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Old 03-21-2007, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Seward, Alaska
2,739 posts, read 5,420,888 times
Reputation: 1849
Unhappy Frost Depth

If you are going to build in Alaska, give some thought about how deep to bury your water lines. I buried mine down 4 feet (because I'm in the "banana-belt" of Ak), and last night the frost line got down that far and froze the line. AND.....the pipe was covered with 2" thick "blue-board" foam insulation!
This morning the Anchorage Daily News had a headline stating that the frost was down 10 feet there, freezing main arteries and popping hydrants out of the ground.
Where is global warming when you need it?

Bud
Seward, Ak
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:11 PM
 
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
2,909 posts, read 10,105,942 times
Reputation: 921
Wow thats terrible! Do you have pictures? How cold did it get and for how long? How expensive will the repairs be?
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Old 03-21-2007, 03:29 PM
 
Location: SE Alaska
957 posts, read 1,536,859 times
Reputation: 438
Holy crap BudinAK...my sympathies...this winter we've had a lot of frozen/broken pipes here, too...unusual cold snap around the holdiays wreaked havoc. Wonder how deep you'd have to bury to be safe...probably be a huge extra building expense though.
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Old 03-21-2007, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Alaska
69 posts, read 212,558 times
Reputation: 47
Wink water woes

Hi Bud,

We are on a well and normally this time of year the water table goes down and we are without water for a while. Every time we threaten to dig a deeper well then summer fun gets in the way. This year for sure!

I know this doesn't help you any. I just joined the forum and thought maybe my water woes would help a bit.

THe good parts of having no water are using paper plates and bowls to cut down on dishwashing, the toilet will still flush when you fill the tank manually and you can go swim at the school pool and get two showers, one before and one after.

The good outweighs the bad. ANd remembering the water will come back. Good, clean and cold water!

~FishTaxi
Valdez
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Old 03-21-2007, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
14,872 posts, read 24,702,769 times
Reputation: 13035
So you think it might right under the house foundation or out between there and the house? You can try a welder maybe. Crawl space? Mine always tries to freeze just inside the crawl space where 15 minutes with a space heater takes care of it.
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Old 03-21-2007, 04:15 PM
 
395 posts, read 1,101,244 times
Reputation: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by BudinAk View Post
If you are going to build in Alaska, give some thought about how deep to bury your water lines. I buried mine down 4 feet (because I'm in the "banana-belt" of Ak), and last night the frost line got down that far and froze the line. AND.....the pipe was covered with 2" thick "blue-board" foam insulation!
This morning the Anchorage Daily News had a headline stating that the frost was down 10 feet there, freezing main arteries and popping hydrants out of the ground.
Where is global warming when you need it?

Bud
Seward, Ak
Hey Bud, Just out of curiosity, what type of mat'l are your pipes? That is, are they PVC (Is that allowed in Alaska?) or copper? And are U on city water or well or rain water or a combo of? Since I have not been in cold country for decades and at a much younger age, I've never pay much attention to how the plumbing work. I was going to look in the Seward area to retire but decided on Haines to be closer to my mine.
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Seward, Alaska
2,739 posts, read 5,420,888 times
Reputation: 1849
Hooray! Thanks everyone for the replies and tips. It's thawed and water is running again. Fortunately it didn't cost anything to fix. I talked to some of the plumber guys at work, and they said it's most likely frozen where the pipe comes up out of the ground...to just stuff a space heater there under the crawl space for a half-hour and chances are it would thaw out. They were right. Rance is right too: crawl space is the most likely problem spot. It's drafty under there, and the cold air can freeze any unprotected pipe. It's copper pipe coming up through the ground there, but down at depth it is PVC for a 100' or so, to the well. Can't believe it still froze with all the heat tape and pipe insulation. But it was like zero degrees every morning for week after week after week lately. Worst day it was -10. Shallow-well setup with maybe 30feet to tip of sand-point. It's not the best setup, but it's what I could afford. In the summer the water table is like only 6' down, but drops down to 15-20' this time of the year. For some reason the water tastes excellent here...really good.
Hey RamFeb: you got a mine? I'm a weekend prospector...got two placer claims on Canyon Creek midway to Anchorage. If I had my druthers, I'd be doing that full-time for a living...

Bud
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
592 posts, read 1,940,544 times
Reputation: 328
Hey Bud, I had mine freeze last month, my line from my well is buried seven feet. My local well driller came over, took the line off in the basement, steamed the line, and put in heat tape. I never heard of it before, but they make a heat tape (looks just like Romex) and put it inside the water line...works great. The only problem was getting it inside the line, we could only get it in 40' due to the flexibility of the heat tape. It was a little pricey to have done, but sure beat digging up my water line in the middle of winter. The kit is manufactued by Raychem,, I can sure get you more information if you want. If you need more info, let me know.
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:51 PM
 
395 posts, read 1,101,244 times
Reputation: 106
Hi Bud",
Yes, I am trying to work a mine out of B.C. w/a Canadian. I may have mentioned that in another posting.
I am glad U have your pipe freezing prob. solved. Rance nos what he is talkin about. I am still wondering what kind of water pipes U guys have in your home.
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:59 PM
 
395 posts, read 1,101,244 times
Reputation: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delaneyland View Post
Hey Bud, I had mine freeze last month, my line from my well is buried seven feet. My local well driller came over, took the line off in the basement, steamed the line, and put in heat tape. I never heard of it before, but they make a heat tape (looks just like Romex) and put it inside the water line...works great. The only problem was getting it inside the line, we could only get it in 40' due to the flexibility of the heat tape. It was a little pricey to have done, but sure beat digging up my water line in the middle of winter. The kit is manufactued by Raychem,, I can sure get you more information if you want. If you need more info, let me know.
Delaney',
I am glad U've solve your problem. Now I no what to bring up w/me when I come up to either build my cabin or buy an inexpensive ready built one. Did the plumber tell U if this heat strip have a builtin thermostat? I hate to see your electric bill when the pipe start boiling water. Do U no whether your pipe is galvanized or copper or pvc or a combo of?
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