how to keep a water line from freezing?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by tuffy, Jan 8, 2018.

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  1. Jan 8, 2018 #1

    tuffy

    tuffy

    tuffy

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    I live in a 100 year old house that in made of concrete block and we have this one water line that is about 60 feet long but it only freezes up in a 2 foot section every year the walls are studded out and lightly insulated is there any thing i can do to fix this problem been going on for 10 years now .oh yes it is behind a cabinet and i have the sheet rock cut out to fix it when it broke once.it goes to the ice maker/water dispenser the line is 1/2 inch copper.
     
  2. Jan 8, 2018 #2

    PolyBatman

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    Insulation on the pipe? Does the pipe run in the wall, and if so is there insulation in the wall where the pipe runs? You could always keep the water running at times when you're afraid it will freeze.
     
  3. Jan 8, 2018 #3

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Bring the pipe up from the floor if you have wood floor or run that pipe thru cupboards if you can.
     
  4. Jan 8, 2018 #4

    tuffy

    tuffy

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    I cant bring it up thru the floor .but i can run about 80%inside. but if i insulate the crap out of the portion I'm having problems wouldn't that work?
     
  5. Jan 8, 2018 #5

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    our newest code, I think is no water in exterior walls.
     
  6. Jan 8, 2018 #6

    tuffy

    tuffy

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    Well then i guess i will run as much as i can thru the cabinets if that's ok.
     
  7. Jan 8, 2018 #7

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    You wouldn't think freezing would be problem down there.:rofl:
     
  8. Jan 8, 2018 #8

    Wuzzat?

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    For sure, insulation on the outside surface of the pipe. If you can let in room temp air from the floor and exhaust it toward the cabinet top, the air will circulate and do a better job of heating the pipe section.

    Otherwise, heat tape or a shielded bulb in the cabinet, 60w or 100w.

    Whatever fix you use, how soon will you know if it works?
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  9. Jan 8, 2018 #9

    tuffy

    tuffy

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    I will:( know the next time the temps drops to around 0
     
  10. Jan 8, 2018 #10

    Wuzzat?

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    Won't be long, now.:p

    If you make it to March with no freeze, you're probably homefree.
     
  11. Jan 8, 2018 #11

    JoeD

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    Do not insulate the pipe. Insulate only between the pipe and the outside wall. You need to leave the room side exposed so the room heat can get to the pipe.
     
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  12. Jan 8, 2018 #12

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    I thought so, but experts say
    "vulnerable pipes that are
    accessible should be fitted with insulation sleeves or wrapping
    (which slows the heat transfer), the more insulation the better."

    With an insulated pipe and with cold air beating the cabinet air, 50F incoming water in the pipe may hold off freezing longer than 33F incoming water in the pipe.

    So I went with insul on only one side and I don't have to worry about the incoming water temp or how long it stays cold.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  13. Jul 20, 2018 #13

    Tom25B

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    How did this turn out?
     
  14. Aug 4, 2018 #14

    Tom25B

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I had the contractor come out. He removed the siding. Apparently, this area was poorly insulated when the house was built and had frozen before. Someone had cut out a large rectangle in the foam insulation to fix it. After the pipe repair, they didn't replace the foam board. If you picture the batting insulation, it was loosely placed around the pipes and the siding was put back on the wall.

    He put batting all around the pipe, then OSB, then filled in the whole wall sections with closed cell foam. He let that cure overnight and shaved it off so it was flush. Then he put a brand new piece of foam insulation board over it, taped the seams, then replaced the siding.

    Considering suing the lady who didn't disclose this when selling the house.
     
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  15. Aug 4, 2018 #15

    WyrTwister

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    As has been said , insulate the heck out of it and / or heat tape . Or both .

    Wyr
    God bless
     
  16. Aug 4, 2018 #16

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    With all the siding off it would have been a good time to add a small bump out just for more insulation.
    Similar IMG00201-20150122-2217.jpg to this bump out for a hydro meter.
     
  17. Aug 5, 2018 #17

    tuffy

    tuffy

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    mine came out fine I insulated the hell out of the space between the concrete wall and the stud out then encapsulated the whole area with more insulation then re sheet rocked. we had a very cold and long winter for this area I did this in January and it made it made it thru -10 for 4 days straight so I think I have it fixed.
     
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  18. Aug 6, 2018 #18

    Tom25B

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    The bump out is a good idea. I'll see what happens this winter. Knowing my luck it won't get below 20 F here.
     

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