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Old 11-14-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
jackbonham
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Default Winterizing a line

We purchased an old house that has a 3 car garage on it with a small apartment at the end of the garage. The apartment originally had water and steam heat from the house. Most of that is gone so we're starting from scratch. There is a separate water heater in the apartment so we thought we would run a single cold supply from the house.

The problem is that burying a line from the house is not practical..pavement, lot line, etc. I'm in central Indiana. I want to run a 3/4 Pex through the garage but don't know how to keep it from freezing in the worst of the winter. Is a heat tape practical and reliable over this distance (about 30 feet) or are there other options? The garage is likely to go below freezing but not by a lot.

Thanks for any help or ideas.

Jack



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Old 11-14-2012, 11:09 PM   #2
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I would recommend burying the water line at least 3ft and using copper -- I know you have obstacle ,but if you do not want problems, burying the line is the way to go.
Stay away from pex in a possible freezing area ( you can't thaw pex with a pipe thawer) -- If your power goes out heat tape is no good.



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Old 11-14-2012, 11:20 PM   #3
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Well honestly digging is best but in my experience heat tape works fine on long distances I've used heat tape on 50 ft runs and that's up here in Canada where it drops below -30 some days. Run the heat tape on the bottom of the pipe and secure it every few ft with electrical tape and insulate it. Dont squeeze the insulation super tight or itll lose the r value. I like pex for the reason that if it freezes it won't crack or split like copper. Pex has a lot more give than copper. Even better yet if you use wirsbo the elasticity of the pipe allows it to expand and contract freely as you need. Not to say that pex can freeze and thaw unlimited amounts but usually when copper freezes it'll crack. I've never gone to a frozen water line call with copper and be able to re use it. But that's extreme cold like -30 or -40. If it does freeze you can use either a heat gun or something of the sort.

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Old 11-15-2012, 01:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemachine View Post
Well honestly digging is best but in my experience heat tape works fine on long distances I've used heat tape on 50 ft runs and that's up here in Canada where it drops below -30 some days. Run the heat tape on the bottom of the pipe and secure it every few ft with electrical tape and insulate it. Dont squeeze the insulation super tight or itll lose the r value. I like pex for the reason that if it freezes it won't crack or split like copper. Pex has a lot more give than copper. Even better yet if you use wirsbo the elasticity of the pipe allows it to expand and contract freely as you need. Not to say that pex can freeze and thaw unlimited amounts but usually when copper freezes it'll crack. I've never gone to a frozen water line call with copper and be able to re use it. But that's extreme cold like -30 or -40. If it does freeze you can use either a heat gun or something of the sort.
I have had serval crimp ring failure after pex pipe freezing -- I have thawed many copper lines with-out making a repair , not to say I haven't had many copper line repair after freezing. I do not have experience with Wirsbo so i can't speak on it.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:12 AM   #5
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Ah crimp ring. That I could definitely see. And yeah I could see copper being ok if the line isn't severely frozen I mean they do make those machines to freeze main lines and the copper isn't damaged. And honestly I've never used wirsbo in a service instance only in new construction but I remember in school our instructor filled up the wirsbo with water capped both ends and threw it in the freezer. And it was just fine. Blew my mind.



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