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How To Unfreeze an Inside Water Line or Aren’t Hair Dryers Great?

January 16, 2009

This morning our son went to take a shower. Uh oh! No hot water! The hot water line from the water heater, which is right next to the kitchen sink, to the bathroom in the back…was frozen.

The cold was OK because we drip the cold. In fact, we try to drip the cold into a dishpan and then dump it all at once so that ice won’t build up in our gray water tank and the lines into the septic. Well, sometimes it hits the edge of the dishpan and splashes into the bathtub, like it did last night. We actually had some ice on the inside of the bathtub where it had splashed! I did not try to capture it in a photo since I did not believe it would show up. In spite of running out of propane this morning.

We ended up taking out a couple of bottom drawers in the kitchen and putting a high powered hair dryer inside the cabinet to blow heat into the area. I ended up aiming it specifically toward the bathroom at the end of the bathtub that faces the kitchen. That is where the ice was inside the tub, so I figured that it must be REALLY, REALLY cold there!

Meanwhile, my son left the hot water faucet “on” in the bathtub for when the line thawed out. Although, I did not time it, I estimate that it only took maybe five – ten(?) minutes before the water was running. The water lines are pretty small in diameter, so they really don’t take that long to thaw out.

This is the first time it has happened to us. This is definitely a harsher, earlier winter than we have had since we arrived here. Dave is thinking about possibly putting a light bulb on inside the cabinet area. All we have on that side are drawers. Behind and below the drawers is just open space in which run the ducting for the forced air heater, electrical wires, water lines, propane lines (for the stove) and whatever else they can think of to run through there. Then you have the outside wall. It is not insulated.

Last winter, he had actually built a sort of lean to against the bathtub area of the RV. This protected the dump valves, as well as providing at least a little bit of protection for part of the bathtub/shower wall. He is thinking of doing the same thing again. We also need to get the thicker insulation sheeting and running it around the RV. We already have some, but not enough. Unfortunately, there isn’t really any way to get it to stay in place other than by leaning boards up against it. High winds can sometimes bring it down.

So…on to the next post…what is that blue “flooring”?

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