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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 67 acre farm about 2-1/2 hours from where I live. Future site for retirement cabin. I usually make the trip down around thanksgiving and crack open the drain on the pond standpipe so that a small amount of water runs just to be sure it does not freeze and burst. My wife's health is bad and I had no one to stay with her so I could run down and crack it open. So it did not get cracked open before this record setting cold snap. I have someone to help me for a day so I am going to run down and check on it this weekend.

The standpipe is broken off at the lake bottom so there is no vertical stack and that end is under 12' of water. There is about 6' sticking out of the backside of the dam with a 4" ball valve on the end. I would think that if it did freeze, the ice would follow the path of least resistance and expand up the pipe rather than burst but maybe not. Anyone have experience with this ??
 

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Yeah, lots of experience with burst pipes, unfortunately. What I think happens is that the water in the pipe freezes first, expands a bit, and creates a log jam that blocks the still unfrozen water which is in the valve. The valve having a bit more mass, freezes later. With nowhere for the water in it to go it blows the valve. Unfortunately, it won't just expand upward toward the lake.

You were in "a guys gotta do what a guys gotta do" situation and made the right choice. I hope you make it down there find all is ok. I've replaced that very valve on my lake. It isn't a job for a winter day. My initial fear was that the amount of pressure would be too great to repair. Turns out the physics of the matter make it very little pressure on an 1.5 pipe. It was still a cold, muddy mess and no fun at all. Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No leaks.....twin daughters decided to take afternoon off and spend with their mom so I took off down to farm. No leaks so I cracked the ball valve open a bit which should take care of things for winter.

Last year I went to check on it but as I walked over the rise and expected to see the pond water....something just did not look right. Then I realized that it was almost totally drained. The original owner had drilled and threaded a hole in a pipe cap and installed a hose bib to open and close. I guess it rusted out because it was gone and the pond was drained down as far as it would drain.

It's full again now but this pond and I have a history !!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not really, the open end of the pipe is on the bottom of the pond about 12' under water. The pipe extends about 5' or so out of the backside of the dam with the ball valve on the end. The ball valve is about 4' above the ground and impossible to get any digging equipment near it.

The section behind the dam is protected from wind. Really I suspect it would have to get extremely cold and stay that way for several days to freeze it up. It will be fine as it as long as I get that valve cracked open. Next year I will crack it open in late fall so I do not get caught by cold snap again. By that time I may be living there at least part time so then it will easier to keep eye on it.
 

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What about insulating the pipe. Some good insulation that was also rain proof could get you through a cold spell. I take it its a 4" pipe. The dam would provide a source of heat and the exposed section would provide a heat loss. The insulation would slow the heat loss. It would take a cold night to freeze a 4" pipe solid but it can happen. Don't know where you're located.

Bellcow
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah the insulation I have been mulling over in my head also. If I remember correctly there were some fibers sort embedded in the crusty section of the old pipe which made me think it had been insulated in the past. Its in central North Carolina so I am not facing months of bitter cold anyway. Heck in a few more years global warming may transform it into subtropical area :thumb:
 

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Not really, the open end of the pipe is on the bottom of the pond about 12' under water. The pipe extends about 5' or so out of the backside of the dam with the ball valve on the end. The ball valve is about 4' above the ground and impossible to get any digging equipment near it.

The section behind the dam is protected from wind. Really I suspect it would have to get extremely cold and stay that way for several days to freeze it up. It will be fine as it as long as I get that valve cracked open. Next year I will crack it open in late fall so I do not get caught by cold snap again. By that time I may be living there at least part time so then it will easier to keep eye on it.
I would pile leaves on it and cover with chicken wire staked down.
 

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You think global warming is going to solve yo problem? You'll be on here then asking for solutions for beach erosion. Big Al tried to tell us.

Bellcow
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Beach erosion would mean it's beachfront property...I wonder how that old farm house will look as a multi-colored surf shack........hmmmmm
 

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Speaking of Big Al - I wonder where he is - with all this snow and cold weather he's probably hiding somewhere - sure would like to hit him in the head with a snowball -
 
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