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storage tank freeze problem

The non potable water line froze up last night...the first time this winter.

Like Anna said, "the good news is the drinking water didn't freeze".

It might be this gap that formed where the tank meets the insulation box as the line arcs down into a trench. I think I'll let this problem marinate for a few days while I think of a solution. Maybe it'll be warmer then.

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I wonder if the addition of a few bales of straw would be enough to keep things from freezing up at this location?
Comment by Brian Wed Jan 4 11:05:32 2012
A spray can of polyurethane foam does wonders in filling gaps. And it is a very good insulator as well.
Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Jan 4 14:10:40 2012

Brian --- that's what I suggested too. Actually, I was also pondering mounding dirt over everything but the door....

Roland --- Excellent point! I bet that'd help with sealing the cracks in the walls of the trailer too. :-)

Comment by anna Wed Jan 4 18:32:57 2012

Make sure you do not fill up every draughty spot. You need ventilation as well for at least two different reasons.

  • In a typical house, humans, plants and pets realease up to two gallons of water into the atmosphere that needs to be vented to prevent dampness and mold problems.
  • Since you emply an open in-house stove, you need an adequate supply of oxygen for that as well.
Comment by Roland_Smith Sat Jan 7 03:19:02 2012
Don't worry, we're not going to fill up all the cracks, no matter how hard we try. I have vines that grow in my bedroom window and we didn't install other windows completely plumb so they always have a tiny crack of light on one corner. I just want do do away with holes in the wall I can look out of. :-)
Comment by anna Sat Jan 7 08:23:39 2012

Be aware that polyurethane generates gas when it cures, which makes it foam up. If you put too much foam in a confined place, it can build up considerable pressure and come foaming back at you through the opening you used to spray it in. Been there, done that. :-/

These foam cans usually come with a spray nozzle. Once the material in the nozzle cures, the can becomes unusable. So it is best to finish a can in one go. Make a mental list of all holes to want to fill up, and put some old newspaper down under them to catch any spills. If you've never worked with this stuff, first spray a little on a bit of cardboard so you know how much it expands.

PU foam is very sticky. If you are sealing a gap in the wall and don't want stains on the wall, put some masking- or painters tape around the egdes of the gap beforehand. Remove the tape once the foam has hardened.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Jan 8 03:21:00 2012
I put it on the list, so when Mark goes to the big city this week, hopefully he can find a bottle and we'll give it a shot. Thanks for the tips! I suspect we can find enough holes for the bottle between the tank repair and our walls.
Comment by anna Sun Jan 8 13:50:15 2012

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime