Frozen Water Lines

Heat tape used to keep the water line from freezing as it goes from underground to inside the home. Newer homes all have an electrical outlet under the house near where the water line enters. This makes it convenient to plug the tape in there and minimizes the length required.
The tape is uncoiled and fastened to the water line. This will be covered with some fiberglass insulation and that in turn covered with a water repellent plastic wrap. This kind of procedure works in areas like New Mexico where conditions are relatively mild. I would expect a much more substantial installation in a harsher climate.

If the lines do freeze in spite of such tricks as letting the water at the ends of the house trickle slowly you will have to get under the house and try to narrow down the problem area. If water to the whole house is off then it must be a problem in the main supply line and it might be a good idea to start by checking to make sure the heat tape is working and that there is power to the heat tape outlet. One of the favorite ways of burning the house down is using a propane torch to unthaw the lines. I would suggest that a blow dryer is probably safer.

{ 3 comments… read them below }
kelly
It is winter and it has been very cold. I noticed some backup.I was told my septic is prob full and cant be emptied in the winter So rather than leave water running to prevent line freeze I turned water off at the main. Also trying to prevent a flood now. So I tried to turn water on one morning and nothing. No water. Do you think the pump is frozen

Paul
Septic systems should be installed with the drain field below the frost list. So water should quickly drain through the system, into the septic and then out to the drain field. Properly installed, this should work properly unless there was prolonged, abnormal cold. So I would be looking for a frozen drain line above ground.

Pumps should also be installed that way, but there are so many variations I really can’t say much.
At this point you are probably dealing with a cracked line. So you will want to be there when you turn the water back on so you can listen for leaks. You might consider installing heat tape wherever you think their might be a problem and see if you can melt away the problem.
It takes a LOT of cold to change liquid water to ice at the same temperature (80 calories per gram). The advice to leave a faucet dripping is based on that. With the water turned off I can imagine some poorly insulated place freezing.

kelly
Paul Thank you for your response. I noticed my well pressure tank appears to be at zero. Maybe that is an issue. Also not sure where breaker for pump is. I cant find one to check?? As someone asked me about that. Also I wonder if there is a main sewer line backup. This is all new to me. All I know as I have no water to the whole mobile and drains backing up.

I did wrap most of well main pipe with heat tape and insulated it. I also wrapped the long plastic pipe from main with insulation. I tried. Thanks for your time and knowledge. I know I have to get a plumber over here to check these multiple problems out

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