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Why insulate in the floor between 2 rooms?


CanadianGuy's Avatar
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01-26-07, 09:00 AM   #1  
Why insulate in the floor between 2 rooms?

The kitchen of my century home is an addition that was tacked on many years. About five years ago the previous owners added a 2nd storey, which they finished as the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom. Last night the water lines to the bathroom froze -- not for the first time. I cut a hole in the floor, inserted a hair dryer and thawed the pipes.

I made the hole large enough to be able to put in a small electric heater for the next freeze, but noticed about an inch of powdery material on the floor of the cavity between the bedroom and the kitchen below. It's not sawdust. I suspect it's some form of insulation (cellulose?) that was poured or blown in during construction. But there's only about an inch of it.

Due to the potential fire hazard, I figure the stuff should be vaccumed out before I put a heater in there. But I don't want to do that unless someone can tell me why it's there. Does anyone have any idea? thanks.

 
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resercon's Avatar
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01-26-07, 09:21 AM   #2  
http://www.autocirc.com/

Will work a lot better than an electric heater. cost less to operate, on/off switch and timer.

The insulation was probably put there before the bedroom was built.

 
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01-26-07, 10:26 AM   #3  
It sounds like you need to insulate the rim joist. It is the area were the joist cavity meets the exterior wall. This area is often missed during insulation. I would go at least R-19 in this area.

 
CanadianGuy's Avatar
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01-26-07, 12:14 PM   #4  
Posted By: resercon http://www.autocirc.com/

Will work a lot better than an electric heater. cost less to operate, on/off switch and timer.

The insulation was probably put there before the bedroom was built.
Autocirc looks very interesting. Thanks. If I understand, the cold air that's freezing the pipes would naturally cool the hot water to 85 degrees, at which point autocirc would pump that water backwards into the cold water line. The 85-degree water is warm enough to keep the cold line clear.

What I don't understand is where does all the cold water go? Aren't the cold water supply lines filled with water waiting for a tap to be opened?

I also have a problem because the furthest point -- and the spot most prone to freezing -- is the bathtub. It was built in so that there's no wall access to the pipes. There is a sink on a branch line about 4-feet before the tub. This morning it was frozen too -- the second time that has happened in two winters. I'm wondering if putting autocirc under that sink would create enough flow near the tub to avoid freeze-ups.

Any idea if Home Depot sells Autocirc?

 
resercon's Avatar
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01-26-07, 08:05 PM   #5  
On that site there is an explanation and a diagram for the installation of the Autocirc.

Water is circulated from the hot water pipe through the pump into the cold water pipe back to the water heater. The hot water pipe that serves your sink is the same hot water pipe that serves your tub. A pipe branches off this hot water pipe to do so. If the temperature in the hot water pipe is 85 degrees, the water in the branch pipes will never drop to freezing temperature.

I don't know if they sell this at Home Depot, but you can purchase it on line. Just Google Autocirc.

 
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