Building a frost-free plumbing pit under my cabin


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Old 02-01-11, 01:46 PM
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Building a frost-free plumbing pit under my cabin

I want to dig a small insulated "room" under my cabin and I'm not sure how to do it.

The purpose is to get down below the frost line where my water well supply line comes in so I can drain the whole house to keep it freezing when I'm not using the cabin in winter. When I use the cabin some weekends in the winter, I would like to access this insulated subterrainian "room" through a trap door in the floor of my cabin and heat it up enough to be able to turn the water on.

The frost line is 4 feet underground in my area. How do I dig it out and what are my options for retaining and insulating the walls below grade? Can I use pressure treated lumber instead of brick/concrete?
 
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Old 02-01-11, 01:53 PM
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Where is the equiptment now? what type of well? There might be other ways to tackle this without digging.
 
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Old 02-01-11, 02:14 PM
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Currently I just have a pump with a pressure tank in the kitchen that pumps water out of the lake. But I'm planning to drill a well so the well supply line will come under the cabin below the frost line then up through the crawl space to get into the cabin.
 
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Old 02-02-11, 05:43 AM
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I have a few ideas to run by you. Instead of a pit under the house why not use a cut off valve below grade. Access would be through a "crock" similar to those used in pavement in most areas where there is a municipality providing water service. You would need a crock that extends below the freeze/frost line for your area, and the tool (key) to turn the water on and off. To drain the house lines connect a frost free hose bib on the outside of the crawlspace wall, sloped away from the supply lines and drain when not in use.
Also most farm supply stores, such as Tractor Supply, sell yard faucets that turn on and off well below grade. Perhaps one of these could be used between the well and the house as a freeze solution.
Good luck
 
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Old 02-03-11, 09:08 AM
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Thanks Brickyard, but how would the supply lines drain below grade? Here in Vermont the frost line goes down four feet.
 
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Old 02-03-11, 02:02 PM
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The yard faucets cut on and off below grade. They come in a number of different lengths and could easily accommodate the 3' you need. We have two of them in our storage yard and have never had a freezing problem with them. As a side note, I hooked one up to a trailer by using a hose. When done I simply disconnected the hose to drain the trailer. The yard faucet link is provided below. This is a verry low tech solution to your problem, but I am sure a quality plumbing contractor would have a more "modern" solution.

Shur-Dri Hydrant, 3 ft Bury Depth - 3115935 | Tractor Supply Company

good luck!
 
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Old 02-08-11, 07:57 AM
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Thanks for the link. The "yard faucet" looks like an old fashioned well pump. Are you suggesting that I could clear any water that remains in the pipes below grade with one of these yard faucets?
 
 

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