Systematics

Systematics

 

Systematics, Inc.
1025 Saunders Lane
P.O. Box 2429
West Chester, Pennsylvania  19380
Ph: (800) 222-9353
Fax: (610) 430-8714


 
 

 

HOW TO THAW FROZEN METAL PIPES

Passing low voltage, high current AC electricity through a frozen water pipe is a quick way of thawing it.  With this method it is possible to thaw iron or copper pipes buried in the ground or concealed in building walls.

This method requires that there be an area of unfrozen water under standard pressure on one side of the frozen area and an open faucet on the other (downstream) side.

With an Electric Pipe Thawer it is only necessary to heat the frozen pipe enough to melt a thin film of ice on the inside of the pipe. The warmer water under standard pressure in the pipe before the blockage will seep through the melted film and quickly melt the rest of the ice. Once sufficient ice is melted a flow will be resumed towards the open faucet downstream of the blockage.

See our on-line Icebreaker 350 Owners Manual for step-by-step instructions.

 

SOME COMMON PROBLEMS

 
1. Cables stay cold. Pipe does not thaw.
Do you have power? Check fuses.
 Is the circuit breaker switched on?
Do you have a good connection?
Are the pipes clean at the connection?
Are both clamps on the same pipe?
Has the thermal protector tripped?
Is there a rubber coupling in the line?
Is there plastic pipe in the line?
Has the ice pushed the joints apart?

2. Cables get warm. Pipe does not thaw.
Are clamps on pipe, not on curb cover?
Are the pipes clean under the clamps?
Are cables sized properly? (Larger cable must use larger wire size.)

3. Cables get hot. Pipe does not thaw.
Is there water pressure in pipe?
Is the source of water pressure frozen?
Is source water pump operating?
Do the clamps cover all of frozen area?
Can the current go more than one way from clamp to clamp?

4. Good connections are required. Clean all pipes before connecting the cables. Make both pipe connections before plugging unit into receptacle. Make sure all connections are tight to prevent arcing at the clamps. Loose connections also get hot and reduce current flow. Caution: Uncoil the cables. Do not leave any cable coiled up or placed on steel objects as the heating in the pipe will be reduced.

5. If a good connection is made, the pipe and cables will vibrate with a 60 cycle hum that you can feel with your hand. After all connections are made and the unit is plugged in, switch the circuit breaker on.

 
THAWING TIMES
The times in the chart are approximate and under ideal conditions. Actual times will vary depending upon type of pipe, diameter, gauge and length of cable, etc.
350 AMP OUTPUT   450 AMP OUTPUT
Pipe Length Thawing Time Pipe Length Thawing Time
20 ft. 9 minutes 20 ft. 8 minutes
40 ft. 12 minutes 40 ft. 10 minutes
50 ft. 14 minutes 50 ft. 12 minutes
60 ft. 17 minutes 60 ft. 15 minutes
80 ft. 24 minutes 80 ft. 20 minutes
100 ft. 30 minutes 100 ft. 25 minutes

Note: Since copper will not heat up as fast as iron pipe, allow about a 30 percent longer thawing time.

Note: Longer cables must also be a larger gauge. If smaller diameter cables are used, current will be reduced.
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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