1. lancejohnson1999

    lancejohnson1999 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Delaware
    I ran 3/4" pex piping 100' between my house and garage. I did not use INSULATED pex pipe. I ran the pex pipe about 4' deep. Will it freeze during the winter months? Do I need to change it to insulated pex pipe? What can I do to prevent the pex pipe from freezing?

    Thanks for any response.
    Lance
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I've never heard of insulated PEX or any other normally used water line material. You add insulation to whatever you use but...

    If the 4' depth isn't going to prevent freezing you should bury it deeper; below the frost line for your area.

    3/4" PEX has the smallest ID of any 3/4" material you could use. A much better choice would have been 3/4" 160 psi rated PE pipe.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,915
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Your local plumbing inspector or water provider can clue you in on freeze depth in your area.
    It can vary, I've heard of five foot cover near Sun Valley Idaho and in Seattle we require two feet. Seattle is sandwiched between two bodies of water, which keeps things pretty even.

    And like Gary mentions, the Poly has a bigger inside dimension for outside use.
  4. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,932
    Location:
    New England
    As long as the pipe is below the frost line, it shouldn't freeze. Now, when it comes up into the structure, depending on how close it is to the foundation, outside of the heated areas, it could freeze there. Insulation won't help a lot, as it only slows the heat transfer, not stops it.
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

  7. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Tell me how to heat something with three inches of insulation around it?

    Do you put three inches of asbestos under your frying pan when making an egg?

    Its just insulated pipe, pick a use.
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,334
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You will lose a lot of flow with pipe that small over that distance. Inside diameter of PEX is considerable smaller than copper of the same size. As far as insulation is concerned, insulation does not provide heat. All it does is slow the transfer of heat. A "warm" coat provides zero heat, but it slows the transfer of your body heat so you will be warm. Insulated pipes will not prevent water from freezing if the water is not flowing and the ground freezes. I would venture a guess that in Delaware 4 feet is below normal frost level, but check to make sure. As others noted, if the pipe come up near the house, freezing would be possible at that point.
  9. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    True. We might assume that product is used by snow melt systems for areas that you do not want to waste heat on.

    And you can make it yourself for 1/4 the cost.

    As to size, 300' loops work fine for heating in 1/2 "
  10. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,135
    Location:
    Maine
    In Delaware, 48" should be more than adequate to keep it from freezing.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Used in heating systems (to keep the heat in the water inside the PEX inside the insulation) as in hot water baseboard or in/under floor radiant systems. You would use this insulated PEX for the runs from one baseboard unit or zone to the next to prevent heat loss between them. Or from a water heater to hot water fixtures. Then you would use naked copper/with fins (in the baseboard units) or PEX in the radiant zones to dissipate/transfer the heat into the air or floor .
  12. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Sounds like you have not done too many radiant installs. Installers do not bother to use 20$ a foot product between zones because the heat loss still heats the house, and that loss is not a calculation of interest. If it is, simple pipe insulation suffices.

    Poly drain line with pex foamed into the center logically seems like something for exterior use between buildings, snowmelt supply lines, or for the brain dead ultra rich that have contractors that get a 20% upcharge on silly products they spec and install.

    If you used 25 feet of this from water heater to your first hot water fixture, the entire lifetime of the house heat loss savings would not recover its cost.

    PEX - .33 cents a foot + standard insulation = .59 cents a foot.

    Or this junk at 17 to 25$ a foot that cannot go through a joist or 2x4 wall.

    I think your use specification is faulty.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    And I think you don't know much about heating systems in cold freeze areas with a boiler for hot water heat systems in unheated basements or utility rooms.

    And if you want to debate the type of use, take it up with the manufacturer and lose the attitude with me; you've been banned here once before for that.

    I've put what the manufacturer says about the application in red for you.

    Specs

    Product Specs
    Size: 1"
    PEX Size: 1"
    Length: 1 ft.
    Outside Diameter: 3"
    Barrier Type: ?
    Barrier type describes the layer coating PEX tubing. Oxygen barrier and PEX-Al-PEX are used for heating applications, while non-barrier is used for plumbing applications.

    Oxygen Barrier
    Material: PEX
    Color: White
    Application: Heating
    Max PSI: ? Max PSI is the maximum amount of pressure per square inch that can be tolerated. 90 psi
    Grade: ? Grade describes the method in which the PEX tubing was created. Grade A is the highest quality PEX, followed by grade B, and then grade C. PEX-a
    Warranty: 1 Year
    Standards Met: ASTM F877
    ASTM F876
    NSF
    Max Temp (F): 200°F
  14. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    http://www.oxfordplasticsinc.com/preinsulatedpipe.htm

    You mentioned that you never heard of preinsulated "normal pipe"


    gary wrote:
    With age and thousands of installations comes knowledge, and so I have shared with you some of mine. You seem to be very familiar with PE pipe, so you should have this option in your bag of tools.

    I used this in Alaska, in Delta Junction, on a big contract I had years ago, one of the coldest places on earth.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Not really but close enough.

    Here is what I said: I've never heard of insulated PEX or any other normally used water line material. You add insulation to whatever you use but...

    Take that in context to the OP questioning if he needed to replace the PEX he just installed with pre insulated PEX and there is no need for your link or reply.

    Raucina, you said you wouldn't normally use it and if need you'd add the insulation; me too and IMO most DIYers will also. And I will now delete his latest post whining about that post being deleted.

    Plus the fact that insulating a buried water line isn't going to stop water in it from freezing if the pipe depth is above the frost line for the area; unless you let water flow through it constantly and with sufficient flow to prevent freezing.

    So there was no reason for you to mention the pre insulated stuff except to point out that I was uninformed/incorrect/wrong. Yet my comment that I never heard of it (implying it not being used for the OP's use), is a true statement. And the reason I haven't heard of it is due to no one using it normally to run a water line to their garage, or from their well to their house.

    I deleted your personal attack off topic rant post mentioning my meds etc. and I deleted redwoods off topic reply with the picture.
  16. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You also have not heard of open radiant systems of which I have installed several thousand feet of with NON ox barrier tubing. [you deleted an entire post detailing this type of system that is fairly common, that I made]

    When I try politely to inform the public that there are options to your misinformation or lack of experience with varied materials, since you are now imbued with the power of edit and delete, knowledge is turned upside down into a glorification of yourself. Lenin and Stalin had similar image issues.

    What is shocking is that such perversion of power, that will make this forum a farce, is tolerated by Terry.

    And with your powers comes the right to apply a false name to me.

    These are the standards of a moderator that Terry wants presented to the public?

    This irrational behavior will tear down years of his hard work building up this site.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  17. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You corrected me by showing there is a pre insulated PEX and provided a link. I read teh info at the link and said the product was used in heating systems, which is what the spec sheet from the manufacturer says. I provided a link.

    That should have been the end of it because the OP had received an answer to his question concerning replacement of the new PEX line he just installed from his house to his garage at a depth of 48" in Delaware, which is way deeper than the frost line there.

    Then you and others get into personal attacks and harassment running me down by taking what I say out of context. Your quoted post above is an example and shows you can't take a hint or get a clue

    You were banned here once before as Racina or Raucina (I haven't looked up the correct spelling yet) and you as Ballvalve have the same IP number and ISP as Racina/Raucina yet you deny it and accuse me of using false information. BTW, you sound and act like Raucina/Racina too.

    The correct spelling is Raucina.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  18. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Now that the hijacked plumbing forum has been fixed we'll try putting the information back.

    One of the typical uses for the insulated PEX would be with the outdoor wood fired boilers like the one shown below....

    [​IMG]

    In fact it can even be purchased with the supply and the return together in one line.

    [​IMG]

    However in your application 4' deep should be adequate protection. In Connecticut well to your north we typically bury water supply lines at 4'.
  19. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    No one that knows how water lines should be run from a well to a house etc. would use it in any of its variations unless their line(s) were not buried below their local area frost line.

    And then it wouldn't prevent freezing in most cases of low temps for hours or days when water wasn't flowing for a number of hours at a time; especially overnight.

    The product pictured is used to prevent heat from escaping from the water in the lines to increase the efficiency of the wood burning heater.
  20. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,135
    Location:
    Maine
    In the absence of heat, anything will freeze if subjected to low enough temperatures. I have installed pre-insulated pex for underground water lines on a few jobs. Those pictured above are for hot and cold water, not boiler loop piping as they do not have an oxygen barrier.
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