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Grocery stores closing, no plumbers available, geez Login/Join 
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Picture of Prefontaine
posted
Went to get groceries yesterday after work. Wanting to beat the rush this weekend when the freezing temps lift, I headed to Costco and my local grocery store. Added bonus for me is Costco just gave me my annual rebate so it was a free grocery trip. Got there with little drama. I have torque vectoring AWD, and snow rated tires so driving was a non-affair other than some idiots still pandemic driving at 90 mph. Highway has been cleared almost 100% so you're driving on near dry pavement. Still too fast. Amazing to be going a little under the speed limit, like 5-10 mph, for safety, then seeing people doing 25 mph with hazards on with 90% dry pavement, then the other lane next to you a clown is doing 80-90 mph.

Costco was the deadest I have ever seen in 16 years, just almost nobody there. I park a bit away to avoid door dings, and parked on fresh powder. Pushing the cart through the snow and ice was like a workout however. They had almost everything I need but the 4-5 isles where the cheese and soft refrigerated items are was shut down with industrial curtains everywhere. Out of stock. No big deal, I was able to get everything else but some stuff I buy there, microwave type stuff.

I then headed to the grocery store at like 5:30pm. Manger is out front shoo'ing people away "we're closed!" as in happy to turn people away. I politely ask what is going on. It's not 7pm, or 10pm, it's right after people get off of work. Fucker tells me "We'll be open at 8:30am tomorrow" and I reply I work for a living. I never go to the grocery store during business hours on a work day unless I'm off that day on vacation time. Ridiculous. Yeah I'm sorry that the weather is bad, but people have to eat. It's a mild inconvenience but just pissed me off. I know people without power, without internet, without water, people are experiencing hell right now here. But they gotta eat too. I have supplies, I'm not stupid. But I was there just to get a handbasket worth of stuff and beat the crowds that will invade this weekend when we get above freezing. I ask what time they close tomorrow and got no response other than "Corporate is making these decisions". Oh well. This weekend will be utter madness for them. Best of luck.

I called 10 different plumbers over the past few days to try and setup the first available appointment I can get to fix an exterior faucet that is frozen. I'm concerned it's going to bust once above freezing and flood the house. I may have to shut water off to the house while I wait for a plumber. I don't care if if it's days out, a week, I just want to get something booked. If need be I can shut the water off and go check into a Motel 6 with the K9 or stay with a friend. They aren't even fielding phone calls. I used to use a mom and pop family owned plumber who like many, got bought up by the "man", some corporation and that place went down hill like a fat kid sliding down a mountain. So the plumber I have been using for years, no response. Can't even get anyone on the phone.

I realize we are in hard times but people need gasoline, they need food, we must solider on. Plumbing, hvac, whatever the problem is, answer the phone. Tell folks the truth, it's going to be 2 weeks or whatever. I deal with crisis in my career all the time and tell people the truth in harsh times. There is a wait, and a line, and I will get to you as things get fixed. To just go offline, well I'd be fired.

God help everyone in TX. I foresee thousands of people succumbing to evil business practices and predatory pricing to get basic things fixed to resume normal life.

Edit: I finally got my homeowners reasonable this year. That's over. Heavy spike in cost coming for 2022!



I don’t want no teenage queen. I just want my M14. If I die in the combat zone, box me and ship me home. Pin my medals upon chest. Tell my mom I done my best.
 
Posts: 10638 | Registered: January 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Unmanned Writer
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Well as someone who's never lived in an area where the threat of pipes freezing would be a concern...

can you open the frozen valve then slowly warm it up with some MAPP gas to get rid of the ice plug?









Only in an insane world are the sane considered insane.


The memories of a man in his old age
Are the deeds of a man in his prime


 
Posts: 12430 | Location: It was Lat: 33.xxxx Lon: 44.xxxx now it's CA :( | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His Royal Hiney
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Prefontaine, where are you if you're not in TX?



"It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual." Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, 1946.
 
Posts: 16249 | Location: Bay Area, CA | Registered: March 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Deal In Lead
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Speaking as someone who grew up in Alaska, try a propane torch with a flame spreader and slowly thaw the faucet.
 
Posts: 5845 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
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If the faucet hasn't broken yet, you may be in luck.

Either try the torch method (can be rough if the pipe is near woood) or get some of this electrical heating tape. https://www.amazon.com/Easy-He...a-313111582976&psc=1

We used the heating tape in New England winters to keep the feed lines for the water heater from freezing.



"I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice."

Captain William Mattingly at the Battle of Bulltown, West Virginia 1863
 
Posts: 11366 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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BE VERY CAREFULL with the use of propane or other bottle fed torches due to improper use by the untrained operator headspace errors. Saw several fires every winter in the 70;s while in ALASKA because the excess heat would travel down the outer skin of the frozen pipes and ignite some type of combustible material inside or other side and fires spreading up the walls and causing considerable damage to the structure. ................................................. drill sgt.
 
Posts: 633 | Location: denham springs , la | Registered: October 19, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Speaking as someone who grew up in Alaska, try a propane torch with a flame spreader and slowly thaw the faucet.

^^^^^^^^^
Hmmmmm. I would not follow this advice. My plumber told me the risk was high of burning the house down. He does this for a living.
 
Posts: 9922 | Location: Stuck at home | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Try to get the valve open . I used a blowdryer twice in the last two days to thaw an outdoor faucet . You have to tread lightly with any kind of torch .
 
Posts: 2031 | Location: The deep South | Registered: February 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
אַרְיֵה
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quote:
Originally posted by ZSMICHAEL:
quote:
Speaking as someone who grew up in Alaska, try a propane torch with a flame spreader and slowly thaw the faucet.
^^^^^^^^^
Hmmmmm. I would not follow this advice. My plumber told me the risk was high of burning the house down. He does this for a living.
The plumber burns houses down for a living?



הרחפת שלי מלאה בצלופחים
 
Posts: 24289 | Location: Central Florida, Orlando area | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Dances With
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I'm not a plumber but I'm just really curious about this issue.

Would think an electric heat gun (super duper hair blow dryer) might be a safer alternative?
 
Posts: 9615 | Registered: October 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
The plumber burns houses down for a living?

^^^^^^^^^^^^
Yeah. Stan my plumber is a closet arsonist.
 
Posts: 9922 | Location: Stuck at home | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Would think an electric heat gun (super duper hair blow dryer) might be a safer alternative?

^^^^^^^^^^^
I would not use a heat gun either. Hair Dryer on high is ok. Just turn off the water and wait is the best bet. I lived in the frozen tundra so have some experience here.
 
Posts: 9922 | Location: Stuck at home | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Giftedly Outspoken
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Use hairdryer. Anything else you are risking a fire (from a 30+ year volunteer firefighter).



Sometimes, you gotta roll the hard six
 
Posts: 3888 | Location: SouthCentral PA | Registered: December 05, 1999Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Prefontaine
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Tomorrow is the day. Will have a camera pointed on it all day. Afternoon, once we get above freezing temps, I’ll borrow the neighbor’s hair dryer and give it a go.

glad I got groceries at Costco. Fox News nightly local news showed a bunch of grocery stores completely out of food. I got lucky there. Will be praying tonight I don’t bust a pipe.



I don’t want no teenage queen. I just want my M14. If I die in the combat zone, box me and ship me home. Pin my medals upon chest. Tell my mom I done my best.
 
Posts: 10638 | Registered: January 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Prefontaine
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quote:
Originally posted by ZSMICHAEL:
quote:
Would think an electric heat gun (super duper hair blow dryer) might be a safer alternative?

^^^^^^^^^^^
I would not use a heat gun either. Hair Dryer on high is ok. Just turn off the water and wait is the best bet. I lived in the frozen tundra so have some experience here.


Are you saying to cut water off to the house and wait?



I don’t want no teenage queen. I just want my M14. If I die in the combat zone, box me and ship me home. Pin my medals upon chest. Tell my mom I done my best.
 
Posts: 10638 | Registered: January 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not as lean, not as mean,
Still a Marine
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Can you get to the shut-off for the outside line? I can't imagine a system that you would have to shut off a water main to the whole house to replace a faucet.

For frozen pipes in the past, I've used a heat-shrink gun to thaw the outer pipe. Do not use a torch as the heat from that can melt the gasket material in the valve causing bigger issues.

While a plumber should be capable of using a torch on an interior pipe for braising, I wouldn't trust the average homeowner to do that on a frozen pipe as it's very easy to overheat the area and potentially cause a fire.




I shall respect you until you open your mouth, from that point on, you must earn it yourself.
 
Posts: 2862 | Location: Southern Maine | Registered: February 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Prefontaine
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quote:
Originally posted by Gibb:
Can you get to the shut-off for the outside line? I can't imagine a system that you would have to shut off a water main to the whole house to replace a faucet.

For frozen pipes in the past, I've used a heat-shrink gun to thaw the outer pipe. Do not use a torch as the heat from that can melt the gasket material in the valve causing bigger issues.

While a plumber should be capable of using a torch on an interior pipe for braising, I wouldn't trust the average homeowner to do that on a frozen pipe as it's very easy to overheat the area and potentially cause a fire.


Don't have a shut off for the exterior faucets. I have 3 of them. 1 of them is underground, tied into the sprinkler system. The other two stick out of the brick of the home. Only way I could do what you are implying is to shut off water to the entire property.



I don’t want no teenage queen. I just want my M14. If I die in the combat zone, box me and ship me home. Pin my medals upon chest. Tell my mom I done my best.
 
Posts: 10638 | Registered: January 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not as lean, not as mean,
Still a Marine
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Wow, I knew there were differences in construction across the country, but that's crazy.

Up here we have shutoffs on all major runs (bath line, kitchen line, exterior, etc.) so that you don't have to kill the main for small repairs.

Best of luck to you!




I shall respect you until you open your mouth, from that point on, you must earn it yourself.
 
Posts: 2862 | Location: Southern Maine | Registered: February 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Could you heat up a pot of water and slowly pour it over the faucet to melt the bulk of the ice? I had a car freeze over with ice before and used luke warm water to remove the ice. Obviously the water could refreeze but it might be an option.
 
Posts: 5637 | Location: CO | Registered: October 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Prefontaine
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quote:
Originally posted by Gibb:
Wow, I knew there were differences in construction across the country, but that's crazy.

Up here we have shutoffs on all major runs (bath line, kitchen line, exterior, etc.) so that you don't have to kill the main for small repairs.

Best of luck to you!


They only have that on newer builds. it's a catch 22 here. Slab on clay for one. But they install all plumbing and sewage under the foundation. Cast iron piping on the sewage lines. So in this case a good thing the water lines are in the ground (no going through walls or attic) to protect from freezing but bad from the stand point there is no independent shutoff of faucets or whatever. You are stuck shutting water off to the entire property.

I have a heat gun I use for various stuff on the motorcycles. No hair dryer as I use clippers on my head. I can use a heat gun, or borrow a hair dryer from the neighbor and attempt to warm it up, crank it open and attempt to get this thing flowing water. Nervous about the whole thing. I don't want water backing into the house.

Looks to be 4:30 to 5pm today when we are above freezing. I did find a plumber who can get out here within a few days if I have to cut off water to the property. I'll have to shut the water off, turn off the pool equipment. Looks like I need to take a shower and wash some clothes today prior so I'm ready. I've got bottled water and pool water to use in the toilets. I can make it a few days with no water flowing. All I'm trying to do is prevent a busted pipe, water damage, etc. Switching these faucets out to frost proof ASAP as time/labor allows.

This faucet, to my knowledge, has always leaked, albeit very minor. So there is a chance the ice buildup is from it dripping during this and creating a waterfall like mound of ice underneath it.



I don’t want no teenage queen. I just want my M14. If I die in the combat zone, box me and ship me home. Pin my medals upon chest. Tell my mom I done my best.
 
Posts: 10638 | Registered: January 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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