7 posts / 0 new
Last post
noraandmike
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?

Fencepost
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.

ed21
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.

JLMCDANIEL
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

noraandmike
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.

noraandmike
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:confused:

canuk
Re: Avoiding Frozen Pipes

How about just draining the lines when you leave?

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.