lincoln pipe thaw box
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  1. #1
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    lincoln pipe thaw box

    lincoln use to make an attachment for thawing frozen pipes. i believe it was a small box that the cables from a sa200 connected to then on the downside of the box the ground was hooked up to a fire hydrant and the lead somewhere near the ice plug stopping the water line. anyone remember/done this?
    i.u.o.e. # 15
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  2. #2
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    This might be what you are looking for, Minnesota Dave just posted it on another thread.

    http://ine.uaf.edu/autc/files/2011/02/INE_TRC_94_20.pdf

    It's at the bottom of the thread on sticking electrodes. Is this the info you were looking for?

  3. #3
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Basically a box with a fuse and meter in it.

    My uncle used to thaw the pipes at my grandparents house with his Hobart gas drive when the horse manure/straw banking proved to be insufficient to hold enough heat in the crawl space. I was only 6 or 7 at the time and don't remember the details but I know he just clamped the work clamp and stinger at opposite ends and fired up the machine.

    If only we could turn back the clock so we could pay more attention.
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  4. #4
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    A neighbor had one when i was a kid on the ranch . Never seemed to work real well in our situation because long after we had gotten our wellhouse thawed with a propane weed burner he would still be futzing with his pipes with that thing . I never used it myself , I just remember him convinced it was the best thing since sliced bread for frozen pipes in spite of all the available evidence .

  5. #5
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneb55 View Post
    If only we could turn back the clock so we could pay more attention.
    Years ago I had a rental house that the water pipe would freeze from the meter at the curb to the house. I'd take my old Trailblazer 55D over there. Hook the ground clamp on the meter and the electrode holder on the pipe under the house. Turn the 55D way down and wait until the water started running in the kitchen sink.
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  6. #6
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    The last page of the manual above gives the common settings for lincoln welders.

    Never done it myself however.

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    Last edited by MinnesotaDave; 01-08-2014 at 03:22 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Quite a few years ago my sister's water line would freeze up and I would get the call. At that time I owned an old then Miller A/C welder, it had a crank on the top and three spots to put the leads in, work, high and low. Top current I think was 250. Heavy bugger. Well I would load it up in the pick-up and make it to her house, run the leads out, one to the pump house where the pipe was exposed and the other to an exposed pipe inside the basement. Total about 80 - 90 feet, would use jumper cables to make up the difference in wire length. Use the dryer breaker to jury rig the feed and turn the welder up to about 150 -200 amps. Depending on how cold it was out determined how long it would take to make it thaw, but it never failed and no damage to the welder or operator. Think I got my information on how to do this from the Lincoln Bible if my memory serves me. Just my thoughts and experience with this subject. Thanks for reading it. Bob

  8. #8
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    You're probably aware of this but pipe thawing is not what it used to be when most pipe was metallic in nature. If you decide to thaw pipes with electricity be sure that the pipe is continuously metallic or strange things may occur in your neighbourhood. A short piece of plastic spliced in as a repair and buried can give you a headache.---Meltedmetal

  9. #9
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    We did it once when I was growing up. Got down to -40 and the line from the pump house to the house froze 4' underground. It was about 100'. Hooked up a whole bunch of heavy cables to reach the pump house. Used an old Lincoln tombstone. Put it on the lowest setting and waited.

    Know of a few houses burned down this way, too!

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  10. #10
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Thawed pipe for 20 years, used a Linc-thaw most of the time. The Linc-Thaw has a fuse in it to protect your welder from overheating the generator side and an ammeter to check your current flow.
    I also used a ac-dc clamp on ammeter to check current flow and prevent grounding problems.
    Be very careful if try to thaw pipes, even for an experienced person there is a high risk for problems like starting a fire, shorting out water heaters and boilers, sending stray current somewhere it shouldn't go, and loosening solder joints in copper pipe.
    Both Lincoln and Miller do not recommend using a welder to thaw pipes with anymore.
    Be Careful

  11. #11
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    cant they just hook up a negative to one side of the pipe and postion to the other side and set the machine at a low current wouldn't that work to send current through the pipe?

  12. #12
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    I think the old Tombstone Lincoln welders had a circle around the 75. That was the setting to use the machine for pipe thawing.

  13. #13
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Quote Originally Posted by docwelder View Post
    lincoln use to make an attachment for thawing frozen pipes. i believe it was a small box that the cables from a sa200 connected to then on the downside of the box the ground was hooked up to a fire hydrant and the lead somewhere near the ice plug stopping the water line. anyone remember/done this?
    Hit up Tozzi. He had one nice looking linc thaw box back a few months ago.

  14. #14
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    after hanging in fla for a couple weeks i thought i'd ease into the work week BUT coming home to frozen and leaking pipes made me think of that lincoln pipe thawing procedure/attachment. it doesn't sound very safe. next year i think i'll use the manure and straw method before i leave.
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  15. #15
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Quote Originally Posted by docwelder View Post
    . . . coming home to frozen and leaking pipes made me think of that lincoln pipe thawing procedure/attachment. it doesn't sound very safe. next year i think i'll use the manure and straw method before i leave.
    Sorry to hear about your homecoming surprise.

    The horse manure banking works great. The problem of frozen pipes might crop up when the temp would drop well below 0F for a few days and there is no snow cover on the 20-24" of banking. Snow is a good insulator and in the middle of winter you can shovel the snow off, dig down into the center and it's toasty warm.
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  16. #16
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneb55 View Post
    Sorry to hear about your homecoming surprise.

    The horse manure banking works great. The problem of frozen pipes might crop up when the temp would drop well below 0F for a few days and there is no snow cover on the 20-24" of banking. Snow is a good insulator and in the middle of winter you can shovel the snow off, dig down into the center and it's toasty warm.
    leaking and frozen pipes was an un-expected surprise to say the least. thankfully it only took a few bucks and some frenzied activity with a pipe clamp and the shop vac to fix. the first warm day i'm changing that rotten steel condensate line with copper.
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  17. #17
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    I think the old Tombstone Lincoln welders had a circle around the 75. That was the setting to use the machine for pipe thawing.
    Yup, your right. About a year ago, I posted a link and an article from Lincoln describing their pipe thawing methods. The circled "75" on their buzz boxes was exactly as you described. To thaw frozen pipes. Lincoln no longer publishes instructions on that "how to thaw" frozen pipe method with an AC-225 buzz box. In fact, they only publish that its "not recommended any longer to do so. My guess is that people didn't follow directions properly and lincoln didn't want the vicarious liability associated with the process.

    When I was a kid, we had family in Austria. I'd go visit relatives in the country and the main water pipe had a copper wire affixed to it. If I had to guess, the copper solid wire was at least 6 gauge in size. My grandmother said it was a "hot wire" used to keep the main water pipe coming into her house from freezing. I never knew where the electrical "juice" came from, nor did I know the voltage of it. As a kid, one doesn't pay attention to details. All the farm houses there in Austria had that copper wire on the main pipe. The wire just disappeared under the house's concrete foundation. I'm assuming it was connected to the main circuit breaker some how, but it had to obviously be reduced to a very low voltage to prevent electrocution. I have no idea how they rigged those things up, but they never had a problem with frozen water mains. Austria gets sub zero temps annually.
    Last edited by SuperArc; 01-09-2014 at 12:47 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Quote Originally Posted by Pipeliner View Post
    Hit up Tozzi. He had one nice looking linc thaw box back a few months ago.
    Yup, hanging in my shed, never used it. My water line froze where my heat trace died, 30 seconds with the Turbo torch and I was flowing again.
    Disclaimer; "I am just an a$$hole welder, don't take it personally ."

  19. #19
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Here she is

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  20. #20
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    The chart

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  21. #21

    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Buddy of mine had his water line freeze here a couple of years ago during a really cold spell.

    He dug a trench parallel to where the line was, threw a half cord of wood in it, and set it on fire.

    Waterline not frozen any more.

    Gary

  22. #22
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Seeing as Lincoln now doesn't recommend using a welder to thaw pipes they might pay you to get that Linc-Thaw box back Tozzi.

    Doesn't look like it's had a lot of use over the years. In really good shape.

    So curious minds want to know what it looks like on the inside? A fuse on one leg and shunt for the ammeter on the other?
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  23. #23
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Years ago, my now deceased father in law told me about a case back in the 70s where a severe cold wave froze a lot of people's water pipes.
    He had a friend who owned a plumbing repair company. His friend went to a house in an old subdivision to see about thawing the pipes. He was getting prepared to run out his welder cables to the home's water meter at the street when the homeowner's next door neighbor showed up to see if he was thawing the pipes. Neighbor said "When you get done with him can you thaw mine next?"
    Plumber guy looked over at the neighbor's house and saw a water spigot in the house rear foundation wall and decided that instead of running to the water meters of 2 houses as separate operations, he would just run one welder lead to the first house backyard spigot and the second welder cable to the neighbor house back spigot and thaw both simultaneously. It worked and he collected 2 service calls from the happy home owners.

  24. #24
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Quote Originally Posted by deepskyridge View Post
    Buddy of mine had his water line freeze here a couple of years ago during a really cold spell.

    He dug a trench parallel to where the line was, threw a half cord of wood in it, and set it on fire.

    Waterline not frozen any more.

    Gary
    now that's a very simple solution that i would never have thought of in a million years.
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  25. #25
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    Re: lincoln pipe thaw box

    Quote Originally Posted by deepskyridge View Post
    Buddy of mine had his water line freeze here a couple of years ago during a really cold spell.

    He dug a trench parallel to where the line was, threw a half cord of wood in it, and set it on fire.

    Waterline not frozen any more.

    Gary
    Around here you would die of thirst long before you could dig a trench. 3-4 feet of frost now, but it hit 12 degrees above zero today.
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