines, including the water heater. Running a water heater (gas or electric) with no water in it is hard on the heater and can ruin them.

Since you have heat, you don't really need to drain your inside lines as your likelyhood of interior lines freezing is greatly reduced. I would open faucets on all fixtures (sinks, showers, etc.) to drain as much as possible anyway. I would also open the cabinet doors under sinks to allow additional room heat to get to those pipes as a preventative measure. On my own house (central Indiana), I tend to open the cabinet doors when the temperature gets sub zero, but I am extra cautious.
Yooper
Posts: 523
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 7:25 am
Location: Nothern Michigan

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by Yooper »

chickadee wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:31 pm Clean off the cut and then pop on the shark bite connector?

Sharkbite will not work on galvanized pipe.
tibbitts
Posts: 13605
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by tibbitts »

chickadee wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:31 pm Oh I can see the pipe and the break in it clearly. It’s just a 5 inch pipe sticking out the siding of the house with a 1 inch or so break in the middle of it. I just can’t get to Home Depot to try any DIY. The roads are iced and the stores are closed.

There is no “under” under the house. It’s a poured slab foundation. Sadly they don’t build houses with basements around these parts.

If the plumber doesn’t come in the morning, and assuming I can get to Home Depot, I’ll try either the Flex Seal idea or the shark bite. There are overpasses between me and Home Depot, and I’m not sure if the roads are cleared or sanded. I probably can get to Walgreens which is right next to our neighborhood and they might have the Flex Tape in their “as seen on TV” aisle!

So you just cut the pipe before the break with a hacksaw? Clean off the cut and then pop on the shark bite connector?

Thanks to ALL the responses. My nerves are frayed with the pandemic plus now the snowpocalypse and the Bogleheads came through as always.
Please clarify if the broken pipe is copper or steel. My understanding is that adapting sharkbite to steel is a much more complicated scenario that involves threading the pipe and installing an adapter.

If the pipe is steel and merely split where you can see it, I would not cut the pipe and would instead try to seal it, maybe with epoxy and clamps for reinforcement.
IMO
Posts: 1339
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by IMO »

Good advice given by many.

Heat the house up much higher than normal. If power goes out things can go downhill.

As other's have said, open your lowest facets to let gravity drain out as many lines as you can. If you have a compressor at home, if you can, make-shift it so you can try to blow air in the higher lines forcing it out as much as possible.
spth
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:31 am

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by spth »

If you end up cutting the pipe, add a shutoff valve. And get a frost free spigot 😂. You will probably need to rethread your steel pipe for new fittings. If it is just the bib/spigot that is damaged, you can probably just unthread this and thread a new one on. Make sure to use Teflon tape.

I hope it warms up for you soon. It’s sounds really cold and scary in Texas right now.
Last edited by spth on Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Yooper
Posts: 523
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 7:25 am
Location: Nothern Michigan

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by Yooper »

chickadee wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:17 pm
Why do I need to shut off the gas water heater? I will, just want to learn why.
You said you emptied your water lines - which would draw down the water inside the water heater tank. My understanding is with electric you can burn out the heating element if there's no water to dissipate the heat being generated from the element. With gas (and others know better than I) you might run the risk of ruining your tank by heating a VERY low - if not empty, tank with the gas flame. And I don't know how the thermostat would work on an almost empty tank either - which might be the root of the problem. It's a very simple matter to reignite a modern gas water heater, so I'd opt for shutting it off. And depending on the model, turning off the gas to it as well.
User avatar
Topic Author
chickadee
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by chickadee »

Okay, I will need to look at the pipe in the daylight. Not sure what it is. Looks like metal to me.

I do have JB Weld on hand. If the plumber doesn’t come, that and a clamp is all I really have that I can think of to effect a fix without braving the roads.

I didn’t empty the hot water heater. It should be plenty full as showers were taken hours before the pipe broke.
alex_686
Posts: 8317
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:39 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by alex_686 »

chickadee wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:17 pm We definitely don’t have shut offs for the outside bibs. I know that blows the mind of Yankees.
This blows my mind. Not because that would be a major code violation in my area.

You should have multiple shut off values. One for each bathroom, one for the kitchen, etc. You should be able to isolate and shut off the areas to the bibs. This might drop you down to a single bathroom, but that should be enough to limp along.

Also, remember that once you shut down the water you need to open the bibs and let them drain.
Former brokerage operations & mutual fund accountant. I hate risk, which is why I study and embrace it.
Katietsu
Posts: 4845
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by Katietsu »

I do not know if my Dad was overstating the risk. But he told us we could burn the house down if we left the hot water heater on and it was empty from water.
User avatar
Topic Author
chickadee
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:13 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by chickadee »

I definitely have shut offs for the toilets, the washing machine and the sinks.

This particular faucet is outside the garage. Which is probably why it burst I suppose, less insulation in that wall and the garage was very cold. There are no sinks or toilets near it. I suppose there’s a chance the cutout to a sink cuts this off. Sounds like a long shot.
bestoftimes
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 10:30 am
Location: NW Michigan

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by bestoftimes »

I have "fixed" small holes and splits in pipes (temporarily) by using a piece of automotive heater hose cut to a length slightly longer than the split to be repaired and then slit open longways so it can be put over the pipe - and then used wormdrive hose clamps to clamp the rubber heater hose patch over the pipe.

Use as many wormdrive hose clamps as you can fit on the patch, one right next to the other.

If you don't have any heater hose laying around you can use a piece of heavy rubber garden hose or really any kind of thick rubber. It just has to be big enough to cover the hole or split.
User avatar
bampf
Posts: 768
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:19 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by bampf »

absolute zero wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:03 pm
Katietsu wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:23 pm A bit of practical living advice. If you have not already, turn the water on and fill up the bath tub. Get something like a 2 gallon bucket. Grab the bucket and scoop up water from the tub. You can flush your toilet just by dumping the water directly into the bowl.
Thanks for this. Don’t know how I didn’t think of it. We have no power and our pipes froze so no water either to flush toilet. Neighbors water is still flowing though. I just spent the past 30 minutes (after reading your comment) making trips back and forth to his outdoor faucet with a five gallon bucket. Got our tub filled and therefore water on-hand for a functioning toilet! Thanks.
If your pipes froze, you have a huge potential problem when they thaw. Things expand when the freeze and you could be sitting on a nightmare. IF your pipes are really frozen, you need to turn off the water to your house RIGHT NOW. You should also open all taps in your house so maybe you will minimize the damage. When you power comes back, you need to be really careful about how you turn on the water and be hyper vigilant for any leaks. ANY.

I would also consult someone to find out how all your pipes froze. That is unusual. Maybe your main froze (in which case ouch...).

My best wishes.
mpnret
Posts: 373
Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 9:16 am

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by mpnret »

From your description I am envisioning a small 1" split in a 5" long section of pipe. Do you have any stainless steel hose clamps? Or maybe someplace where you could borrow 1 or 2. Think like car radiator hose clamp etc. If you can get a hose clamp cut a piece of hose a couple of inches. Slit it and put it over the split. Use the clamps to secure the piece of hose directly on the split. If you don't have a hose use anything soft and rubbery. Maybe cut a piece off your doormat or something like that. If you don't have any hose clamps try a c-clamp or use a pair of vise grips. You may still have a drip but at least you can use your water.
Edit: As I was typing it looks like bestoftimes posted basically the same idea.
random_walker_77
Posts: 1523
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by random_walker_77 »

Since you've already turned off the water, and drained the pipes, leave all faucets/tubs/showers open to let as much water out of the pipes as possible. The water heater will probably remain nearly full, barring special measures, but you might consider turning it down to vacation mode just in case. I suppose you could drain the water heater too, but that doesn't seem worth doing.

Good luck -- lots of my neighbors here in Central Texas are reporting frozen faucets and/or broken pipes. The houses here just aren't designed (nor insulated) for 7 deg F weather
GlacierRunner
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:29 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by GlacierRunner »

Do you have a neighborhood social media site? If we were your neighbors we would have everything you would need as we did a big plumbing project a few years ago, same for my neighbor across the street. If the pumber doesn't make it and the roads are still iffy tomorrow it might be worth an ask to your wider local community.

And yes, the neighbers did question why we installed a valve on the hose bib, but hubby's from the upper Midwest...

We've used sharkbites with great success, but we had copper and PEX.
GlacierRunner
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:29 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by GlacierRunner »

Katietsu wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:56 pm I do not know if my Dad was overstating the risk. But he told us we could burn the house down if we left the hot water heater on and it was empty from water.
If the tank has been emptied, you can certainly damage the element in a water heater.
User avatar
Nicolas
Posts: 2775
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:41 am
Location: Ashtabula, 56th and Wabasha
Contact:

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by Nicolas »

Don’t use any kind of open flame such as a torch to thaw your pipes. This is dangerous, you could burn down your house. It happens sometimes up here in the north.
investingdad
Posts: 1870
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:41 pm

Re: Busted water pipe, now what? Help a Texan out.

Post by investingdad »

There’s no central manifold for your water lines that lets you isolate and turn off each line, including outdoor faucets?

In any case, the sink cabinets on outside walls being opened in a a good idea for when it gets really cold.

Truthfully, there’s only so much folks in Texas can do. Homes aren’t built for cold temps like they are in the northeast. Kind of like ours aren’t built for hurricanes.
Post Reply