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A Do-It-Yourself Don't

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Bearcat Brewmeister

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A week ago I had a toilet that wouldn't fill and figured out it was a frozen water line. It is above the garage and it was pretty cold out. I disconnected the water line and tried snaking in case it was just a small amount of ice an I could dislodge it. No luck.

Here is where I thought I was brilliant. I have propane for my homebrewing, so the light bulb goes off in my head - get a propane torpedo heater. I can melt the ice and still have a heater that I can use on those cold homebrewing days. Did I say that I thought this was brilliant?

I ran the heater for 2 hours but nothing happened, so I put it on a ladder and pointed it at the ceiling in the garage about 2 feet away (no, it did not start the garage on fire). An hour later, SWMBO proclaims, "It worked! The toilet is full. You're a genius." Did I mention that I thought this was a brilliant idea?

Yea, not so fast Einstein. Not only does high heat blast from a torpedo heater melt the ice in the line, but it also melts the wax seal that the toilet uses to connect to the floor. Now I have a nice little ring of water on the floor around my toilet. Off to Lowe's again to get a new wax ring. Captain Dumbass at your service.

Well, at least I still have a brewing heater out of the deal, so it is not a total loss.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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So, the lesson learned is that those electric heat tapes actually serve a purpose. And not just for wrapping around your fermenters as a brew belt. And guess what, they won't melt the wax ring.

Congrats, on getting the line thawed out before it busted open.
 

Ryanh1801

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Have fun replacing that wax ring cause they suck!!! I had to replace one last year and it was one of the biggest pain in the ass projects I have done.
 

knarfks

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Unfortunately heat tapes in the 80's could catch on fire and burn at 4000 degrees...burned my parents house down. Oh, what fun I had living in a pop-up trailer for 6 months while we rebuilt.
 

Fingers

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Bah! Don't listen to them. Replacing them is easy. It also give you a chance to scrub the entire toilet and the floor and walls behind it. Easy! :D
 

BuffaloSabresBrewer

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At least a great time to make sure your flange is in good shape and not cracked.
 

BuffaloSabresBrewer

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Brew Runner said:
Man, if you guys think replacing a toilet gasket is a PITA, you must not work on cars or grow hops. I have stories, believe me.
Care to share some horror stories about your hop growing experience?
 

brauhaus

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we had our toilets installed improperly :(

fun.

we had to replace the 2 toilets in our townhouse and let me tell you, you really take for granted having an operational toilet in your house... :D
 

ohiobrewtus

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Bearcat Brewmeister said:
Captain Dumbass at your service.
Ahh, yes. Catain Dumbass has made many stops at my house over the years as well.
 

david_42

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Replacing the ring is easy. Cleaning up the mess and scraping to old one out is the PITA. Aways pay the extra buck & get the one with a rubber flange.
 
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Bearcat Brewmeister

Bearcat Brewmeister

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Bobby_M said:
You had the right idea but you were just too hasty. All you had to do was raise the garage temp up to about 70F and wait an hour or so.
Yea, that was a tough call. The problem is that it was a low BTU heater, the garage wasn't really warming up significantly, and by the time I decided on the heater route, another cold night was right around the corner. Should have gotten a bigger heater and sealed up the garage somehow. The other problem is that the pipe in question is not only right above the garage, but less than a foot from the exterior wall - double whammy. I know that I have insulation issues in that area, because parts of the floor in that bathroom are pretty cold. I now have some incentive when it warms up to go in there and see what the root problem is.
 

Brew Runner

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BuffaloSabresBrewer said:
Care to share some horror stories about your hop growing experience?
FlyGuy said:
Yes, please!
I had to relocate some on Saturday. One of them is a mutant growing machine and the rhizome ended up around 10lbs in just two years. That's alright; but digging it up wasn't. I followed one of its roots 10 feet away from where I planted it. After wrestling with it for a good half hour, this is what came out of the dirt:



Three gallon keg is there for scale.
 
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