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Old 03-30-2020, 08:24 AM   #1
winterh
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Default burst water lines

Went up to my house this weekend and turned on my outdoor shower. Never do it this early but the 10 day weather report looked good and I love to use it. Back home now and see it may get into mid 20's at night for the next few days. Do pipes generally burst that quickly at those temps? The days will be in 40's. Do I need to head back and shut it down. I am talking about the outdoor section. Not worried about whats inside.
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by winterh View Post
Went up to my house this weekend and turned on my outdoor shower. Never do it this early but the 10 day weather report looked good and I love to use it. Back home now and see it may get into mid 20's at night for the next few days. Do pipes generally burst that quickly at those temps? The days will be in 40's. Do I need to head back and shut it down. I am talking about the outdoor section. Not worried about whats inside.
I personally wouldn’t take the chance especially since they are outdoor water lines.

Dan
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:55 AM   #3
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Not sure what weather forecasts you are looking at, but the ones I use show nighttime temps above freezing for the next 10 days, with the exception of tonight which will barely go below. Takes a long duration hard freeze to burst a pipe. Not something I'm seeing in any forecasts.
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by winterh View Post
Went up to my house this weekend and turned on my outdoor shower. Never do it this early but the 10 day weather report looked good and I love to use it. Back home now and see it may get into mid 20's at night for the next few days. Do pipes generally burst that quickly at those temps? The days will be in 40's. Do I need to head back and shut it down. I am talking about the outdoor section. Not worried about whats inside.
We have had very brief dips into the 25 to 30 range after the water was in. By brief maybe 4 am to 6 am and then back up. No burst pipes but I was nervous. In general I try not to risk it at all and wait to get the water in. We lug pails of water to flush, wash dishes, etc.

If the outside is all plastic pipe, that is somewhat more forgiving than copper. If the potential repair is a job that you don't want to do, driving back up will probably help you sleep better.
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Old 03-30-2020, 09:04 AM   #5
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Thank you all. heading back up now. Its only an hour. What else is there to do right now anyway!
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Old 03-30-2020, 09:08 AM   #6
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Probably the right choice. I just looked at some other forecasts and they are now showing potential for low 20's tomorrow night. With that, I'd be nervous!
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Old 03-30-2020, 09:22 AM   #7
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Been dealing with this for sixty years now. We have never charged our plumbing system until the third weekend in April. That's our rule each spring. And we shut it down no later than the third weekend in October. Never had a problem.
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Old 03-30-2020, 09:49 AM   #8
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The 1 1/4" black cpvc flexible tubing or pipe that you buy at a hardware store or at Lowe's doesn't expand when the water inside freezes, and it will crack.

If you go to a well driller like www.thomaswell.com they know all about it and have the black cpvc that is high pressure and will expand without cracking.
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Old 03-30-2020, 10:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by winterh View Post
Went up to my house this weekend and turned on my outdoor shower. Never do it this early but the 10 day weather report looked good and I love to use it. Back home now and see it may get into mid 20's at night for the next few days. Do pipes generally burst that quickly at those temps? The days will be in 40's. Do I need to head back and shut it down. I am talking about the outdoor section. Not worried about whats inside.
What is important to know, is what are your pipes made out of, for that outdoor shower, and is it somewhere where it gets good sunlight.

PEX / cooper / PVC piping all have different amounts of elasticity, and thus will rupture at different points.....

If you outdoor shower gets plenty of light, the water will heat up, and thus will not freeze the instant the thermometer dips below freezeing......

I have had my system freeze up one... and was amazed that I didn't have a rupture.... Of course I also didn't have running water, until the sun was out long enough to melt the pockets of ice that had formed.

Bottom line is putting the water in early has a fair amount of risks, if you like gambling, and don't mind a repair once in a while, no big deal....
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Old 03-30-2020, 06:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by whalebackpoint'r View Post
Been dealing with this for sixty years now. We have never charged our plumbing system until the third weekend in April. That's our rule each spring. And we shut it down no later than the third weekend in October. Never had a problem.
This. Always waited till after 15th of April. That said if you shut your pump off when you left not an issue. Just have repair material on hand lol.
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Old 03-31-2020, 01:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterh View Post
Went up to my house this weekend and turned on my outdoor shower. Never do it this early but the 10 day weather report looked good and I love to use it. Back home now and see it may get into mid 20's at night for the next few days. Do pipes generally burst that quickly at those temps? The days will be in 40's. Do I need to head back and shut it down. I am talking about the outdoor section. Not worried about whats inside.
You actually don't state what pipe burst.

We had a combination of copper and plastic (the old kind).
I became a very good plumber - as seasonal pipes were drained by different family members. And apparently some did a better job then others.

If nothing is leaking now. Probably nothing to worry about now.

But the best advice is below.

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Originally Posted by whalebackpoint'r View Post
Been dealing with this for sixty years now. We have never charged our plumbing system until the third weekend in April. That's our rule each spring. And we shut it down no later than the third weekend in October. Never had a problem.
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