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Ok, how much trouble am I in?
First off, allow me to say "hello" to everyone as this is my first post here (though I've been lurking... and hopefully learning). Second, this is far from my chosen profession and therefore I my knowledge in the matter is extremely limited (yes, I'm a HO). It sounds rather odd to admit that in such terms... but whatever acronym you guys like! :^)
The problem started Sunday night at 11:30 when I realized it was quite cold in the house. Having a major Northeaster the previous 2 days I didn't worry too much (and probably should have). I checked the thermostat and it showed 62. I then checked the 'ol Utica oil boiler (original I'm sure... house was built in '79), and it was stone cold. The reset button only fired the boiler for 15 seconds or so before it shut off again. I guessed the lines leading into the house (tank is exterior) had frozen (gelled I believe is the appropriate term). After several hours of working with a torch in -3 degrees I gave up and went to bed (after turning on two space heaters on the first floor bathroom and utility sink area). Upon waking the house temp was 52 so I thought I was safe.
The fuel oil service guy tuned my Utica (replaced the nozzle and strainer) and it fired up with no problem. I thought I was out of the woods. I didn't think too much of it when I didn't have any hot water that evening. I assumed it would take quite a while to heat the house and water in the booster tank. The house was warming up so I just went to bed.
Today upon waking and attempting a shower... I was rudely assualted with very cold water (a quick shower to say the least). I checked the booster tank and all incoming and outgoing pipes were cold. The serviceman came out again and after watching my water meter running and then turning off the hot supply to the booster tank from the Utica that I have a burst pipe under my concrete slab.
Now, this may very well be true (unfortunately). But I have a few questions. If I had such a burst pipe why is my hot water pressure still good? Secondly, how could such a pipe freeze when the house temp didn't go below 50 and no other pipes froze and burst? I looked all over the house (mostly the first floor walls with known plumbing) to inspect for water damage and found none. Given the amount of flow shown by the water meter I would expect a massive amount of water damage to be apparent after 2 days of flow. I also looked around the foundation outside.. especially the approximate point where the copper enters the slab for any signs of water or thawing... but found none. So, just how screwed am I? If there is a rupture under the slab how does one fix it? Or do I just bypass the underground portion and have a chase installed?
Opinions and theories from all would be greatly appreciated as I'm frustrated to the point of burning it down and starting over! :^)