How to keep pipes from freezing

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by GRJack, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. GRJack

    GRJack New Member

    May 10, 2008
    I'm running water to an outbuilding behind my house. For the 25 feet from the
    house to the outbuilding, I'll bury it below frost line to keep it from freezing.

    Question - the last part of my house (before running it underground to
    outbuilding) is an unheated garage (under a deck). It has a cement floor (thick
    one). It would be a major,major pain to jackhammer that floor to run the pipe
    under the garage floor. I was thinking about doing this - for that short
    distance (15 feet), wrap heating coil around the water pipe, then put the
    closed foam pipe insulation over that. Have a thermo-transducer in the
    unheated garage. When temp drops below 32 deg, the heating coil kicks on.
    Will this work? If so, I prefer to use PEX, but could the heating coil
    theoretically melt through PEX (or dont they get that hot). The heating coil
    wouldnt melt copper pipe ad copper pipe would probably transmit more
    of the heat from the heating coil to the inside of the pipe than PEX, but if the
    heating coil fails, copper bursts, PEX doesn't. Which should I use (please
    dont say jackhammer the floor).
  2. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Sep 17, 2006
    NY Capital District
    A little background on the project:

    Is the water supply for year 'round? Hot and cold?
    Where are you located? Or code specified depth for supply lines?
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    If you ran two pipes and then did recirculation, you might be able to get by without heat. If you lost power, neither might keep things from freezing.
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