I also have a problem with pipes freezing in a crawlspace. I own a duplex
that I live on the second and third floor of and rent out the first floor
apartment. Most of the house has a warm basement (oil heater) beneath it but
the kitchen for the first floor apartment was an addition with only a
crawlspace below. As long as I have a tenant, the pipes don't freeze. Not
because I turn the heat off (I don't) but because (I think) the water is run
a few times a day to keep things thawed. My first thought is to get some
warm air from the basement into the crawlspace but it's an old house with
stone basement walls with brick above that. To get a big enough opening for
the air exchange wouldn't be easy. Then I thought why couldn't I run a loop
from the hot water system that feeds the cast iron radiators that heat my
home? I could put the loop in the same joist cavity that the fresh water
supply lines run in. My first concern is where to put a bleeder valve but
other than that I think it would throw off enough heat to keep things above
freezing down there. The added bonus is that it's not wasted heat because as
the heat rises, it would heat the kitchen floor.
Any thoughts? Do you think it would work or can you improve on it? I thought
I would use cast pipe (galvanized or black? I don't know) because I thought
it would continue to hold and radiate heat better than copper when the
circulator is not on.
Thanks for any help.
Thanks, yes that is what I'm doing now. Sadly I can't leave well enough
alone and I'm always trying to build a better mouse trap. I just figure
using the heat I am already making would be more efficient than the electric
for heat tape.
One of the key points about insulating...
don't just wrap up the pipes to insulate them...
instead place the insulatoin to form a barrier from the pipes tot the
cold space but not a barrier between the pipes and the warm space.
Isulation does not keep things warm it just reduces the flow of heat,
you want the heat to be able to flow from the kitchen to the pipes.
How about a passive hot water recirculating valve. These usually attach
under a bathroom sink(furthest from tank) from hot to cold when the hot
valve cools to a setpoint, the recirc valve opens up and allows hot to flow
into the cold line. Here is one of several products
http://www.hotwaterlobster.com/ and it requires no electricity and no pump
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