Preventative measures for freezing pipes?


  #1  
Old 10-06-04, 05:56 AM
julie53
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Preventative measures for freezing pipes?

I just bought my home in July this year. I live in Northwest Indiana, on Lake Michigan. We can have some fairly cold winters.

It has a crawl space with vents. The crawl is about 3 1/2 feet below ground. The furnace is installed in the living area, not the crawl. I have installed r-19 between the floor joists and have insulated the duct work (a foil faced insulation designed for duct work).

The plumbing is PEX and has a Vanguard "Manabloc manifold". The piping is exposed in the crawl.

Question: Since I have insulated the heat ducts (thereby reducing a source of heat) should I be concerned about the plumbing freezing in winter?

Is PEX more, or less susceptable to freezing than copper? Is there a simple way to insulate the piping?

One other question: Since the Manabloc allows me to turn off any one water source, I have decided to shut off the hose bibs, once I shut them off do I simply open the faucet to allow the rest of the water to drain from the piping?

Julie
 
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Old 10-06-04, 06:52 AM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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Close all vents prior to freezing weather. Even though the ductwork is insulated, there should be enough warmth in the crawlspace to prevent freezing.
There is no need to insulate PEX, other than the hot water lines to help prevent heat loss, not freezing. If water in a PEX line freezes, it simply expands and then reverts to its original size after it thaws.
You may be able to shut-off only the hose bibbs depending upon how they're plumbed. If not, you can install ball shut-off valves in the lines to shut them off for the winter. Just open the spigots after shutting the lines off. They should be so-called "frost free" spigots and should drain down after opening them.
I hope that the insulation that you installed under your flooring has the vapor barrier side up towards the heated living space.
Good luck!
Mike
 
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Old 10-06-04, 08:10 AM
julie53
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Mike,

Thanks so much for the reply. Yes I did apply the vapor barrier "toward the warm side" meaning it faces the interior of the house. I called for about 6 weeks to 4 or 5 insulation companies, nobody came out to give estimate. Out of sheer frustration I tackled the job myself, half way thru companies came out. I saved ALOT of money doing it myself and I did a more complete job then they would have. Nobody cares about my home (and heating bill) as much as I do.

yes, the hose bibs have their own shut offs.

Thanks for the suggestion to insulate the hot water pipes, just to save energy, I'll do that.
 
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Old 10-06-04, 08:46 AM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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You can just get the snap-on foam pipe insulation for 1/2" and 3/4" hot water lines exposed in the crawlspace. Duct tape the insulation breaks on the length cuts, ends and bends.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
 

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