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hot shot pipe thawing machine

Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
on our domestic supply before the pr and meter and these two are tied together with a 90X unionXt ..three sides gated...we gate the house and the supply and return break the union...hook one one the return and the other on the supply....crack open the valves unless they are already frozen open....

on heating loops things are different. first off where ever you start it needs to be cut...then there is the stray voltage fornicating control wiring....then there is the what else might be in the equasion in the field...for the dollar youd be better off building your own tools for thawing pipes. by your wife or girlfriend a super delux hair dryer :) made by Milwalkee *~/:) Hey! When she aint using it You could be thawing pipes with it! :)


  • TimJ
    TimJ Member Posts: 13
    Does anybody have experience with

    the Hot Shot Pipe Thawing Machine? I'm looking into this for thawing frozen heating zones.Do I have to isolate where frozen section of pipe is or can I just put the leads on the supply and return pipes at the Boiler? Any help would be appreciated.
  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    Pipe thaw mechine

    Have one works great under the right conditions.
    You do not have to cut the pipes free but the closer you can get the leads on each side of the freezup the better.
    Also you have to be ready in case the frozen pipes have split. Sometimes just using a heater to heat the space works better.

    I have had a couple of cases were something conceiled started to smoke but no fires yet.

    Just one of thoese tools that work great in some conditions but can be usless or dangerous in others.

  • bluemoon
    bluemoon Member Posts: 38

    Been using a similar machine for over 15 years...works great on domestic but never had any luck with heating zones...don't know why
  • hvacsale
    hvacsale Member Posts: 19
    I've used hot shots for many years.

    Just have to think like electricity. You're making a circuit using the piping to complete it from one clamp to another. Whichever way is the easiest is how the current will flow. This means that if you have a frozen loop and clamp onto the supply and return pipes near the boiler, current will most likely flow easier through the boiler and back to the clamp than all the way around the loop. It's very much like the water flow in primary/secondary piping. As long as you make the path of least resistance to be where you want the heat you will be very happy.

    A good rule is 5 minutes on at a time. If the pipes aren't heating up where you want them to within 5 minutes you should double check to see if the current flow has found a faster route than through the frozen pipes.

    Oh yes, plastic tubing doesn't conduct electricity very well so watch out for dissimilar pipes in your frozen area.
  • jeff_51
    jeff_51 Member Posts: 545
    hot shot is good inexspensive machine

    simple and works good. The way they work is to heat the pipe just enough to allow the ice to move, it is really the water pressure behind the frozen section that cause the freeze to break up. It does not do any more than just thaw the contact point between the ice and pipe, so on a heating system, you rally need to cut the frozen loop and tie into line pressure with a hose and open the other end either through a force bleeder or just cut it open. Frozen heat systems can be a real pain. specially if they are steel pipe and you don't have unions. Sometimes it is just easier to bring in temp heat and crank it up over night
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    I agree

    they are a very usefull tool. We have used them on heating systems with good luck and with out connecting to a preasured line.

    I find the best plan is to get as Close as possible to the frozen section. I few years of experience with freeze ups will tell you whats frozen and whats not. Your hands will be the best gauge. You can tell whats frozen and whats not. Put the clamps on either side of the freeze and make sure the cables are not crossed and not on a shag rug. They can melt some rugs.

    I know of some who will disconnect the feed and return from the boiler and clamp on the piping to do the whole run. I think that takes a long time and some investigating can narrow it down.

    All our trucks carry a hair dryer, its the best freeze up tool.

    We have two hotshots. I hope they stay dusty this year.


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  • jeff_51
    jeff_51 Member Posts: 545
    seems like our heat system freeze ups

    are alway somplace we can't get to, or the cust goes away for two weeks and turns the heat down so far the WHOLE place freezes up. Oh well. Scott, you are not greedy enough, that one week a year we get for freeze ups nets us more money than a normal month. Course we don't get home that week, but oh well.
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