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No water in part of the house

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 24th, 2019 4:56 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 17, 2017
71 posts
7 upvotes

No water in part of the house

No water in 2 of the bathrooms (sink/toilet/shower) only, other places are ok, what went wrong?
15 replies
Deal Guru
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Feb 11, 2007
11772 posts
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Oakville
Your water pipes are frozen
Raise your furnace temperature (like 30'C) and open the registers in those areas ASAP before you have a flood. Open the sink cabinets and consider blowing a hair dryer on hot down the hole where the pipes come out.
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 19, 2004
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Cambridge, ON
Is the plumbing on an outer wall for those areas? I agree with @engineered about the frozen pipes. Just because the heat is on doesn't mean anything. Keep the registers open in all rooms. And for now make sure the doors and cabinets are open to help thaw.
Deal Guru
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healsio wrote:
Jan 22nd, 2019 8:48 pm
the heat is always on in house
Yea, but your pipes likely run through the outer walls which are cold enough to freeze your pipes. Do you have PEX or copper?
If they freeze and burst, your house will flood.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
1877 posts
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Toronto
Unless you have more bathrooms, remember you can fill the tank on the back of the toilet with a bucket of water from a working faucet. So you have facilities while you sort out your frozen pipes.

Make sure you know where your main water shutoff valve is for the house and be ready to turn it off - when your pipes thaw you may find yourself with leaks.

Call a plumber.
Deal Addict
Aug 29, 2011
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Mississauga
healsio wrote:
Jan 22nd, 2019 9:18 pm
sorry, what are registers?
Oh my... Although would give benefit of the doubt if OP had radiator/baseboard heat only.

And to add to the others, sounds like frozen pipes.
Member
Mar 1, 2011
436 posts
101 upvotes
Stoney Creek
I once lived in a home that this would happen to every few years. One way to help the situation was to leave the cupboard doors open, it lets in a bit more heat. Also turn on a tap and let the water run a trickle. If the tap is already frozen you should still turn the tap on a bit so as soon as it starts to slightly thaw, your water will slowly start to flow. Eventually you will have to figure out exactly where the pipes run, and figure out how to improve the insulation.
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healsio wrote:
Jan 24th, 2019 11:33 am
thank you engineered, I turned up the heat and things are ok now!
Glad it worked out. Outside temps are warmer now so that also helped.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 17, 2017
71 posts
7 upvotes
engineered wrote:
Jan 24th, 2019 12:33 pm
Glad it worked out. Outside temps are warmer now so that also helped.
btw, whats a safe temp level when no one is home for an extended period of time?
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
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Vancouver, BC
healsio wrote:
Jan 24th, 2019 1:37 pm
btw, whats a safe temp level when no one is home for an extended period of time?
That would be hard to say as we don't know what the conditions may be when no-one is home - ie. will it get this cold again or is it warmer? What you should be looking at is a long term fix to the problem when the weather gets warmer rather than thinking about using this temporary fix as a permanent one.

The two bathrooms are probably supplied by common supply pipes which are running near a cold space in the house. Chances are that cold space in question is close to the ground floor as water is often supplied from the basement levels upwards. And if the bathrooms are on an outside wall, I would start looking in the basement on that outside wall for a cold spot. You may not have to move the pipes but insulating them as well as the wall or stopping any drafts from getting into the house will probably go a long way in keeping those pipes from freezing.
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healsio wrote:
Jan 24th, 2019 1:37 pm
btw, whats a safe temp level when no one is home for an extended period of time?
Really depend on the house and how the pipes are run. If they're all interior then you could go really low, but if they're poorly insulated in the external walls than you can't go low. You already know you freeze at your combination of external and internal temps, so obviously keep it warmer the next time it's at -20C.
You can also leave your taps dribbling to reduce chance of freezing, but then you're wasting water instead of gas/heat. If your pipes are copper you could add a thermostatically controlled wire heater around your pipe to prevent freezing.
Simplest would be have a fan blowing warm air into the wall where it froze.

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