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Frozen Bathroom Sink Pipe on Outside Wall

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Frozen Bathroom Sink Pipe on Outside Wall

Old 02-21-2015, 08:00 AM
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Default Frozen Bathroom Sink Pipe on Outside Wall

A friend just called and said a pipe in his daughter's bedroom is frozen. Pipe is on an an outside wall. It is plastic pipe. It may have been put on the outside wall because the girl is wheelchair bound and it is a specially installed bathroom.
My question.....I would advise to open the wall and see if there is any damage BUT what can be done to prevent this in the future. If you close the wall, freezing will again occur. Leaving the wall open is a solution but looks like.....yuk! Your opinions please.
We're in Va; temerature was. -4 two nights ago.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:22 AM
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Safely aim a flood light or similar PAR38 lamp at the suspect area if possible. Hopefully the insulation is outside of the frozen pipe, Just a quick fix that's worked for me when we hit single digit temps rarely.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:52 AM
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A painted metal return air vent or the like can be installed in the wall, exposing the problematic area. Looks clean, easy to inspect (two screws (DON'T screw them through other pipes!), and will allow enough heat from the room to prevent freezing.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:54 AM
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Skibum is correct,
but install one at top of wall and one at bottom-creates nice air flow and
one at bottom lets any cold air escape.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:03 AM
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Let the sink drip all night the next time. It's VA you probably won't see -4 again after this season for another 10-15 years.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:06 AM
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Leave all cabinet doors open
Let faucet run slightly
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:13 AM
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You can use a lamp, blow dryer, or just leave the doors open will probably get the pipe to thaw out. I'd tell him to locate the main shut off.... When that piped defrost if it cracked that when it will start leaking.
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by skibum View Post
A painted metal return air vent or the like can be installed in the wall, exposing the problematic area. Looks clean, easy to inspect (two screws (DON'T screw them through other pipes!), and will allow enough heat from the room to prevent freezing.
Excellent idea here
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:10 PM
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They also make plastic inspection doors that clip to the drywall,Home Depot has various sizes.
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:02 PM
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or - heat it with a salamander and set the house on fire -- thats what i did--

just lost a little sideing -- fire dept did a great job saveing me from my mistakes
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:58 PM
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If this is a bathroom for a wheelchair-bound person, there probably is no cabinet under the sink, so no doors to open. The vent cover idea is a good one.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by yarcraft91 View Post
If this is a bathroom for a wheelchair-bound person, there probably is no cabinet under the sink, so no doors to open. The vent cover idea is a good one.
This was my thought when someone said leave the door open. I thought "what door?" , the OP didn't even say it was for a sink never mind that there's a vanity.

Assuming it's for a handicap sink, yes you should open it up. The "plastic" (PEX)? pipe is probably OK, what you need to do is find out why it froze. Just because it's on an outside wall, doesn't mean it should freeze. The pipe needs to be on the conditioned side of the insulation. The insulation must be installed correctly. The can be no air leaks from outside, very cold air got there somehow. You might need to do a little detective work and make sure you know were it froze, don't assume. Good luck.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:54 PM
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Why not just re-route the pipes exposed through the floor? Place straight stops at close to floor level with braided supply lines to the fixture.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Dead Horse View Post
or - heat it with a salamander and set the house on fire -- thats what i did--

just lost a little sideing -- fire dept did a great job saveing me from my mistakes
too funny!!!!
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:57 PM
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for a few min there i didnt think it was too funny--
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:36 AM
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http://www.homedepot.com/p/Frost-Kin...C30A/100196471

Install it with a heat tape next time.....
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