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Old 01-09-16, 04:07 PM   #1
Drake
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Default eco pipe heat wrap?

Are they all pretty much equal resistance haet tape or is there any that are more energy saving? I have three options of how to get water supply run to new main living addition, thru exiting heated living space(but could only go along ceiling main beam, which i don't care for), under existing space thru unheated crawl space, the space above would only be minimally heated so this 20' run would best be protected with heat tape and heavily insulated or reroute line underground(below frostline) around existing space to new space(this would cost a few $$$K I'm sure and require major yard repair and going under a ground deck. Well and water supply line enter existing space opposite new addition(which couldn't be avoided). I think I could run heat tape for a few $1,000. for a long time but I want to use most efficient possible.

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Old 01-09-16, 07:47 PM   #2
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Drake, I would say in the crawl space would be best. The new pex lines are much better about not freezing. So a wrap of the good foam or rubber based pipe insulation should be good. If you are really worried about it you could wrap it in 2 layers of the rubber based pipe insulation and then wrapped in foil tape.
What temps do you think it will get down to?
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Old 01-09-16, 08:08 PM   #3
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Maybe there's another way? Do you have a plumbing 'load' in the addition that could use a trickle of water? Maybe a toilet with the stop valve choked down or? A trickle of flow goes a long way to keeping water a liquid. Thinking out loud a bit here.

edit Nov 10/16
I'd never suggest wasting water, just using it more slowly. An hour to fill a toilet tank instead of 30 seconds, a drinking water filter?

Last edited by sunspot; 01-10-16 at 08:26 AM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 01-10-16, 06:41 AM   #4
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Intellicast - Minneapolis Historic Weather Averages in Minnesota (55401)

Your weather doesn't look terrible. I've seen pex out in the open not freeze when it was 3F.
So I'm sure that in a crawl space with couple layers of insulation will be more than enough.

Also as a warning, if you have a septic tank a small trickle of water overnight, several nights in a row can hydraulically overload you absorption area.
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Old 01-10-16, 10:13 AM   #5
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Possible -30 nights with extended -10 not unheard of. Though the trickle plan would not be costly as we have own well the,as stated, extra load on the mound septic system we are coded to have would like to be avoided. I plan three layered foam insulation jacket maybe four if I can find it large enough. Are any tapes thermostatic controlled? Don't know if they have improved energy consumption of this tech say as with lighting, incandescent to LED.
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Old 01-10-16, 10:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Possible -30 nights with extended -10 not unheard of.
That's cold. Personally I'd want the pipe well buried or in conditioned space. Behind baseboard, chair rail, crown mold, cabinet toe kick, or a combination thereof if I had to.
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Old 01-10-16, 11:11 AM   #7
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Drake, doing it without heat of course would be so better BUT for added safety this system looks nice because ith as a thermostat. I would wrap this around the pipe THEN add the 4 layers of insulation and a radiant barrier (reflective foil tape). I am guessing the heater would barely ever come on.
Cheap, easy, and safe. I LIKE!
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Old 01-10-16, 11:25 AM   #8
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Memphis has it - put the heat tape on the pipe, then insulation over that. There is no better or more "efficient" resistance heat than resistance heat tape. I made the mistake of coiling heat tape around PVC pipe - with insulation over it (melted the PVC . . . )

At the plug end of the heat tape is the thermostat. Typically this is about 38F or so. I would "bury" this next to the water pipe and then insulate around it so that it is picking up the pipe temp, not the outside temp.

And the crawl space would be best in your climate.

Trickling is fine, but then you can easily overload your drain field - especially in the winter with very low evaporation.

Bottom line - heat tape is the way to go.



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Old 01-10-16, 11:31 AM   #9
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How to Prevent Frozen Water Pipes
You can use a pump to circulate the water so it doesn't freeze. (But note the one they're selling is way overpriced.) As an added benefit, you could use a heat pump or other more efficient heat source.
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Old 01-11-16, 11:58 AM   #10
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You could cut the power consumption of the heat tape in half by running it on half wave AC power provided by a single diode.
Or increase the length of that tape adding more resistance, lowing power consumption.

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