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Thread: pipes frozen!

  1. #1
    jerzigurl77 is offline Junior Member
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    Angry pipes frozen!

    What is the name of your state? NJ

    Over the weekend, the pipes froze in our kitchen - thus, cutting off the water supply in that room. We do have water in our 2 bathrooms. The landlord comes out with a plumber and cuts a hole in the basement wall to access the crawl space the kitchen sits on. They tell us there is a sub wall back there that they cannot reach. So, there's nothing that can be done about the pipes. They suggested we wait until they thaw out and then when they do, to keep the water running in the kitchen to avoid another freeze. The plumber told us that what needs to be done is to remove the kitchen floor and insulate the pipes. The landlord says this is to costly so there is no other option but to wait.

    The kitchen has a radiator - but sits on an uninsulated crawl space (as does the laundry room and downstairs bathroom). When you open a cabinet in the kitchen, you can feel a draft as if you just cracked open a window. We hang a heavy blanket in the doorway to avoid the cold going through the rest of the house. The house is heated by oil (radiators) and can get quite costly with the drafts.

    This is the 3rd winter we've been in this predicament with the frozen pipes. Each time the landlord says he'll get it fixed and never does. Is there anything we can do short of just breaking the lease and moving?
  2. #2
    hexeliebe Guest
    Is there anything we can do short of just breaking the lease and moving?
    Yes, read your L/T laws for New Jersey. You'll find provisions in there that you need.
  3. #3
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    If your city hall has a housing inspections unit as them for assistance , or insist your LL pay the water bill during the highest risk time of winter where the pipes might freeze and trickle the faucets doing a thin thin line of water . and plan for the possibilty that your LL will not renew the lease .
  4. #4
    dadrummer Guest
    I'm from the south and oil radiator heating is something I'm not familiar with so please pardon the question if it falls into the category of "dumb".

    Is the heat supplied by the radiator distributed throughout the house via a blower? In other words, down here we call it a "forced air system". A blower, or fan, simply blows the heated air through duct that runs either in the ceilings or between floors. If this is the type system you have, would it be practical to simply add a "trunk" to your duct system and run that trunk to the area that needs to be heated. It would probably not need any more then a 8 inch hole cut into a wall or ceiling and then insert the duct, either flex or sheet metal, and trim out if necessary for appearance purposes.

    Naturally, if this is something that may work the expense would certainly fall on the LL. If this is workable, the expense would be minimal.
  5. #5
    Ellerge is offline Member
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    Question Pipes Frozen

    The Landlord does not know that a FROZEN water pipe may result in the pipe being damaged and water GUSHING out onto the house causing MUCH damage to the house! (DAMAGE is an understatement as the cost of repair and your law suit may cost the LL THOUSANDS of dollars.). As for running the water in the kitchen when the pipe un-freezes - just 4 or 5 DROPS PER minute is sufficent.
  6. #6
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    So writer, what did you find out after reading the L/T law?
  7. #7
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    " the heat supplied by the radiator distributed throughout the house via a blower? In other words, down here we call it a "forced air system". A blower, or fan, simply blows the heated air through duct that runs either in the ceilings or between floors. If this is the type system you have, would it be practical to simply add a "trunk" to your duct system and run that trunk to the area that needs to be heated. It would probably not need any more then a 8 inch hole cut into a wall or ceiling and then insert the duct, either flex or sheet metal, and trim out if necessary for appearance purposes."

    Nope. Radiators are heated via steam/hot water sent through pipes from a boiler. There is no ductwork for the "heat". The steam rises from the basement boiler throughout the radiant system. The radiator heats the air in a given area. Heated air is not being sent from the furnace (as in a forced air heat system). There are no fans for the heat system, because it is not air that is heated...
  8. #8
    dadrummer Guest
    nextwife**************thanks for clarifying that for me. Not only do we not have much in the way of radiator heat here in MS., we have very few basements!

    The majority of heating units down here are heat pumps. But, in the extreme cold experienced up north, heat pumps would probably be very inefficient.

    Again, thanks for explaining the radiator concept.
  9. #9
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    last food for thought if there is sufficent size openings to the crawspace from the heated part of the basement a box fan placed to blow air from the heated part into the crawspace might do the trick , I had done that in my first house wich had dug out style basement with the kitchen having been moved to what was a old summer kitchen at one time . PS if Dadrummer reads this , heat pumps can work in snowland in combination with gas or propane or electric heat and still create a reduction in energy cost .
  10. #10
    jerzigurl77 is offline Junior Member
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    Wink frozen pipes fixed!!!

    Thank you to everyone who offered the wonderful advice! After reading the laws in my state that someone pointed me towards - we went to the landlord with some knowledge! It's true - knowledge is power! We hired our own person to come in and assess the situation - they were able to fix it and the LL paid for it. Thanks again!!!
  11. #11
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    That's great. See how using the law to your advantage can get you out of the cold.
  12. #12
    hexeliebe Guest
    CONGRATS!!!

    Unfortunately, you are our 1,000,001 st satisfied customer and missed the Grand Prize by only a few minutes.

    Better luck next time and stay warm
  13. #13
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    The Grand Prize was a years supply of frozen ice pops anyway.

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