Fixing a leak in a water pipe can be difficult if there is no shut-off valve nearby. The water keeps flowing and this can result in a lot of damage. Luckily there are water pipe freezing machines. These machines freeze the water in the pipe and stop the water.
This allows you to work on the water pipe without damaging the house. Once the repair has been done, the water in the pipe can be unfrozen. The water pipe works again once this is done. Water pipe freezing machines can be useful if you have to work in bigger buildings as well as the water supply doesn’t have to be turned off for the whole building.
These systems have limitations though. Most pipe freezers work up to 2-1⁄2-inch for copper tubes and 1-inch capacity for steel pipes. For wider pipes, you will have to use another approach.
How does a water pipe freeze machine work?
A water pipe freezing machine has to be on the pipe where water is flowing. It will have to be firmly wedged in so it doesn’t move while the water freezes. The machine has to be connected to a source of power and an insulated hose.
Most systems use electricity for this. Other systems use CO2 to freeze the pipe.
Once this is done, you can add a clamp to the water pipe, wear protective equipment and start the machine (check the manual before you do this).
Once the pipe has been frozen, you can start working on it.
The insulated hose will allow you to direct the water away from the machinery. The water will be frozen in the pipe and will form a block. This will cause the water to stop flowing and allow you to work on the pipe. The water pressure (in psi) will increase, indicating that ice is forming in the pipe. For this reason, you shouldn’t apply the clamps near a fitting or a bent in the pipe.
The water will have to be unfrozen after you are done. This can be done by turning the machine off and directing warm air over the pipe. The warm air will melt the ice and the water will start flowing again.
The repair is completed at this point.
Advantages of Using a Water Pipe Freezing Machine
These systems are rather expensive but they have several advantages:
– A water pipe freezing machine doesn’t require the water supply to be turned off. This means it can be used in buildings where the water supply cannot be turned off.
– Working with the water pipe freezing machine doesn’t take long. Once the machine is in place, it will only take a few minutes for the water to freeze.
– You can work on repairing the pipe while the water is frozen. This makes the process easier and faster.
– You don’t have to wait until the water supply is turned off to start working on a pipe.
Disadvantages of Using a Water Pipe Freezing Machine
As with any system, there are some disadvantages.
– The water pipe freezing machine has to be placed in the pipe. This can be difficult and is a very messy process.
– There is a chance that the water pipe freezing machine will move out of place. This can cause uneven freezing in the pipe.
– The frozen water might break and cause damage to the pipe. The water can also start to flow all of a sudden if there is a problem with the machine. This can result in a lot of water damage.
– The machine will have to be cleaned and maintained often.
What is the best pipe freezing machine?
There are 2 popular models on the market:
Rigid is a famous brand in the plumbing world. They make a lot of advanced tools. On this machine, they offer a lifetime guarantee so you can get help if there is a problem with it. Some people use this system for 20 years or more without any issues.
The main disadvantage of this machine is that you need a power supply nearby.
If the power cuts out, you have to be careful as the water in the pipe can unfreeze. This can be annoying if you are working on a water pipe.
A liquid is included which speeds up the freezing process. This makes sure that the system works even if the pipe is slightly damaged.
You get velcro strips to attach the system to pipes.
It works quite similarly to an AC system as it pumps a cooling liquid around. The system produces quite a lot of noise to do this.
The cooling time depends on the outside temperature but can be more than 20 minutes.
It is quite expensive to get but given that it lasts a long time, it can be a great option if you plan to use it often.
This system works up to 2-1⁄2-inch for copper tubes and 1-inch capacity for steel pipes. For wider pipes, you will have to use another approach.
- General wire:
This system is cheaper and uses CO2 tanks instead of electricity. This makes it more dangerous to use as you have to make sure that you wear protective equipment and follow the instructions.
CO2 tanks are accessible as you can get them in most weld shops. They can be quite heavy though and harder to move around.
This system works faster than Rigid as it uses CO2 to freeze the pipes. This makes it more dangerous to use though so be sure to check the instructions before you use it!
This machine can be used in a lot of situations as it can freeze water in copper, metal, and plastic pipes ranging from 1/8″ through 2”.
A water pipe freezing machine can be very useful when it comes to dealing with a leak in a pipe. If you have no nearby shut-off valve, you might have to work with one of these machines.
This machine will allow you to freeze the water in the pipe and work on the pipe without damaging the house. This is a very useful machine for maintenance workers
. However, you will have to place the machine on the pipe and this can be a difficult process. The machine might break and cause damage to the pipe or flood the house. You also have to wear protective equipment. For this reason, it is important that you check the manual and maintain it well.