“When you have hot water gushing through the kitchen ceiling of an historic landmark in mid-January, you don’t waste time fooling around!”
That’s how Bob Schneider of Schneider Plumbing & Heating described the scene at a renovated hotel in Northampton, MA, one frigid January evening. Pipes had burst between floors, flooding food preparation areas as guests gathered for dinner.
With nearly 25 years serving commercial and residential customers in western Massachusetts, Schneider knew that if he didn’t act fast, the landmark would sustain terrible damage — and over 100 rooms of guests would, at best, suffer major inconvenience.
The structure’s ancient plumbing system only compounded the crisis. “We tried finding shut-off valves to isolate the affected area,” he said. “But we couldn’t find any in that section of the building.”
After temporarily stemming the flow by crimping the problem pipe, Schneider considered shutting off the main entry. But that meant unacceptable delays and major business disruptions. “We’d spend several hours going room-to-room, just bleeding lines,” he pointed out.
Pipe Freezing Kit Provides Answer
That’s when Schneider acted “outside the box.”
With a Cold Shot® Pipe Freezing Kit from General Pipe Cleaners, Schneider repaired the fully pressurized hot water line in less than 15 minutes – without closing the main supply or draining any lines before replacing pipe and cutting in new valves.
Using Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in dip tube-type cylinders, the Cold Shot quickly and safely freezes liquids in steel, copper, cast iron, aluminum and plastic pipes, 1/8″ (10mm) through 2″ (60mm) in diameter.
The General product includes 10 sets of freeze heads, two high pressure spiral hoses with injectors, T-distributor, locking nut, hex head screwdriver, rubber gloves, goggles and carrying case.
“It was actually the first time we used it,” Schneider recalls. “The Cold Shot is so easy to use that any professional who can read a few lines of type can handle it!”
Rapid Repairs, Minimal Mess
Schneider simply placed the freeze head around the pipe, attached the hose and opened the CO2 cylinder. Liquid CO2 then flowed into the Cold Shot freeze head, forming an in-line ice pack capable of withstanding 7,000 psi.
With the hot water gusher stopped, Schneider and his crew immediately discovered that the parallel cold water conduit had also begun failing. “Everything pointed to yet another disaster in the making!” he recalls.
So after the hot water repairs, Schneider’s Cold Shot saw service on the second problem. With both runs replaced and new shut-off valves installed, the hotel returned to normal.
“Thanks to the Cold Shot, most guests probably never realized the crisis we faced,” Schneider says.
Faster, more compact and less expensive than “refrigerator-type” units, the Cold Shot works on 1/2″ copper tubing within five minutes – and on cast-iron pipe within three minutes. Unlike slower, less economical “bag-type” devices, the lightweight General product provides a much better seal and distributes the freezing mechanism completely around the pipe.
It also boosts Bob Schneider’s business.
The hotel was so satisfied with his prompt, professional response that they continue tapping Schneider Plumbing & Heating for regular repairs and upgrades of the historic structure’s system.
That sort of customer trust, Schneider claims, not only enhances his reputation, but boosts profitability by cycling jobs more quickly.
“Customers are really thrilled with our work,” he says. “With the Cold Shot, we fix problems faster – and get more jobs done in less time. Everyone’s happy!”