How to have a lamp turn on when inside temp drops below sixty.

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This is a little different. It's a backup solution for a buried well house. The well house goes below the frost line, so the pipes should never freeze, but occasionally it gets really cold and penetrates enough to freeze up. I could just put a 60w lightbulb in there, but would like to have it on a thermostat so it isn't running continuously. Probably just be easier to use heat tape.
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Robert Neville wrote: ...

Yeah, particularly since they're self-limiting whereas the bulb is a constant drain the heat tape is cheaper in the long run. Plus, being in contact it is more efficient preventing pipe freeze than trying to heat the whole volume to maintain the air temperature.
--
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re: The well house goes below the frost line, so the pipes should never freeze, but occasionally it gets really cold and penetrates enough to freeze up
Many of the web definitions, such as this one from the US Army Core of Engineers, say something similar to this:
http://el.erdc.usace.army.mil/emrrp/turtles/glossary.html
frost line - The limit of penetration of soil by frost.
Doesn't that mean, by definition, that the well house isn't *really* below the frost line?
Perhaps the published frost line, either now or when the well house was installed, is/was incorrect.
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I think the problem is that the well house isn't undisturbed soil. About 75% of the metal well house is exposed above grade, including an uninsulated manhole cover. The floor of the house is below the frost line where the booster pump and pipes are below.
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That would certainly explain it.
BTW...I spent some time in Alaska, about 60 miles below the Artic Circle.
They speak in sort of opposite terms up there, referring to Perma Frost lines and Thaw Lines, instead of Frost Lines.
Did you know that even though the roots of the tundra can be within the Perma Frost layer, it's possible to build a bon fire hot enough to heat up the roots to such as extent that small fires erupt from underground hundreds of feet from the original bon fire?
Been there...done that. Lucky for me I was on radio watch the next day while the rest of the station used pitch forks and shovels to overturn the tundra in an effort to stop it from spreading.
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No, I didn't! That is just too weird.
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wrote:

30F is no good for freeze protection. Need to keep above 32 - preferably closer to 40 because you don't know you have the coolest spot monitored.
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How far away does the neighbor live? You could just get one of those remote thermometers and put the sensor that you would normally put outside in your living room and give the neighbor the inside unit. He could then check the actual temp regularly.
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Jim Sherman wrote:

Why involve the neighbors at all? Just get yourself a weather station, a domain name, and a cheap hosting company and then let the weather station upload to the Internet every couple of minutes. The weather station is probably about $150 and the domain and hosting is only $35 per year. This way you can not only tell if your furnace stopped working you can also tell if it stuck on for some unknown reason. Plus you can find out how miserable it is back home.
Feel free to check mine out at http://www.crsales.com/weather.htm .
Don
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Its called a Winter Watchman made by Honeywell, about 18.00 works great..
http://www.google.com/products?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4GGLG_enUS316US316&q=winter+watchman+honeywell&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=52ggS_HWLZGwtgf8482nCg&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CB0QrQQwAA
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Have a plumber install a drain plug and drain the water before leaving and then you can keep the heat completely off. Why pay for something that you don't use?
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.

because freeze thaw can do damage to furniture and espically plaster walls.
homes arent designed to be frozen. they are likely the most expensive thing anyone buys.
as such they need some level of care
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I have a summer home in upstate NY near Albany. I close it down every winter. I've had this house for 30 years. I have yet to see any considerable damage inside due to freeze thaw. Where is your house? What kind of damage have you gotten already from previous winters?
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I do the same, its stupid to rely on a heating system at cold temps to protect an investment, in 5 minutes I can have pipes drained, I use 1/4 turn ball valves to drain, and open all faucets. One broken pipe from a broken heating system can cost tens of thousands in damage.
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I dont know where you live but here alot have summer lake homes and it goes to -25f, shutting down is common sence, Plaster goes bad if you have a roof or wall leak, freezing hurts nothing and kills termites, my local music store has over 100 wood instruments kept unheated, Heat and water kills wood furniture, and yes my lake house is unheated now, its zero out today and furnished. Take a trip to Europe where 2-500 yrs old buildings dont get replastered every year, if they did plaster would not be used.
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On Wed, 09 Dec 2009 21:27:33 -0600, AZ Nomad wrote:

How cold does a house get with no heat, relative to the outside? Will it eventually cool to match (with a bit of time-lag) the outside air, or will it always keep a few degrees above whatever the outside air's doing?
Personally if I wanted some kind of warning setup, and the stakes were high, I'd make sure I had two different systems in place - preferably with one of them not relying on AC power. And make darn sure I test that they actually work before going away, of course :-)
cheers
Jules
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On Thu, 10 Dec 2009 08:08:49 -0600, Jules

It would probably hold some heat from absorbing sunlight, but I wouldn't count on it to keep the pipes from bursting. If it gets below 20 degrees F, you need to either heat the house or drain the plumbing.
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AZ Nomad wrote:

A pretty good reason to pay for maintenance level heating while you're away is the rapid deterioration that is experienced in unheated, unoccupied buildings.
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Bullshit. Nmae one single building material that deteroriates when unheated.
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Depends on how much cold you want to go.
wrote:

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