I need a little advice on running waterlines in an uninsulated crawlspace

Hi, I am in the process of remodeling an older home. The existing water supply lines need to be replaced. The house has an uninsulated crawlspace where the pipes are run. I am looking for the "right" way to do this. I need to decide if I should use PCVC pipes with foam insulation or copper with heat tape. It is my understanding that the plastic is less likely to burst if frozen and it is a lot cheaper and easier to work with so I'm leaning in that direction. The house is located in Missouri where winters aren't too bad, but we still get below Zero ocasionally. There are no building codes in the area. Any plumbers care to give their opinion?
Thanks
Ozark
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Copper with heat tape. Insulation will do little or nothing to prevent freezing if the area is below freezing and no water is being run through the pipe. Go away for a day when it is cold and you WILL have frozen pipe. With the heat tape, you will be safe.
Copper is not hard to work with, once you learn to sweat pipes.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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I tried to do research on the heat tape... If I'm not mistaken thats the kind that uses electric to heat the pipes so they don't freeze. My concern is how much electric is consumed during this process. The websites I visited were obviously keeping this information from consumers eye's. I would imagine its way up there... heating anything using electric has always been expensive, i.e. hair dryers, toasters, they all have high consumption...
I'd really consider a RedyTemp... not just because I own the company but because...
Instant hot water can be achieved by installing a RedyTemp. The unit is loved by homeowners but not as many plumbers. The main reason for this is RedyTemp's "super easy less then 10 minute install". You can't bill much labor for a 10 minute install. And even less if the homeowner installs it themselves. If you visit www.redytemp.com you can see a movie of a 10 yr old girl install the unit is LESS THAN 3 MINUTES. Whether you need hot water fast, have pipes frozen, water frozen in pipe issues, want to save water, save gas, save electric or just want to save energy RedyTemp is ready when you are.
Hot water recirculators have been around for some time. But, most people don't even know about them. I on the other hand believe I do know alot about them...why? Because I did over 2 months of comparison analysis of the different types / brands on the market. Anyone can download this analysis which contains pictures, prices, and other miscellaneous "facts" which I collected exclusively from the internet during the 2 month study.
Why would I do a 2 month study? Because I was offered to purchase a business, patent and trademark for a great sum of money. Just like me, you would also put a great amount of thought, research, market analysis before you spent a lot of your savings. The market analysis which consisted of surfing the internet for hot water recirculators, hot water on d'mand systems. There are roughly 8 different kinds available on the market. They're priced anywhere from $149 through $600 and more (this does not include the installation cost). Some have wireless remote control activation (so you can just "press a button remotely", if the non-standard camera battery in the remote control has been replaced within the last 30 days, costing $15 dollars or more every 30 days to replace, and you don't mind having one clipped on your belt next to your cellphone so you don't have to chase it down), some have "press button" to activate, some run all the time, some run automatically, some have timers, some only work with "closed loop" or dedicated hot water return lines (RedyTemp can be used on either type of systems), some use the cold water line to return the water back to the water heater (causing issues with warmy water in the cold line, RedyTemp doesn't have this problem due to its patented manifold and adjustable temp control capability). Some are noisey, some are quiet. Installations range from 10 minutes to do an installation....and others can take up to 3 hours or more and require multiple plumbers type tools, draining of the water heater, cutting and measuring pipe, soldering, running wires all throughout your house to each tap / faucet (so you can press a button "every" time your gonna use the hot water....and then.....stilll wait for hot water to arrive), most require mounting to a solid wall, purging, calibrating. Most void warranty if unit is run without water in the line, accidentally or not (RedyTemp has run tests to ensure that this is not an issue with our units). All these troublesome installation issues often cause homeowners to shy away from the hot water recirculator idea. Plumbers would much rather run a dedicated line back to your water heater which takes "time" and materials ....thats where the dollars can quickly jump from your pocket to theirs. I have nothing against plumbers, they have families too and they provide a valuable service to the community.
Throughout my research I discovered 2 consistant issues with all the recirculators on the market as of 2004... The problems were the installations were just too scary from a homeowners point of view who has no plumbing experience (that included me) and the second thing was that calcium / hard water more often then not made the recirculators fail / clog within the first or second year and sometimes as quick as a few months. I even heard a guy who had bought a brand, took it home, installed it...thinking it was faulty due to the "not soo hot" water which was being delivered, took it back to the store and stated that it must be a bad one, got another one off the shelf, took it home installed it...but, still the water being delivered was not hot. He then took this second unit he had tried back to the depot store and asked why the water was not so hot...where the plumbing dept person working their stated that, 95degree's was the highest temperature that any hot water recirculator could do (apparently he hadn't heard of a RedyTemp)..
All this dissappointing information I was discovering made me all the more interested in the RedyTemp. Why? Because it was the "only" hot water recirculator which over came the problems that all the others on the market had not.. RedyTemp's installation was so simple it could be compared to the difficulty of hooking up two garden hoses. The movie showing a 10 yr old girl installing a RedyTemp in less then 3 minutes (available for download at www.RedyTemp.com) proves just how simple it is. The calcium / hard water problem was also overcome by the RedyTemp, by creating the patented manifold which is not made of metal / copper etc., which we all know calcium loves to stick to, the RedyTemps' manifold has never had a single unit fail in all its history in business since 1994. Where all the others on the market require "periodic" maintenance / cleaning schedule, the RedyTemp is 100% maintenance free. RedyTemp also is the only hot water recirculator which has a patented temperature control capability, allowing the homeowner to adjust how hot is enough and how much does he want to regulate his savings.
Nonetheless, I became very excited and after speaking with previous owners of the RedyTemp and previous owners of others on the market, I did end up becoming the new owner of Temtrol Delta T. Inc., the manufacturer of the RedyTemp Instant Hot Water Recirculator.
Hot water recirculators do work...but for how long and to what efficiency is the only real mystery. What is not a mystery is that there are over 3,000 satisfied RedyTemp users in America that love their unit, couldn't live without it, etc. I myself, its just what America needs. With the increase in population, the ever growing concern for water shortages, the growing issues with natural gas and electric, I don't understand why a RedyTemp is not in every home.
When a person waits and waits for hot water to arrive at their tap, not only is water being wasted down the drain, but the local water company is filling up your water heater with "very cold" city water to replace the water thats going down the drain. This "extra" very cold city water is having to be heated now unnecessarily. Most homeowners I've spoken with think "so it saves water, how much does water cost?" but what they don't realize, until I explain whats happening, is that they're wasting not only water, but gas / electric to heat the new water which has replaced the water you wasted down the drain while you waited for the hot water in the first place. Lets not forget the minutes that the lights were on while you waited..., day after day...use after use...it really adds up.
Now, my research wouldn't be complete unless I also considered tankless water heaters. This is a fairly new technology in America. They are always very high in price especially after you factor in the installation expense, inspections from local code enforcements. I've read throughout the news groups and discussion forums that they just cost way too much, and because of this homeowners often buy the cheapest one they can find, only to discover that they didn't get the right size for their home and because of this people are getting bursts of very hot water while showering and doing laundry / dishes or someone else in the home uses water at the same times. As for waiting for hot water... plan on it. You will continue to wait for hot water at you faucets / showers / laundry / dishwashers with a tankless water heater. So.... the savings can be great, in exchange for discomfort and having to wait for hot water. As for my opinion on the Thermosyphon System, it would appear that as long as you have bright sunny days, a solid roof, this system would save on energy cost due to the fact that the sun would be heating any newly delivered city water to the home (of course that is "if" its not night time and its bright and sunny) but, this system still would not deliver "no wait" hot water to the tap unless it was directly over the tap. Nothing beats the RedyTemps flexible installation options, multiple control capabilities, i.e. motion sensor integration, step switch, the clapper, etc. and with a RedyTemp your limited to only the length of the flex lines you use as to where you can place it in your home. Meaning, you could pass the flexlines through a floor or wall and then to the faucets.
I personally, am still very glad I bought the company, it still is the superior product on the market and the only one that I know which people aren't complaining about because "it" really works. Every month a new customer calls too ask questions wanting reassurance that the RedyTemp will not fail like the competitor product failed / clogged so quickly... RedyTemp is time tested and continually makes people glad they own one... day after day. Especially during the winter months, thats when its really appreciated but we're not sure if its due to the fact that the RedyTemp stops pipes freezing, frozen water line problems in check.
Whether you need hot water fast, have pipes frozen, water frozen in pipe issues, want to save water, save gas, save electric or just want to save energy RedyTemp is ready when you are.
Thanks for listening to my two cents and hope you'll visit our website to see what makes the RedyTemp the smart choice in Hot Water Recirculators. The 30 day money back quarantee and 2 year warranty doesn't hurt either.
On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 10:59:01 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

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With an snipped-for-privacy@readytemp.com , you will spend more in waisted energy to circulate that heat , warming your cold as well. Heat tape can come with a thermostat. And will waiste less energy over the long run. PVC when frozen shatters lengthwise , can be much more extensive to repair. Id go copper in a freeze area , Copper actualy will give more than PVC. Use heat tape and a foam sleeve for a larger diameter pipe. I am now in the process of putting foam , a larger size over foam. I like that crappy little light timer on the Ready crap. Its like the ones that last me a few years. Im sure its also moisture proof should you develop a leak. Is that Ready Temp Crap Approved ? I sure wouldnt use a timer that cheap. Pure consumer crap. Not industral in any form... Wondering here , if the visible timer is a Consumer piece, How good a pump is in there, Haaaa Haaaa. I forgot you give a warranty.
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I would hope that anyone who owns a company selling hot water heaters would know a little bit about heat tape. It sure makes one wonder how much he knows about the product he tries to sell.
Heat tape comes in various brands and can be rated in watts per foot or watts for a given product of a given length. Every current product I know of only consumes electricity when it is needed, using some form of control based on the temperature.
It has been my experience that it uses very little energy and well worth the cost.
On the other hand I doubt if I would buy a product from anyone who SPAMS newsgroups with a sales pitch for a product that will not help with the problem presented by the original message.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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It's called a "thermostat".
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Actually I believe some use a wire that varies in resistance with the heat.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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snipped-for-privacy@RedyTemp.com wrote in message

No! A better example would be an electric blanket, not a hair dryer. Heat tracing for the purposes of freeze protection will not use that much electricity because it's only on when it's below freezing, and even the it's only raising the temperature of the water in the pipe to just above freezing. Now if your running a chemical plant and you are using heat tracing to keep a pipe from getting clogged up and you are heating a pipe up to 100 degrees or so then yes.
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Shame on Ready temp Child Labor. With a dangerous illegal electrical hookup not done by a Qualifed Electrician
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First, insulation does nothing to prevent freezing in the long term. All it does is slow that rate at which heat is lost from the pipe. In time the water in the pipe will freeze just as hard as if there were no insulation.
Heat tape will prevent freezing so long as there is electricity available to power the heat tape. If power fails you're still a candidate for frozen pipes.
I have an application at one of my homes where I need to run well water very near the surface because of ledge for about 200 feet. I also have a 36" frost depth to deal with and frequent power outages. I did extensive testing of various materials and selected polybutylene pipe. It performed very well at temperatures to -30F when filled with water at 100 psi for in excess of 100 cycles. I also tested at 150 F in a similar manner and had no failures.
Based on my tests I installed the pipe in 1992 and it is still functioning today.
A lot of people will tell you of the problems that the industry has had with polybutylene but in my experience the problems were all the result of poor technique on the part of the installers. I installed quite a bit of it, being very careful, in a harsh environment and have never had a failure.
RB
ozark wrote:

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Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I have used the polybutylene pipe for underground runs to my well although most of it is below the frost line except for where it enters the pump and the house. It seems to work great or at least has worked well for a few years. I've never seen it burst now that you mention it.
I have never used this material for inside plumbing because of bad results I have seen with the flexible grey pipe that has leaked for so many people. In general I was prejudiced against flexible pipe in general because I considered it to be a "cheap" unprofessional way of doing things.
I have never seen any written specs for assemblying the polybutylene pipe. All I have ever done is use the elbos etc with a stainless aircraft type clamp. Is this the right way? Can anybody direct me to some standards for using this material.
Thanks Ozark

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Fittings like the ones shown here have worked well for me.
http://www.brandnametools.biz/plumbing/p/Polybutylene_Fittings /
They use a compression nut to make the seal. The other technique is to crimp a ring around the tubing after inserting the connector. In looking at the problems that folks had most, if not all, were related to over crimping (and cracking of the fitting) or under crimping. I've had no problem with the inserts that have hand tightened compression nuts.
RB
ozark wrote:

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