water line insulation

Old 12-14-05, 04:47 AM
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Question water line insulation

line insulation

I have about 1/2 mile of water line stretched from a fresh water facility to my home. During the winter months I have trouble with freezing line. My water line is set above ground because of the rough terrain where I live. What is the best way to keep my lines from freezing during the winter months. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.........Thank You!

Last edited by katrchurch; 12-14-05 at 05:00 AM. Reason: change icon used
Old 12-14-05, 06:12 AM
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You don't say what the source of the water is. A half mile is a long way! If it is a spring line, then if you can keep it running, overflowing to a drywell for example, it should not freeze. If you were to consider insulating around the pipe, when the water is not running, there is no heat source inside the pipe, so it will freeze and will take a lot longer to unfreeze.
If it only occasionally freezes, you might consider inserting a corrosion proof wire inside the length of the pipe . When it does freeze, zap it with an electric welder to thaw it out. They also make a heating wire to insert into a pipe, but a half mile of it would be rather expensive.
Old 12-14-05, 04:51 PM
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Leaving the water would be the easiest, but I have seen an 8 inch elevated water main freeze while water was running through it. So this depends on the outside air temp. 20 below zero, forget the insulation and running water. 30 degrees and a trickle of water will not freeze.

1/2 mile of armaflex would be rather costly and I have no idea how many line freezes over how many years for payback savings. Other types of insulation like fiberglass would still run some money.
Old 01-05-06, 12:44 PM
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You need to wrap the pipe with self regulating heat trace, then insulate, then plug the heat reace into a thermostat made for heat tracing.

At least that's how it's done at industrial sites. I have no idea what they call heat tracing at home improvment stores, but I've seen it.

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