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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:11 PM   #1
camccardell
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Default thaw frozen ground?

Wasn't sure exactly where to post this, so I figured the pub was good a place as any.

Long story short, I need to thaw the ground by my garage to get to the utilities. I tried digging with my pickaxe and broke the damn conduit so I need to really fix it now.

Anyone have any ideas on this?

I tried throwing down some charcoal and getting it hot with a fan, but that only softened up about 2 inches of dirt.

Any ideas would be appreciated.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:17 PM   #2
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You might as well wait 'till spring.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:18 PM   #3
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call a concrete company and see if you can rent there heat blankets
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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:26 PM   #4
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Use your plasma Cutter. That would be awesome!
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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:27 PM   #5
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When I had to dig out my septic tank cap a few winters ago, they told be to build a fire on it.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #6
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Maybe copious amounts of hot water on some sort of tank with no bottom?

Thats all I got.

how deep are you trying to go and how long of an area?
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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:47 PM   #7
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If you already broke the stuff, keep going with the pick.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatFender View Post
If you already broke the stuff, keep going with the pick.
x2

or axe
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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVoXO View Post
When I had to dig out my septic tank cap a few winters ago, they told be to build a fire on it.
best bet
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Old February 7th, 2010, 11:28 PM   #10
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burning barrel set just an inch or two off the ground, and get rid of some of Kodiaks trash for him at the same time

put a screen over the top, and maybe a piece of flat steel to keep the ashes away from the garage, and keep the fire going for a while...but I wouldnt get too far away from it since its right next to your garage
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Old February 7th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #11
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With as cold as it has been, if this is an area where you walk or drive, the frost could be a couple of feet thick.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 11:35 PM   #12
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When digging footings in the winter I have taken steel barrels cut in half length wise, placed them on the footing area and overlapped them a few inches and placed a torpedo heater in one end, basically creating a heat tube layed in the ground..
A torpedo heater and some car hoods or sheet metal would do what you need.
You can also rent earth heaters but they are spendy.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 11:45 PM   #13
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Have a party and put a funnel in the wall.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 11:53 PM   #14
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Lots and lots of your used anitfreeze. lol J/K
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Old February 8th, 2010, 01:01 AM   #15
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I second the torpedo and 55 gallons drums. Had to dig our septic up one winter and that's what the septic guy recommended. Worked pretty good. We put some old moving pads on top of the barrels to keep more of the heat in.
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Old February 8th, 2010, 01:03 AM   #16
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yep torpedo heater and if its a larger area just tarp it off and let it rip for a long while,
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Old February 8th, 2010, 06:47 AM   #17
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we at the dpw use 300,000 propane torch they sell them at hardware stores or home depot hook it up to your 20lb tank. They also advertize them as burning weeds on side walks and ponds. We use them to find water shut off's and grave lot's
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Old February 8th, 2010, 06:53 AM   #18
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My dad once used an aluminum trash can, started a large bag of charcoal on fire, and let that burn for 8 hours. Vented with a small block on one side lifting the edge of the can to allow for oxygen. the reflective properties of the aluminum helped to thaw it out to get past the frost line.
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Old February 8th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #19
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put aton of salt down where you need to dig! Aco had it on sale this past weekend for 50lb bags, a bag will go about 3 ft. Let sit for 3-4 hrs should be good!!!
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Old February 8th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #20
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all you need is water....doesn't even have to be warm water, turn the hose on and start digging, it'll be muddy, and slow going, but all you need is a slow trickle out of the house.

Pick axe, shovel, and water....oh, and elbow grease...get at it.
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