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  • stemarty
  • Featured Contributor

    • 1135

    • September 02, 2011, 12:20:42 pm
    • Jeonnamdo
Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« on: January 08, 2013, 12:58:37 pm »
I live in a rural area and even though my apartment is "homey" it's a pain in the butt in the Winter because its expensive to heat and the pipes often freeze.

What are some tricks and tips you can offer to defrost pipes / keep pipes from not freezing all the time?

I haven't had running water for 5 days and when I called my co-teacher for help she told me "this is a nation wide problem. You are not special, so there isn't much we can do. Just keep the tap on."

That didn't do anything.


  • jondwills
  • Adventurer

    • 34

    • May 15, 2012, 05:06:07 am
    • Incheon korea
Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 01:01:01 pm »
Use your heat more from now on..... Also, there is usually a korean repair guy you can call to come and heat up your pipes(atleast in my area) but you will have to figure that out by asking a friend/bar owner in the area/ or your coteacher.


  • shygirl
  • Adventurer

    • 68

    • November 04, 2010, 09:17:09 am
    • South Korea
Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 01:22:21 pm »
Definitely keep the tap dripping/running just a little. Just make sure its switched to cold as it runs. Also if they are frozen...use a hair dryer to melt the ice. If your pipes did not burst(which you dont want it to-it will cost you a very nice sum) then you are in lock. As long as you have a hair dryer and a few minutes of patience, you can thaw your pipes. 

I learned of this simple method a few days ago when I released from the hospital and returned to frozen pipes. Thankfully they hadn't burst. I immediately went down to the security guy and he had a repair man come. He pulled out his blow dryer and within in 20 mins or so, I had running water. I was reprimanded for not having on the tap...however I hadn't planned to get sick at work, go to the hospital and be admitted. Fast forward a few days and Welcome home :shocked: Also it helps to leave the boiler on really, really low. Heat can be expensive so you can turn the gas vales off for the rooms you arent using. Put your heat on the lowest possible setting. And always, ALWAYS...keep a hair dryer handy  :azn:
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 01:33:47 pm by shygirl »


  • lotte world
  • The Legend

    • 2272

    • August 22, 2011, 09:00:38 pm
    more
Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 01:27:53 pm »
The pipes in my school freeze all the time.  We turn the tap on and eventually water trickles through around mid-morning.

If you know where the pipes go you could try and keep them warmer.  For example, if your pipes are in a cupboard or a little-used part of your apartment you could leave a door or cupboard door open to allow warm air from your apartment to go around the pipes.  If they are visible somewhere either inside or outside the apartment you could get some pipe insulation and stick it on.

You only really need to worry if the pipes burst, or the water inside your boiler freezes.  If you are going away, leave a tap on with a slow flow of water, and leave the boiler on either set to a low temperature, or set to the 'away' setting, which will run the boiler occasionally to keep it warm.


  • stemarty
  • Featured Contributor

    • 1135

    • September 02, 2011, 12:20:42 pm
    • Jeonnamdo
Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 01:43:10 pm »
A Hair Dryer!!!!! I never though of that.

Would you heat the faucet and the pipes connecting to the sink or the pipes under the sink?


  • stemarty
  • Featured Contributor

    • 1135

    • September 02, 2011, 12:20:42 pm
    • Jeonnamdo
Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 01:48:52 pm »
Also I leave the water running all the time but I don't even get a drop of liquid.
But ill keep it on and leave the boiler running on the "away function" just to be safe.


Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 05:41:30 am »
Try hot packs! 

As mentioned above, the pipes that are frozen are most likely on your balcony leading to your water heater.  Get a couple of self-adhesive hot packs or tape a few to the pipe close to the water heater. 

I would have never have thought of this on my own, but when the water didn't work earlier this week it was my mother-in-law's first course of action.



Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 06:35:14 am »
I had this problem last year and it was a pain in the ass. The pipes at my place froze 4 times last winter.
Yes, you should keep all your water taps running all the time. just a little trickle of water is fine. No need for a gush of water.
Also, if you can set your heating system (when its fixed) to 'idle/away' mode for when it's not on, then you should do so. this will stop the pipes freezing.
Using the hairdryer to defrost the pipes sounds good too. I hope it gets sorted for you. it's a pain, i remember the misery of it all too well.


  • kiwityke
  • Super Waygook

    • 335

    • October 20, 2011, 07:51:05 am
    • Gimpo, South Korea
Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 08:22:10 am »
Another good piece of advice is to find any exposed pipes and insulate them with some foam or failing that bubble wrap. Should stop the pipes from freezing. The ones in my apartment are insulated this way and I have never had a problem.


  • s.j
  • Waygookin

    • 10

    • March 03, 2011, 10:59:12 am
    • South Korea
Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 08:52:21 am »
Hi!
Th day I was leaving for my 2 week vacation out of the country I found my pipes were frozen. This must have happened in a less than 24 hour period because I had used the hot water just fine, then spent the night at my boyfriend's place and the next day they were frozen.
I was about to leave for the airport so I was rushed. I was afraid my pipes would burst so I did a quick search online which led me to this thread. I left my bathroom tap slightly open and turned the ondol on the "away" setting and then rushed off to catch the bus.
I came back two weeks later to a floor covered in water, every single thing in my apartment soaked (and I mean soaked), mouldy etc. Turns out the sink had been turned to the shower setting and although the tap wasn't open wide the pips unfroze and the hot water turned my apartment into a steam room.

My laminated wooden floors are warped from the water damage and of course the furniture (desk, table etc) have swollen a little and kind of burst at the seams (?).
I cleaned all the water from the floor, threw a bunch of things out that were destroyed and am still having the window open all day, with fans on it and everything.
I don't know what else to do. I haven't contacted my co-teacher yet because he has been on a school trip to China or something and my landlord speaks no English and hung up the times I have called him before. I'm completely freaked out, I'm scared they will make me pay millions of won to fix the floor (I'm probably overreacting there because I live in a tiny one room).

I paid a 300 000 won security deposit when I started 2 years ago and I am hoping that will cover it. My contract finishes at the end of Feb and then I am going home. Can anyone give me any advice?
Anything I can do about the floors?
Other than cleaning the mould I can see, what else can I do about it? I never had any mould before this happened.
Anyone know how much it would cost in Korea to replace the floors?
Do you think the 300k will cover it? I don't want them to take my severance and exit allowance away, I need that money.
Back home the landlord would have insurance, do you think my landlord would have insurance?
PLEASE HELP!!!  :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:


  • stemarty
  • Featured Contributor

    • 1135

    • September 02, 2011, 12:20:42 pm
    • Jeonnamdo
Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2013, 10:08:48 pm »
oh no.......
that sounds like any NET's worst nightmare come true.

Try posting your own post on waygook. You'll probably get more readers who are specifically reading your post and thus, more advice.

I really don't have much to offer in advice. You really need to get a hold of someone who can report the damages ASAP.

If the landlord can't speak English and the co-teacher is unavailable, try asking a Korean friend/ another teacher for help.
Is there anyone you know that can speak English/Korean?

My building is owned by the Education Office so I don't have a landlord and any problems are directly dealt with by the Ed Office through my school.
I'm unsure how to go about reporting damages with a landlord.

until you get someone who can translate, I don't know if theres much you can do besides what you have already done. Try to keep everything dry.

Good luck.


  • lotte world
  • The Legend

    • 2272

    • August 22, 2011, 09:00:38 pm
    more
Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2013, 10:17:59 pm »
Turns out the sink had been turned to the shower setting and although the tap wasn't open wide the pips unfroze and the hot water turned my apartment into a steam room.

So you'll probably have a large gas bill too.


  • zmffhdl
  • Adventurer

    • 36

    • January 18, 2013, 09:13:21 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2013, 10:31:01 pm »
Hi!
Th day I was leaving for my 2 week vacation out of the country I found my pipes were frozen. This must have happened in a less than 24 hour period because I had used the hot water just fine, then spent the night at my boyfriend's place and the next day they were frozen.
I was about to leave for the airport so I was rushed. I was afraid my pipes would burst so I did a quick search online which led me to this thread. I left my bathroom tap slightly open and turned the ondol on the "away" setting and then rushed off to catch the bus.
I came back two weeks later to a floor covered in water, every single thing in my apartment soaked (and I mean soaked), mouldy etc. Turns out the sink had been turned to the shower setting and although the tap wasn't open wide the pips unfroze and the hot water turned my apartment into a steam room.

My laminated wooden floors are warped from the water damage and of course the furniture (desk, table etc) have swollen a little and kind of burst at the seams (?).
I cleaned all the water from the floor, threw a bunch of things out that were destroyed and am still having the window open all day, with fans on it and everything.
I don't know what else to do. I haven't contacted my co-teacher yet because he has been on a school trip to China or something and my landlord speaks no English and hung up the times I have called him before. I'm completely freaked out, I'm scared they will make me pay millions of won to fix the floor (I'm probably overreacting there because I live in a tiny one room).

I paid a 300 000 won security deposit when I started 2 years ago and I am hoping that will cover it. My contract finishes at the end of Feb and then I am going home. Can anyone give me any advice?
Anything I can do about the floors?
Other than cleaning the mould I can see, what else can I do about it? I never had any mould before this happened.
Anyone know how much it would cost in Korea to replace the floors?
Do you think the 300k will cover it? I don't want them to take my severance and exit allowance away, I need that money.
Back home the landlord would have insurance, do you think my landlord would have insurance?
PLEASE HELP!!!  :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Ouch... I'd be very surprised if the LL has the place insured for water damage. Depending on the size of your place and what kind of material it was, it's not back breakingly expensive either. 15 pyoung, plastic hardwood floor, around 500k give or take, installment fee included/700k-1000k if it's not plastic and very thin but real wood. That's around the price my ex paid when he remodeled his apt. In any way I'd say don't contact the LL directly, contact your CT to have them talk to their real estate agent first.


  • s.j
  • Waygookin

    • 10

    • March 03, 2011, 10:59:12 am
    • South Korea
Re: Frozen Pipes -- What do you do? Please help
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2013, 09:27:18 am »
Thanks for the replies zmffhdl and stemarty, I appreciate it.