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It's Freezing in Texas, please shut the freezer door up north......


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38 minutes ago, FBG26 said:

Quoting Ron only because he mentioned it, but can somebody help me understand the bit about limited insulation. Homes in TX must still have insulation to help with the stupid hot summers, no? I mean, obviously our homes are insulated here in MN to deal with the cold, but wouldn't you still want to insulate against the heat in the south? 

The houses can be well insulated, but most of the pipes, heaters, air conditioners are run in the attic outside that insulation barrier.  they just don't worry about protecting that house infrastructure stuff like they do up north.

Edited by The Tick
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Sorry, well behind on this thread and not going to try and get caught up. Went to a hotel Monday that had power after we were basically 40 minutes off, 5 minutes on, repeating. Was awesome. Warm, grea

Seems like kind of a #### thing to say when its 10 degrees and there are millions of people without electricity.

I’VE GOT THE POWER! Very glad to be back. 

30 minutes ago, The Tick said:

The houses can be well insulated, but most of the pipes, heaters, air conditioners are run in the attic outside that insulation barrier.  they just don't worry about protecting that house infrastructure stuff like they do up north.

Thanks, I was wondering if that was really more about the pipes being outside the insulated/conditioned part of the home rather than just poor insulation in general. I wasn't sure if homes in TX have pipes running through exterior walls that are not insulated. (In MN, code requires water supply lines to be on interior walls). But the issue in TX isn't that the walls/attic don't have insulation, but rather the pipes are running through the attic on the non-conditioned side of the insulation. 

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Stuff starting to thaw out.  Sister's family and mother have heat.  Taking them back later this afternoon................however, the roads are the worst that they have been since Monday.  Older boy was going to grocery store in jeep, so I moved youngest car to the street, couldn't get back in drive way.  Had to go around block 2 times........1st time I just slid right by going about 1MPH.  Literally could not stop.  Be safe out there.  Saturday is almost here.

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9 minutes ago, FBG26 said:

Thanks, I was wondering if that was really more about the pipes being outside the insulated/conditioned part of the home rather than just poor insulation in general. I wasn't sure if homes in TX have pipes running through exterior walls that are not insulated. (In MN, code requires water supply lines to be on interior walls). But the issue in TX isn't that the walls/attic don't have insulation, but rather the pipes are running through the attic on the non-conditioned side of the insulation. 

For example, my tankless water heater is on the outside of our garage on the wall, and hardwired into the back of the circuit breaker panel. So when we lost power, the line right at the heater froze up. 

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40 minutes ago, FBG26 said:

Thanks, I was wondering if that was really more about the pipes being outside the insulated/conditioned part of the home rather than just poor insulation in general. I wasn't sure if homes in TX have pipes running through exterior walls that are not insulated. (In MN, code requires water supply lines to be on interior walls). But the issue in TX isn't that the walls/attic don't have insulation, but rather the pipes are running through the attic on the non-conditioned side of the insulation. 

You also have a frost line most pipe need to be buried under in northern states to preven freezing.  Codes are much different in northern states vs southern with regards to these issues

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I feel fortunate to have lost power for only 14 hours. Nothing compared to many. Lost water yesterday. Serious lack of grocery options for those in need. Thankfully we have enough in pantry. Looking forward to this weekend and hoping for no busted pipes. Home stretch now! 

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1 hour ago, Instinctive said:

For example, my tankless water heater is on the outside of our garage on the wall, and hardwired into the back of the circuit breaker panel. So when we lost power, the line right at the heater froze up. 

same thing happened to a budy of mine out in aledo.

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2 hours ago, FBG26 said:

Thanks, I was wondering if that was really more about the pipes being outside the insulated/conditioned part of the home rather than just poor insulation in general. I wasn't sure if homes in TX have pipes running through exterior walls that are not insulated. (In MN, code requires water supply lines to be on interior walls). But the issue in TX isn't that the walls/attic don't have insulation, but rather the pipes are running through the attic on the non-conditioned side of the insulation. 

That's one of the things I like about our house.   Most of the house has no attic.  It's all insulated.  The small attic space is completely insulated, along with the garage walls.  All we had to do was turn off the sprinkler system and cover the outside faucets.  NBD.

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The drain side of my kitchen sink is leaking in the P trap.  I have no idea why this would happen unless some water was left in the trap and this expanded and failed.  

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4 hours ago, culdeus said:

Still unable to fill up.  I don't know if it's a temperature issue with the pumps or if they are simply out of gas everywhere.  

Oh did hear that. Thought you were talking about natural gas. 

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Sorry, well behind on this thread and not going to try and get caught up. Went to a hotel Monday that had power after we were basically 40 minutes off, 5 minutes on, repeating. Was awesome. Warm, great shower. Tuesday, learned our power never came back on after we left. So our fridge had been without power over 24 hours. I ran home and grabbed everything from the freezer and headed back to the hotel. Arrived to find out it's power was out. Stayed out for five hours, which sealed the fate on ALL of our fridge/freezer food. We tried to stay positive after it went out again midnight to 4:00 as we were warm enough. It went off again at 7:37 a.m. Ended up staying off 26 hours at the hotel! So we went and stayed with a family member across town Wednesday evening. Woke up today and found out our power at home was finally back on. Couldn't get there though because it was snowing like a MF. Finally about 2:00 I said to hell with it and we drove it. Got home and took stock. Took us 12 pics, 5 to 10 items each pic, to catalog everything we lost in food stuff for the claim. We then decided to go find food. Waited in line 30 min at Bush's Chicken when they came out and told us they were out of food. Went to Chik-Fil-A, they just closed. Whataburger line was several miles long. Come home and micro'd a little pantry meal. So, we are finally home and have power again, but are battling some pretty deep depression over everything that happened this week. We just feel crushed,

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16 minutes ago, DallasDMac said:

Sorry, well behind on this thread and not going to try and get caught up. Went to a hotel Monday that had power after we were basically 40 minutes off, 5 minutes on, repeating. Was awesome. Warm, great shower. Tuesday, learned our power never came back on after we left. So our fridge had been without power over 24 hours. I ran home and grabbed everything from the freezer and headed back to the hotel. Arrived to find out it's power was out. Stayed out for five hours, which sealed the fate on ALL of our fridge/freezer food. We tried to stay positive after it went out again midnight to 4:00 as we were warm enough. It went off again at 7:37 a.m. Ended up staying off 26 hours at the hotel! So we went and stayed with a family member across town Wednesday evening. Woke up today and found out our power at home was finally back on. Couldn't get there though because it was snowing like a MF. Finally about 2:00 I said to hell with it and we drove it. Got home and took stock. Took us 12 pics, 5 to 10 items each pic, to catalog everything we lost in food stuff for the claim. We then decided to go find food. Waited in line 30 min at Bush's Chicken when they came out and told us they were out of food. Went to Chik-Fil-A, they just closed. Whataburger line was several miles long. Come home and micro'd a little pantry meal. So, we are finally home and have power again, but are battling some pretty deep depression over everything that happened this week. We just feel crushed,

Damn, man.  Stay strong.  You're just about out the other side of this.  Best wishes to you and your family.

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1 hour ago, DallasDMac said:

Sorry, well behind on this thread and not going to try and get caught up. Went to a hotel Monday that had power after we were basically 40 minutes off, 5 minutes on, repeating. Was awesome. Warm, great shower. Tuesday, learned our power never came back on after we left. So our fridge had been without power over 24 hours. I ran home and grabbed everything from the freezer and headed back to the hotel. Arrived to find out it's power was out. Stayed out for five hours, which sealed the fate on ALL of our fridge/freezer food. We tried to stay positive after it went out again midnight to 4:00 as we were warm enough. It went off again at 7:37 a.m. Ended up staying off 26 hours at the hotel! So we went and stayed with a family member across town Wednesday evening. Woke up today and found out our power at home was finally back on. Couldn't get there though because it was snowing like a MF. Finally about 2:00 I said to hell with it and we drove it. Got home and took stock. Took us 12 pics, 5 to 10 items each pic, to catalog everything we lost in food stuff for the claim. We then decided to go find food. Waited in line 30 min at Bush's Chicken when they came out and told us they were out of food. Went to Chik-Fil-A, they just closed. Whataburger line was several miles long. Come home and micro'd a little pantry meal. So, we are finally home and have power again, but are battling some pretty deep depression over everything that happened this week. We just feel crushed,

If everybody is healthy you’re blessed. Food is food. I didn’t scan whole thread so I may have missed other posts re damage or losses. Anyway - I know it’s a huge f’in headache at a minimum. We deal with it with fires here in CA. Hope it gets better for you soon. 

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3 hours ago, culdeus said:

The drain side of my kitchen sink is leaking in the P trap.  I have no idea why this would happen unless some water was left in the trap and this expanded and failed.  

Well, since the point of the trap is to keep water in it to prevent sewer gas from coming back up the drain that is a possibility.  I would think the ability of the water to rise up on each side would keep it from expanding enough to break the line though.  Plus freezing the water in a 1-1/2" line versus a 1/2" line would take much longer.  Maybe it froze just enough to break the seal at the connection.

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1 hour ago, DallasDMac said:

Sorry, well behind on this thread and not going to try and get caught up. Went to a hotel Monday that had power after we were basically 40 minutes off, 5 minutes on, repeating. Was awesome. Warm, great shower. Tuesday, learned our power never came back on after we left. So our fridge had been without power over 24 hours. I ran home and grabbed everything from the freezer and headed back to the hotel. Arrived to find out it's power was out. Stayed out for five hours, which sealed the fate on ALL of our fridge/freezer food. We tried to stay positive after it went out again midnight to 4:00 as we were warm enough. It went off again at 7:37 a.m. Ended up staying off 26 hours at the hotel! So we went and stayed with a family member across town Wednesday evening. Woke up today and found out our power at home was finally back on. Couldn't get there though because it was snowing like a MF. Finally about 2:00 I said to hell with it and we drove it. Got home and took stock. Took us 12 pics, 5 to 10 items each pic, to catalog everything we lost in food stuff for the claim. We then decided to go find food. Waited in line 30 min at Bush's Chicken when they came out and told us they were out of food. Went to Chik-Fil-A, they just closed. Whataburger line was several miles long. Come home and micro'd a little pantry meal. So, we are finally home and have power again, but are battling some pretty deep depression over everything that happened this week. We just feel crushed,

Sorry to hear that. Why didn't you just leave your food outside?

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45 minutes ago, Judge Smails said:

If everybody is healthy you’re blessed. Food is food. I didn’t scan whole thread so I may have missed other posts re damage or losses. Anyway - I know it’s a huge f’in headache at a minimum. We deal with it with fires here in CA. Hope it gets better for you soon. 

True but it sounds like he has no food to eat now

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2 hours ago, DallasDMac said:

Sorry, well behind on this thread and not going to try and get caught up. Went to a hotel Monday that had power after we were basically 40 minutes off, 5 minutes on, repeating. Was awesome. Warm, great shower. Tuesday, learned our power never came back on after we left. So our fridge had been without power over 24 hours. I ran home and grabbed everything from the freezer and headed back to the hotel. Arrived to find out it's power was out. Stayed out for five hours, which sealed the fate on ALL of our fridge/freezer food. We tried to stay positive after it went out again midnight to 4:00 as we were warm enough. It went off again at 7:37 a.m. Ended up staying off 26 hours at the hotel! So we went and stayed with a family member across town Wednesday evening. Woke up today and found out our power at home was finally back on. Couldn't get there though because it was snowing like a MF. Finally about 2:00 I said to hell with it and we drove it. Got home and took stock. Took us 12 pics, 5 to 10 items each pic, to catalog everything we lost in food stuff for the claim. We then decided to go find food. Waited in line 30 min at Bush's Chicken when they came out and told us they were out of food. Went to Chik-Fil-A, they just closed. Whataburger line was several miles long. Come home and micro'd a little pantry meal. So, we are finally home and have power again, but are battling some pretty deep depression over everything that happened this week. We just feel crushed,

Hang in there, man. We are beyond the worst of it (I hope).

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1 hour ago, jobarules said:

Sorry to hear that. Why didn't you just leave your food outside?

We didn't find out power was out at the house until 24 hours had passed. I did try and bury the main items at the hotel once we got there and power was out. But it was to late. We tried some frozen kolaches from the freezer and we both had very upset stomachs. It had obviously turned.

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Feel like things are still a little funky water wise.  Air getting in the lines. Sort of a delay in getting things to cut on.  Not sure if that's pressure or ice related.

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14 hours ago, culdeus said:

The drain side of my kitchen sink is leaking in the P trap.  I have no idea why this would happen unless some water was left in the trap and this expanded and failed.  

Water is always left in the P trap by design unless manually forced out.  It's what keeps odors from coming back up through the sink drains.

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I am really worried about the reports of pipe thaw/burst that is ongoing.  I know of several people severely impacted with water shutoff to homes.  Plumbers don't even want to get started until the ambient is above 50 (Sat PM) and the wait lists are 600-1000 people deep.  

I don't know where people are seeing the pipe issues, maybe Dallas is different than other parts of the state.  

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45 minutes ago, joffer said:

sounds like mini-avalanches on my roof.  some thaw today, most starting tomorrow.

Ice dams can kill you.  Just FYI.  

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1 hour ago, culdeus said:

I am really worried about the reports of pipe thaw/burst that is ongoing.  I know of several people severely impacted with water shutoff to homes.  Plumbers don't even want to get started until the ambient is above 50 (Sat PM) and the wait lists are 600-1000 people deep.  

I don't know where people are seeing the pipe issues, maybe Dallas is different than other parts of the state.  

Mother woke up this morning, seems like she neglected to let the water drip in the vacant garage apartment.  She's heading to my sisters for a couple of days until she can get it fixed.  Luckily sister's MIL is a realtor and has a "guy" who is a plumber.  

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Hearing more and more about the pipes most likely to freeze (in Houston at least) - the pipes that run through the attic and down the exterior wall to the hose bib. Almost no one is thinking about letting the outdoor spigot drip, and that ends up being a pipe with a static column of water that runs outside the insulation barrier in the attic and then adjacent to the outer wall. 

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2 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Hearing more and more about the pipes most likely to freeze (in Houston at least) - the pipes that run through the attic and down the exterior wall to the hose bib. Almost no one is thinking about letting the outdoor spigot drip, and that ends up being a pipe with a static column of water that runs outside the insulation barrier in the attic and then adjacent to the outer wall. 

There is no way to drip exterior faucets for 5+ days of sub freezing without them turning to a block of ice.  The only realistic scenario for this is to wait for the temps to be above 60 for several days before load testing the plumbing for leaks, and hoping for the best while watching for water ingress through the attic or walls.

100% of the assumptions home builders made about Texas was predicated on the thought that even in a 100 year freeze power would be maintained.    

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12 minutes ago, culdeus said:

There is no way to drip exterior faucets for 5+ days of sub freezing without them turning to a block of ice.  The only realistic scenario for this is to wait for the temps to be above 60 for several days before load testing the plumbing for leaks, and hoping for the best while watching for water ingress through the attic or walls.

100% of the assumptions home builders made about Texas was predicated on the thought that even in a 100 year freeze power would be maintained.    

Yeah, I guess that’s right. What we did last night was shut off the water at the street and drain all the faucets, including the outdoor spigots, right before going to bed. Turned it all back on this morning. This was just a precaution in case we lost power while we were sleeping. 

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1 minute ago, bigbottom said:

Yeah, I guess that’s right. What we did last night was shut off the water at the street and drain all the faucets, including the outdoor spigots, right before going to bed. Turned it all back on this morning. This was just a precaution in case we lost power while we were sleeping. 

There are a lot of checklists about this type of thing floating around and I don't know who to believe, but one of them specifically says if you drain your lines like this then wait till it's well above freezing before starting back up.  Water can settle in the pipes in funky ways when you do this.  

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3 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Yeah, I guess that’s right. What we did last night was shut off the water at the street and drain all the faucets, including the outdoor spigots, right before going to bed. Turned it all back on this morning. This was just a precaution in case we lost power while we were sleeping. 

That's the right thing to do. 

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2 hours ago, culdeus said:

I am really worried about the reports of pipe thaw/burst that is ongoing.  I know of several people severely impacted with water shutoff to homes.  Plumbers don't even want to get started until the ambient is above 50 (Sat PM) and the wait lists are 600-1000 people deep.  

I don't know where people are seeing the pipe issues, maybe Dallas is different than other parts of the state.  

On our street alone, we had the same tankless water heater failure on the same piece of pipe for all 6 homes. Also, at this time, the street in front of our house is flooding with water, at a steadily increasing pace over the last 36 hours, with no sign of slowing down. It appears a pipe under the street burst, or pipes, and it went from one little like 6 inch geyser to now a bubbling brook across the entire width of the street with additional little fountains sprouting up around that one.

 

I live by SMU.

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1 minute ago, culdeus said:

There are a lot of checklists about this type of thing floating around and I don't know who to believe, but one of them specifically says if you drain your lines like this then wait till it's well above freezing before starting back up.  Water can settle in the pipes in funky ways when you do this.  

If you drain the lines, there's not enough water left to expand and burst the pipes. As for turning the water back on, you have to do as needed - then bleed them again. It sucks, but it's better than a flooded house.

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Also, those of you left here without power (I hope there's none), make sure all of your appliances off. Keep maybe one light on. You can overload the panel if everything tries to start up at once.

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12 minutes ago, Instinctive said:

On our street alone, we had the same tankless water heater failure on the same piece of pipe for all 6 homes. Also, at this time, the street in front of our house is flooding with water, at a steadily increasing pace over the last 36 hours, with no sign of slowing down. It appears a pipe under the street burst, or pipes, and it went from one little like 6 inch geyser to now a bubbling brook across the entire width of the street with additional little fountains sprouting up around that one.

 

I live by SMU.

If you need anything, holler.  I'm at least mobile and for the moment things are stable for me at least until my pool thaws.

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Just now, culdeus said:

If you need anything, holler.  I'm at least mobile and for the moment things are stable for me at least until my pool thaws.

Appreciate it. Crossing fingers that water doesn't become an issue. We're very lucky in some ways - our tankless is on the exterior of the garage so the leak is fully external and the emergency plumber we got out here for the street was like "yeah this is fine you'll have to fix it later but not urgent for now" LOL

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2 minutes ago, Instinctive said:

Appreciate it. Crossing fingers that water doesn't become an issue. We're very lucky in some ways - our tankless is on the exterior of the garage so the leak is fully external and the emergency plumber we got out here for the street was like "yeah this is fine you'll have to fix it later but not urgent for now" LOL

I have to think you'll lose water in this as the city gets to you.  Nobody with a serious water main break has avoided that.

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Pure luck... I'd say every other house on my road had any number of issues with flooding or water heaters or attic/roof leaking. 

Far as I can tell I'm looking no worse for the wear.  Of course typing this wasn't a smart move.

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If I look back I ####ed up several things on the pool  It was forecast to get bad from Monday onwards for a week.  Then, Saturday ERCOT put out the power warning.  It was already 28 when I winterized my pool by heating it with a space heater and draining what I could at that point.  This was 24hr before all hell broke loose, still.  I had time to do what I needed to do.

I now know I ####ed up by not opening check valves.  It simply didn't occur to me to do this.  Those are probably shot if not cracked below.

I also know now I should have backwashed my entire spa and my pool down to the skimmer line, then dry vac out the water in my skimmer, opened all valves and hoped for best. 

I never once thought I'd wind up with >1" of ice in the pool.  I failed to see how this was possible.  In 2011 the last big freeze we never lost power so I failed to see how damaging this could be.  Then in 2013 when we lost power overnight at 22 I took about 1k in damage to pumps.  The two together was simply never something I put serious thought to. 

 

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1 hour ago, matuski said:

Just got water back for first time since Monday afternoon.

That was the best cold shower ever.

No power sucked.. no water just amplified it x10000.

Jealous. I’d love a cold shower about now. 

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