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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Avoiding Frozen Pipes

    Need to insulate pipes in unheated basement located in Northeast US. I have approximately two runs of copper piping in one corner of the basement, each approx 70 ft in length. I was planning on installing 2 lenghts of "Easy Heat Freeze Free" heating cable with thermostates on the pipe and foam insulation to cover. In addition,there is approx. 20 ft of exposed PVC sewage pipes. Is this the proper course to take to avoid freezing, and do I also have to be concerned with the PVC sewage Pipes?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,361

    Default Re: Avoiding Frozen Pipes

    Be sure you carefully read the installation instructions for the heat tape. It should never be overlapped, and some brands specify the amount of insulation (if any) that's permitted. Some can be wrapped spirally around the pipe; some is installed straight.

    It won't hurt anything to insulate the drain pipes. At the very least, traps should be insulated. I don't have any experience dealing with pipes in extra-cold climates: here in the Pacific NW it's rare to have several days continuously below freezing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,160

    Default Re: Avoiding Frozen Pipes

    Pipes in an unheated basement are unlikely to freeze. An unheated crawlspace maybe or possibly.
    Does the temperature go below freezing in the basement? Insulating the pipes should help keep the water warmer. I doubt if heat tape is needed.
    Don't be scared of the cold, embrace it. I'm guessing you just moved here from southern cal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Avoiding Frozen Pipes

    I agree with Ed21. usually the only place that pipes freeze in a basment is where it goes close to the foundation and there is an air leak at the sill or a window blowing directly on the pipe.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Avoiding Frozen Pipes

    I should have mentioned the house is only occupied on weekends, and we don't plan on heating when not occupied if we don't have to. This is why I thought heating tape was necessary. Not sure what is the best method to avoid any problem.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    5

    Thumbs up Re: Avoiding Frozen Pipes

    I should have mentioned the house is only occupied on weekends, and we don't plan on heating when not occupied if we don't have to. This is why I thought heating tape was necessary. Not sure what is the best method to avoid any problem

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Avoiding Frozen Pipes

    How about just draining the lines when you leave?
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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