What a nightmare. I'm pretty sure I've died on gone to hell.
Pipes were frozen solid from the main all the way thru the dirt floor basement. I ended up buying a new propane heater 45k-80k btu'*, WOW this thing cranks the heat! The end result from thawing, 2 completely burst pipes, 3 big leaks one being in the main line. Keep in mind this house is older than indoor plumbing so these pipes are a combination of galvanized and lead instead of copper. (Only the water main is lead, the town won't replace it and the lead levels in the water are within 'tolerance' according to tests done on it.) My plan was to replace as much as I could with copper.
[RANT] feel free to skip.
AND whoever installed this had to be a complete MORON. I've never seem such a mish-mash haphazard jumble of mess. Fer instance the main cold waterline has 3 branches in it. The first one goes about 6 ft and then feeds the hot water tank then continues on and does??? I couldn't figure it out, it doesn't feed anything in the house
The mainline splits off again (3rd cold water line now) for 20ft to feed the house while the original line (about 30ft long total) continues on to feed the outside water spicket. WTF! Do you think these would be somewhat straight shots to their destination? Nope! They would tee off to the right, elbow up a foot then left, instead of just going left on the tee to begin with.
I had to have the main waterline shut off while I fixed that. Remember this was a dirtfloor cellar; now it'* mud. I had the water turned back on and the meter started leaking. Good thing I installed a new valve on the mainline
while it was off. While they replaced the meter I fixed the two broken pipes and did lots of waiting, town is SLOW to say the least. Repairing them two breaks was the easy part of this adventure. Everytime I fixed one leak a new one appeared farther downstream.
to generate yet another run to the hardware store for another piece I wasn't expecting to need. Thus ended day 1, no water to the house, 20ft of new line plumbed in, a bruised forehead from the many times I walked into the main beam, and one burned finger from when I slipped into the side of my new heater.
Day 2 started at 10am at the hardware store yet again. I needed more copper line and parts. Next stop, get propane refilled - this new heater really uses up propane fast! Back to the house and After a bit of work got it down to 1 leak. Ok unscrew pipe from valve and it should be an easy fix...nope - old pipe breaks off in the valve and I've got to move farther down. A union! This might be my lucky day. I had to torch the living crap out of it to free it up and I'm no slouch in the strength dept, this took effort but at least its apart and I should be looking good! Nope - the old unions are a different size than the new ones I had so off to Home Depot again. Their unions , copper and galv wouldn't fit mine either. So Hey! I'm at a hardware store!! I 'borrow' some tools to dismember this old pipe to get to the union piece I definitely need. I ended up breaking the pipe that was screwed into it but the clerk used his threading machine to dig it out. Its 8pm and I'm leaving HD and back to the house from hell. I install my parts, turn on the water and......psssssssss.... new leak 15 ft down. I mumble curse words as I haul the light down there to check it out. I'm already covered in mud and soaked from all the water. An elbow burst, I got that covered. I cut one pipe in half, unscrew one side fine but the other side attached to the elbow won't budge so I get my trusty torch. As I'm heating it up, it sputters and spits basically boiling dirty water in my face. I wasn't looking at the torch so I could retain some semblance of night vision and the stream hits the side of my vented safety googles and right into my right eye. Thus ends day2 - 9:30pm and in the ER.
more on the eye at the end.
Day 3 begins at 9am with a call to the Eye Specialist the ER referred me to. "The office is closed on fridays, if this is an emergency..." BAH! I called the ER back to let them know their database needs to be updated. My wife suggested I call my normal eye doc to see if they could get me in and they did but not until Noon, so back to the house from hell again to finish that last leak, the eye killer. Got it fixed and turned the water on and... psssss... a new leak 6 ft back upstream. Grrrrr. Ok, now I'm beyond fed up! I realize I'm going to end up replumbing the entire house at this point if I don't stop now. Luckily I had saw these pipe clamps designed just to fix these. I turned off the water, bolted one on and...SUCCESS! No leaks, no drips! I got the hell out of there and was 15 minutes early for my Dr'* appt despite the snowstorm.
As the ER found, I burned my eyeball and it will heal; luckily it just missed being in my line of sight, the 'corneal abbraision' goes from the pupil across the iris and down to the white part of the eye. He gave me a script for antibactial goop to put in my eye 3 times a day plus some artificial tears to put in every hour.
I'll be back tot he house from hell this weekend to put on some heating tape for the winter. For now I've got them leaving the water running. I'll replace the last of the galvanized this summer and be done with it (I hope).