Originally Posted by travelover
To be clear - The pipes that broke are in your attic and are not in an outside wall? Are other pipes in an outside wall? Is the attic insulated?
Correct. Other pipes in home go directly to water heater/softner. Just pipes to the washer machine go into attic. We did not build this home so I cannot explain the reasonsing.
PROBLEM RESOLVED: Plumbers came back out today (no charge). They re-mapped the heat tape based on my observation. I noticed that the heat tape senors were placed on the end of the pipes in laundry room, but the sensors should be on the END of the pipe that was up in the attic. In other words, the heat tape shut off when it sensed that part of the pipe (in warmer part of home) indicated pipe was warm, while up in the attic that end of the pipe was freezing. LESSON: Be sure the plumbers, or do-it-yourselfers, know to put the sensor on the area of the pipe exposed to the coldest climate. The directions do not say that because heat tape instructions assume the pipes are in one contained area rather than from one room into another (e.g. laundry room into attic or basement).
Thanks everyone! Your posts helped me ask the plumbers the right questions.