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Old 02-10-2008, 08:41 PM   #1
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advice on cold water pipe in basement garage area


I live in an old house, around 70 years old. It has a garage under the house in a section of the basement on the east side of the house. I'm not sure the exact story of how this area was originally used when the house was built, but I do not believe it was a garage. The neighbor tells me he gave the previous owner the garage door to install on it. But I can't imagine that he cut into the cement basement wall to put in a door, and did it with such clean cut lines.

To make a long story short, this garage is not the most ideal. The garage door is squeezed so tight into a small space that it just doesn't fit right against the frame, and will never be completely air tight. The major problem with this is that my city water enters my house in the garage at the floor of the basement wall. It runs up to the first floor rafters, and west towards the center of the house and my hot water heater. The problem I'm having is that when it gets humid outside, the cold pipe sweats tremendously and gets on my car.

This got me thinking about my water temperature. I've always thought my cold water was extraordinarily cold coming out of the tap. I just measured it right now and it's 42 degrees F and about 20 outside. I also got a really high gas bill this month and I'm wondering if my hot water heater is having a hard time keeping this cold water hot or something. The hot water at the tap measured 118 degrees. Is that too high perhaps? What is recommended?

Any advice is appreciated for the sweating problem and the help on water temps. If I need to clairify something, please let me know.

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Old 02-10-2008, 10:19 PM   #2
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advice on cold water pipe in basement garage area


Try insulating the pipe with at least 3/4" thick pipe insulation.

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Old 02-11-2008, 02:42 AM   #3
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advice on cold water pipe in basement garage area


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Originally Posted by cambie View Post
I just measured it right now and it's 42 degrees F and about 20 outside.
Is that the air temperature outside? Because if your water is 20 deg. F, you may have more serious problems.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:13 AM   #4
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advice on cold water pipe in basement garage area


To prevent the condensation, insulate the pipe with a product such as Armaflex. It is a rubber type insulation. I don't think your water temp setting is too high at the water heater. The problem may be that the tank is in an area where it is a lot colder than the rest of the house and it is cooling the tank continuously which makes the heating element (gas or electric) energize more often to maintain the temps. They do sell covers for water heaters to prevent this. Just make sure you install it properly to prevent problems.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:12 PM   #5
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advice on cold water pipe in basement garage area


I had a similar problem and insulated it using rubber pipe insulation 1/2" thick. I also recommend insulating your hot water heater as well. I bought all the stuff from an online website I no longer worry about my pipe freezing on cold nights.

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Old 10-15-2008, 01:21 PM   #6
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advice on cold water pipe in basement garage area


Right on about the insulation on the HWH and the pipes.

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I also got a really high gas bill this month and I'm wondering if my hot water heater is having a hard time keeping this cold water hot or something. The hot water at the tap measured 118 degrees. Is that too high perhaps? What is recommended?
The colder the incoming water, the more energy it will take for the WH to heat it up.. and 42F is pretty cold.

118F seems reasonable, but if you can get by comfortably turning it down then sure it will help your gas bill.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:29 PM   #7
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advice on cold water pipe in basement garage area


IF insulation doesnt keep the pipe from freezing,,,buy some 'single' wire heat tape that heats ONLY the portion that NEEDS heating. Then put your pipe insulation over that and even wrap with MORE!! Froze and burst water pipes are no picnic.

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