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  • Super Freeze, pipe freezer

    It's been a while since I've used my super freeze. but on todays contract job, I used it as I wasn't interested in doing the job without it.

    36 unit townhome complex built in 1968. all sharing the same common 2- 2'' water meters. problem was 1 unit had a failed, 1.25'' gate valve on their water service for their 3 story 2.5 bathroom townhome. the other 35 units are basically the same layout with 3 story 2.5 bathrooms. so shutting off all 36 units is a risk even on a scheduled basis. how would I confirm that nobody left a fixture open, or all the trapped air would not blow a ballcock apart upon the units without my knowledge.

    the liability is way too great for me to worry about all the scenarios of shutting off 36 homes without knowing the potential.

    so my bid was to freeze the 1.25'' service to the house and replace the broken gate valve with a ball valve. this would allow me to isolate the main to the 1 unit and not affect the 35 other units. typically I would use this equipment in the past in office, medical and industrial installations.

    the process is pretty simple. make sure the line you're freezing has no flow. attach the 2 freeze heads and turn on the super freeze power. in a few minutes as the 2 heads get cold, spray some water on the heads and pipe to fill the small void and help transfer the cold to the pipe and heads. within approx. 20 minutes the freeze heads and pipe were pretty frosty and looked frozen. so before I disassemble the valve, I bleed off the trapped water in the system and verify the line is truly frozen.

    there are also systems that use co2 and pipe collars, even liquid nitrogen too. I did bring my co2 kit just in case I needed more cold, but my superfreeze worked flawlessly. even after years of sitting idle on my 23 year old unit.

    follow along to see the process.

    Rick.



    my 20 plus year old superfreeze up and running.






    Old gate valve that's broken in the open position.




    Valve removed and no leaks. 82# pressure incoming.







    freeze head clamped on and water applied to help with heat transfer.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by PLUMBER RICK; 11-13-2013, 03:24 AM.
    phoebe it is

  • #2
    Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

    Even after the heads were disconnected, the pipe remained frozen a good 10 minutes.

    Rick.



    pipe after 10 minutes with freeze head removed.
    Attached Files
    phoebe it is

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

      We had our Super Freeze Machine for at least 15 years. Had a busted wall hydrant that needed replacing, and the shut off for that part of the shopping mall was not budging. So it was either shut down a whole wing of the mall and inconvenience 30 stores and the food court, or they can pay a pipe freezing machine fee, which happened to be the cost of the machine. The mall and the store opted to split the fee, so the mall hired us to replace the defective shut off, and the store paid to replace the wall hydrant they broke.

      It doesn't get used as often as it did in the past, but still a great tool to have for jobs like you just did Rick. Great work.
      Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
      Ron's Facebook
      A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
      Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
      Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

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      • #4
        Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

        .... deleted

        answered my own questions...
        Last edited by Plumber Punky; 11-13-2013, 12:53 PM.
        ~~

        ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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        • #5
          Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

          I had my superfreeze for a long time used it a few times really liked it but it sat so much that every time I walked past it I thought it looked like a pile of cash just sitting there so I sold it.
          Last edited by Cuda; 11-13-2013, 09:07 PM.
          Seattle Drain Service

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          • #6
            Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

            Nice work Rick. My 1st job as a helper was on a hospital expansion. I got to see pipe being frozen one of the 1st days I was there. Still remember how cool I thought that technique was and still is. I haven't froze a pipe in 15 or more years.

            David

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            • #7
              Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

              After seeing this post I bought a used machine for $480. It's as-is but there are parts available if needed and it uses R-22. Should be an easy fix. Should be here in a few days.
              ~~

              ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

                let me know how that goes as I have a 2500 that's lost it's charge and some oil. I also bought it used and was not too happy when it arrived.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

                  What a timely post. I just borrowed a co2 freeze kit for tomorrow. I have almost the same thing at a big condo.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

                    Can you solder with this or is it only for press type fittings. In other words can the heat of the torch cause the pipe to thaw and the water to start coming out?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

                      Soldering is easily done, but in my case it was an threaded valve. Typically I would pressit so I can freeze real close to the repair. When soldering, you should be 1' away from the freeze per inch of pipe size. Now remember if the solder leaks, it will be very dificult to refreeze it unless you can controll the leak. Running water will not freeze. Plus propress is literally 5 seconds with no heat or chance of a leak. Especially the larger sizes up to 4".

                      My super feeze goes to 1.5" copper. My 2500 super freeze goes to 2.5" copper and my co2 bags go to 6" copper.

                      Rick.
                      phoebe it is

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                      • #12
                        Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

                        the freeze kit worked smooth as silk, but getting the old gate valve out and the new ball valve in was a pain. 3/4 soft copper was out of round and I did.t have those copper crimpers. Plus it was a tight space, but I had no water to deal with

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                        • #13
                          Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

                          Probably a dumb question, but is there any danger of splitting the pipe when you freeze it?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

                            Not dumb at all , I was wondering the same
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                            • #15
                              Re: Super Freeze, pipe freezer

                              I thought the same thing when I saw Rick's pictures and found this on Pipe Freezing systems web site FAQ section:

                              Why doesn't the pipe break?
                              The water freezes from the outside in concentric layers and the final expansion is taken up by the water on either side of the plug.
                              This principle only applies to water lines, since all other liquids contract, rather than expand, on cooling.

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