Single-Digit Temperatures - Now there's a leak

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sophiemarie

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We've had single-digit temperatures here last night and that doesn't happen in my state very often. I just found a leak out in my garage and I can see that it's coming from the connections into the washer. It's a combo washer/dryer. I've added a photo of it. It's right by the water heater.

I've put a cup underneath to catch the drips, but I'm wondering if the pipe is going to bust or ? Can anyone tell me what happens next? I'm thinking it's because the pipe is frozen? I don't know. It's Sunday and I don't even have a regular plumber.

Does anyone know what the issue is? Will it just keep dripping so I have a little time to find someone or is it going to bust? I have to go to work tomorrow -- can I just leave the garage door open and have a plumber come fix it or is he going to need to come inside the house where I'll need to be here?

Thanks in advance! :eek:

washerpipe.jpg
 
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Those hoses should be attached to two valves in a recessed washer box. Assuming the leak is at those hose connections as you believe, then you can turn those valves off in the washer box and isolate those hoses from your water system...then when it thaws, it won't flood your garage.

If the valves are frozen and won't turn off, use a hair-dryer to thaw them enough so you can close them.
 
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sophiemarie

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Thank you, John. I'll try this right now.

Update: I tried to tighten up the connections that go into the washing machine to make it stop leaking and now it's leaking more. I couldn't get the turn off valves to budge. I guess I'd have to turn off the all the water supply and move out the washing machine to get to them to blowdry it and try to get it to turn. This is a 1950's house and all the turn off valves are breaking down. The one behind the refrigerator won't work anymore.

But why is it leaking more because I tighten the connector to the washing machine? Do you think something is frozen?
 
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sophiemarie

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Thanks, Frodo. You're always so nice to answer my questions. :) I wasn't able to work with it yesterday. I'm just wondering if there's a chance there's some water pipe broken somewhere under or inside the wall that might have broke and that's why they started leaking -- or do I need to just turn off the water valves in the recessed box and then go buy another set of water supply hoses like I have and hook them up?

Thanks!
 

DFBonnett

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Those hoses don't last forever and they look like they've been there a while. The leaker could just blow out and then you'd have some mess to clean up. In your place, I would turn off the main water supply, then change those hoses. At some point, you need to get the shut offs for the washer working again.
 

havasu

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While you are at it, fix the dryer vent. It is obvious you are collecting lint back there, which is a huge fire hazard. With any luck, the fire will be put out by those leaky supply lines!
 

sophiemarie

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Those hoses don't last forever and they look like they've been there a while. The leaker could just blow out and then you'd have some mess to clean up. In your place, I would turn off the main water supply, then change those hoses. At some point, you need to get the shut offs for the washer working again.
DFBonnett, yes, I didn't know you were supposed to replace the hoses. My boss told me that at work today. He said it sounded like I just needed to replace the hoses. After work, I turned off the main water supply and moved the washer/dryer out and tried to turn off the valves so I could take the hoses into home depot and get some new ones. The water valves would not budge. It's like the one behind the refrigerator I tried to turn off a year earlier. It's just completely stuck. I don't think anything could still be frozen. It's 30 degrees at 8pm and is only supposed to get to 26 tonight.

So I was trying to drain the water out of the hoses and the cold one drained, but the hot one just keep coming out with warm water, a steady stream of it. I even turned the hose upside down to see if it would stop and it kept coming out like there was a little pressure behind it or something.

I called my boss and he said keep draining it, but the water just kept coming. I wondered if it might be connected in some weird way to the hot water heater and a pipe got damaged in the cold temperatures. Anyway, finally my boss was perplexed and just told me to screw the hose back on and call someone.

Yes, I remembered when I saw all the lint behind it that I was supposed to put some panty hose on the vent because there's no other way to vent it in the garage.

Thanks for your posts. I didn't have Internet until just now. It was broke half the day too. :(

Thanks again for your help.
 

Debo22

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DFBonnett, yes, I didn't know you were supposed to replace the hoses. My boss told me that at work today. He said it sounded like I just needed to replace the hoses. After work, I turned off the main water supply and moved the washer/dryer out and tried to turn off the valves so I could take the hoses into home depot and get some new ones. The water valves would not budge. It's like the one behind the refrigerator I tried to turn off a year earlier. It's just completely stuck. I don't think anything could still be frozen. It's 30 degrees at 8pm and is only supposed to get to 26 tonight.

So I was trying to drain the water out of the hoses and the cold one drained, but the hot one just keep coming out with warm water, a steady stream of it. I even turned the hose upside down to see if it would stop and it kept coming out like there was a little pressure behind it or something.

I called my boss and he said keep draining it, but the water just kept coming. I wondered if it might be connected in some weird way to the hot water heater and a pipe got damaged in the cold temperatures. Anyway, finally my boss was perplexed and just told me to screw the hose back on and call someone.

Yes, I remembered when I saw all the lint behind it that I was supposed to put some panty hose on the vent because there's no other way to vent it in the garage.

Thanks for your posts. I didn't have Internet until just now. It was broke half the day too. :(

Thanks again for your help.
Your water heater is siphoning, open all faucets in the house and the water will stop flowing out of the hose. Don't choke your dryer with pantyhose, pipe it outside of the garage, especially if it's a gas dryer.
 

DFBonnett

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Sometimes valves that have not been used in a while seem to seize up and be almost impossible to turn. In the past, I've used a large pliers to get them started but there is the risk of possibly breaking something and having a flood. I could handle that, but in your case calling in someone might be the wisest choice.
 

sophiemarie

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I just wanted to update this post to say thanks.
I hand-washed some clothing last week when it was still leaking and when I tried to use the dryer, it wouldn't work either. The supply hose stopped leaking about 5-6 days ago when the weather got much warmer. I pulled the washer/dryer out and cleaned up behind it and wiped down the unit. I put some hosiery on the end of the dryer vent. I reset all the breakers in the house. I don't know what worked, but when I changed the dryer setting from perm press to knits, the dryer started working. I can use all settings now. ???

I guess something was frozen, maybe the PVC drain pipe, and made the supply line expand. ??? I don't know. But I've used both washer and dryer and they seem to be fine, except there's a leak inside the tub that comes from the top back of the washer and drops into the tub.

I'll get new water supply hoses after Christmas, and at some point, I'll have a plumber come out and put new valves on it and on the refrigerator. DFBonnet, I agree -- I'm the last person who should be messing with anything. haha :) But I'll have the plumber check to see if that works when he comes out.

Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you all! :D
 
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