Can you melt frozen pipes with a welder? What if they aren't entirely metal?
December 30, 2005 6:16 AM Subscribe
So here's my dilemma. The pipe that brings water to our house freezes. It’s not four feet deep. We've lived here three years. It happened the first year, not the second year, and then again a few days ago. When it happens I have to go to the neighbors and fill two five gallon buckets and bring them into the house to meet our needs. Flush our toilets, clean our dishes, water our pets and plants, fill the humidifiers in our two babies' rooms, etc. Fifty gallons a day, at least. And that doesn’t include cleaning clothes. This continues until the ground thaws. Now the question. It seems the folks who lived here before us knew of this problem. No, it wasn’t in the disclosure. What they did was weld wires to the pipe, from the well and then at the house, and then hook those up to an arc welder. The current would melt the pipes and the water would flow again. So, yes, in the spring we’ll dig a very expensive new supply pipe, but in the mean time, I’d like advice about circuits.? A condition of the sale of the house required a new septic. The contractor who put in the septic broke the pipe from the well and then he repaired it with PVC. Will the arc welder method still work or would that end in catastrophe? Did he build a fuse? There's water in the pipe and ice is conductive, but how will the PVC respond?