- House built in 1949
- Purchased September of this year.
- Addition with Powder Room built around 1989 (Pittsburgh, PA where we get some cold winters)
- No basement under the addition and no access.
- No duct work in the powder room or hallway, so it is cooler than the rest of the house. However, since the pipe is under the floor and there is limited insulation from what we can tell under the addition, it is VERY cold under there.
When I lifted the carpet last month to see what subfloor we would be working with to either tile or put down something OTHER than carpet, I discovered that the previous owner had cut into the flooring around the toilet in a strange oblong shape. Once I removed the puzzle piece of wood, there were a bunch of wires/extension cord with adapter/ heat tape wrapped around the supply line to the toilet. I found out from the neighbor that the pipe had frozen once and possibly burst (though I haven't confirmed the bursting part). Heat tape is certainly not a permanent solution. We will also need to reinforce the floor there so that the toilet is actually properly supported. Additionally, I believe we will want access to these pipes.
A few days ago, the supply line froze (since the heat tape nightmare of cords was not plugged into anything). So...I plugged it in using what I deemed to be a slightly safer extension cord and the pipes thawed. It is not normal having a giant extension cord coming out of your floor and being plugged into a wall outlet by the sink (at least it's GFCI...I guess)
Here are some thoughts:
1. Rerouting the pipes-I'm not sure where though. The toilet is on the back wall (back of the house). To the left is the side of the house, to the right is a wall/closet and then the family room (which is part of the addition).
2. Keep the heat tape but have an electrician install an outlet somewhere else so that it doesn't need an extension cord? I still don't like the idea of not being able to monitor this since it's UNDER the floor with no basement underneath.
3. This is just a thought and I don't know if it would work--have a wall heating unit added to the room (perhaps recessed if possible). Use it in the winter. Add a vent in the floor prior to tiling so that the heat gets to the pipe. I don't know if this would be enough.