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Question DetailsAsked on 1/3/2018

No water at all in entire house from hot water line but have cold water just fine from cold line out of faucets.

Only when temps are at or below freezing

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Well, you tied it down - only happens below freezing - most likely somewhere between the cold water line tap leading to the water heater and the water heater, that feed line (or the big radiator called an expansion tank, if you have one) is freezing up.

FAR less likely, but I have seen it in sub-zero conditions, the main hot water line from the water heater is routed through an unheated or inadequately heated crawlspace or exterior wall and freezes up - almost always when it has sat for many hours with no hot water being used, so normally is noticed after everyone has been away at work/school for the day, or first thing in the morning.

Some plumbers figure the hot line will not freeze because it is hot, so do not insulate or heat-tape it - that can be the cause too.

Or maybe the line (cold feet to heater or hot from) had work done on it at some time in the past and insulation was removed from is and not replaced.

One other thing that can happen in rare cases - a thermodynamic oddity called the Mpemba effect, where hot but static hot water, when it is cooled without any disturbance, can under certain conditions actually cool faster than cold water in the same environment. I have seen cases where hydronic heating loops (which were not actively circulating) have frozen up before adjacent cold water lines.

Take a thermometer and hold it against the piping to check where it is inordinately cold - anyplace below about 40 is a danger zone.

Answered 10 months ago by LCD




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