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Thread: Frozen Pipes

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    Frozen Pipes

    Good Morning,

    My wife and I are newbie full-timers (2015 317RST), who have found ourselves caught in the crazy Texas cold spell. Overnight the temperature got down to 10F, but with the wind it feels like -4F. Tonight is supposed to be a little colder. The daytime high today is going to be 27F. We have been running our furnace at 66F overnight and not using any electric heaters. I left all the cabinets and doors open to help keep the plumbing as warm as possible. We are using our fresh water tank and have unhooked all connections (water, sewer) outside. At 2:30 AM this morning, the water pump was running fine. When we turned on the water at 5:30 AM, the pump continued to run and the pressure dropped in all the faucets (this is true for hot and cold). I am running the furnace constantly now in a desperate attempt to open the line. We do not have any portable heaters and due to road conditions, it is unlikely we can get to a town to buy any today.

    We do not have a Nautilus system in our coach.

    I am very inexperienced when it comes to mechanical/plumbing issues (although I know how to get to the water pump) and would welcome any feedback from the group. Thanks Everyone.
    2015 Reflection 317RST
    2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

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    Site Team traveldawg's Avatar
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    Maybe connect to the outside water (assuming it isn't frozen) and the higher pressure will free up something? Once cleared go back to onboard water.

    I still carry a old style trouble light from when I had to use it in cold weather to keep my LP regulator from freezing up. You may not have one of those but if you did maybe you could put it (or any heat producing lamp in the pump area??

    Sure hate to hear about all the cold there.
    Larry
    2018 F350 SRW SB - AirLift 5000 w/Wireless One; ForScan; 37gal RDS Fuel Tank; Demco Hikacker
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    Site Sponsor Canyonlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpertravels View Post
    Good Morning,

    My wife and I are newbie full-timers (2015 317RST), who have found ourselves caught in the crazy Texas cold spell. Overnight the temperature got down to 10F, but with the wind it feels like -4F. Tonight is supposed to be a little colder. The daytime high today is going to be 27F. We have been running our furnace at 66F overnight and not using any electric heaters. I left all the cabinets and doors open to help keep the plumbing as warm as possible. We are using our fresh water tank and have unhooked all connections (water, sewer) outside. At 2:30 AM this morning, the water pump was running fine. When we turned on the water at 5:30 AM, the pump continued to run and the pressure dropped in all the faucets (this is true for hot and cold). I am running the furnace constantly now in a desperate attempt to open the line. We do not have any portable heaters and due to road conditions, it is unlikely we can get to a town to buy any today.

    We do not have a Nautilus system in our coach.

    I am very inexperienced when it comes to mechanical/plumbing issues (although I know how to get to the water pump) and would welcome any feedback from the group. Thanks Everyone.
    Floor plans with the kitchen center island have experienced freezing lines. In Reflections, the cold and hot water lines dip low under the main floor between the frame rails often times just laying on the coroplast (the black plastic on the bottom of the RV is you are not aware.) Even thought the this area is heated with a small duct from the furnace, these lines will freeze in more extreme and extended cold and the furnace not heating the area enough due to not running enough of the duct work not blowing heated air from the furnace. I suspect this is what happened to your 317.

    Possibly if you can blow warm/hot air down by the lines where they go through the floor under your center island, you may have success. Other than trying to heat the lines from under the RV in some manner (some folks have carefully used Nipco kerosene heaters or similar) or dropping the coroplast in this area and heating some way, you may have little success. The good news is the pex water lines are pretty forgiving and the freeze may not split the line and you will be GTG ones the weather warms up.

    Curious, does your toilet flush yet and do your shower and BR sink faucets still work ?

    Brian @bertschb had a 2015 317 as I recall before owning two Solitudes. While Brian and Kellie winter in Palms Springs and may not have experienced this with their 317, maybe he recalls posts from others with a 317 and can chime in.

    Dan
    Dan & Carol
    2014 303RLS Reflection #185 (10/2013 build)
    2012 Silverado LTZ Crew Duramax 2500HD
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    Thanks for the responses.

    The toilet, sinks and shower have no pressure. When we turn the water pump on, it just runs and doesn't pressurize the line.
    2015 Reflection 317RST
    2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

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    Site Sponsor Canyonlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpertravels View Post
    Thanks for the responses.

    The toilet, sinks and shower have no pressure. When we turn the water pump on, it just runs and doesn't pressurize the line.
    OK - when you turned the pump on at 2:30 and apparently used water......what fixtures did you use and did they work as normal with the pump or ? Other than the cold between 2:30 and 5:30.....did you change/do something differently with your plumbing system ?

    Was your fresh tank full or ?

    From what I recall over the years in posts on this from forum folks, when the center island pex freezes, other than the kitchen island faucet not working, all other fixtures in the BR did work. Hopefully others will chime in on this.

    Dan
    Dan & Carol
    2014 303RLS Reflection #185 (10/2013 build)
    2012 Silverado LTZ Crew Duramax 2500HD
    2700/16K Pullrite Superglide

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    Sorry for the delay. I was outside trying a few things to no avail. At 2:30, the toilet and bathroom faucets worked. Nothing changed other than cold during that time. We filled the fresh tank yesterday. I checked the low drains and they were frozen shut. Used a hair dryer to free them up and drain the water that was in them. The cold line had a little bit of water. Thanks Again.
    2015 Reflection 317RST
    2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

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    Site Sponsor Canyonlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpertravels View Post
    Sorry for the delay. I was outside trying a few things to no avail. At 2:30, the toilet and bathroom faucets worked. Nothing changed other than cold during that time. We filled the fresh tank yesterday. I checked the low drains and they were frozen shut. Used a hair dryer to free them up and drain the water that was in them. The cold line had a little bit of water. Thanks Again.
    You are GTG then ? My apologies......forgot all about the low point drains hanging down a few inches under the coroplast......dah ! Those are the usual freezing suspects for many of our GDRVs. By the way, folks have used various methods to try and insulate the low point drains with some pretty good success.

    Dan
    Dan & Carol
    2014 303RLS Reflection #185 (10/2013 build)
    2012 Silverado LTZ Crew Duramax 2500HD
    2700/16K Pullrite Superglide

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canyonlight View Post
    You are GTG then ? My apologies......forgot all about the low point drains hanging down a few inches under the coroplast......dah ! Those are the usual freezing suspects for many of our GDRVs. By the way, folks have used various methods to try and insulate the low point drains with some pretty good success.

    Dan
    Sorry for the confusion. I was able to use a hair dryer on the lower drains until all the water seemed to be out. Unfortunately, it was not the solution. It seems like there is a blockage between the fresh tank and the water pump. The compartment with the water pump felt like it was about 60 degrees, so I don't think the issue is in there. We removed the particleboard under the sink and are blowing warm air into the hole. I can't seem to access the tanks and lines without dropping the coroplast and I don't want to do that in these temps if I don't have to.

    Thanks Again
    2015 Reflection 317RST
    2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

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    Site Sponsor Canyonlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpertravels View Post
    Sorry for the confusion. I was able to use a hair dryer on the lower drains until all the water seemed to be out. Unfortunately, it was not the solution. It seems like there is a blockage between the fresh tank and the water pump. The compartment with the water pump felt like it was about 60 degrees, so I don't think the issue is in there. We removed the particleboard under the sink and are blowing warm air into the hole. I can't seem to access the tanks and lines without dropping the coroplast and I don't want to do that in these temps if I don't have to.

    Thanks Again
    OK - I think you are doing the right things. Given that you can't get water out of anything, your thoughts on the fresh water line from that tank to the basement being frozen makes sense. If your coroplast is sealed up as from the factory (there are some minor gaps between frame, suspension components, etc) and the furnace duct work to the fresh tank area is in place and undamaged you should be getting enough heat in that area if your furnace is as you shared. Sure would be interesting to drop a thermometer in that area under the kitchen island area and see what the temp is.

    Hopefully you can get enough heat down there as you are doing blowing towards the fresh tank if you can. Keep us posted.

    Dan
    Dan & Carol
    2014 303RLS Reflection #185 (10/2013 build)
    2012 Silverado LTZ Crew Duramax 2500HD
    2700/16K Pullrite Superglide

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canyonlight View Post
    Brian @bertschb had a 2015 317 as I recall before owning two Solitudes. While Brian and Kellie winter in Palms Springs and may not have experienced this with their 317, maybe he recalls posts from others with a 317 and can chime in.
    We had a 2016 Reflection 318RST with the Nautilus system. We've never been below freezing anywhere with our 5th wheels so I'm no help at all. Sorry :-(
    Brian & Kellie
    2020 Solitude 310GK-R, FBP, 1,460w solar, 540ah BBGC3, MORryde IS w/disc brakes
    2020 F-350 Platinum SRW Powerstroke Tremor, 60g TF fuel tank, Hensley BD3-F air bag hitch

    Previous setups:
    2019 Solitude 373FB-R, 2019 F-350 Platinum DRW Powerstroke, Hensley BD5 air bag hitch
    2016 Reflection 318RST, 2016 GMC 3500 Denali SRW Duramax, Hensley BD3 air bag hitch

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