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Old 12-12-2012, 10:54 AM   #31
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Frozen Vent Pipe


What material is the vent pipe made of, PVC or Cast Iron?

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Old 12-12-2012, 01:32 PM   #32
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Frozen Vent Pipe


OK since you never answered my question re type of pipe, here is what I would try, assuming you have PVC running up through the roof. Cut off the PVC at the attic floor. Install a 3 inch Galvanized Steel or Cast Iron pipe from there up through the roof. Join them with a fernco coupling You can install a riser clamp on the floor, or U-Bolt to a rafter if your close to one. My thinking here is that the cold from outside will conduct down the steel pipe so that the water laden vapor will condense somewhere inside the steel pipe, and run back down. In effect you are moving the dew point down into the pipe.

You can buy a reducing (Increasing) coupling and use it to go to 4 inch CI instead of three, and that would also help, as the ice would have another inch to bridge the opening. It actually sounds like you have a gas appliance connected to this pipe. There is a lot of water in Propane and Natural gas that comes out when you burn it.

I never heard of sewer gas producing enough water vapor to do what you are describing, but that does not mean it cant happen I guess.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:56 PM   #33
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Frozen Vent Pipe


Seems like folks aren't reading previous posts. Raychem 7W/foot heat tape can be bought in varying lengths and bunched up and inserted down a vent pipe the distance down through the roof insulation to where it is warmer. I just put a 3" PVC T on top and shoved the tape in one end and down the tube about 18". Problem entirely solved, I have it plugged in all the time and it will not start a house fire. It has gone from -37 to +20 in a snowstorm at present. You folks who can't imagine why a vent pipe would freeze have never experienced Alaska cold.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:16 PM   #34
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Frozen Vent Pipe


I have been lurking and watching this thread and others on the topic for a couple years. Having the same issue mainly with subzero temps and windy conditions. Wyoming has tons of wind and lots of cold at times too!

Installed FJ Moore frost proof vents and had some success but froze once last year. Enlarged the vents to 3" from 2" and thought I would be done but the last week they froze again. I got up on the roof and saw light snow/frost "cap" 90% covering the openings of 2 of the 3 vents and #3 was 100% covered. We had temps drop from +60 to zero in 3 days time and have had 4 nights of subzero reaching -25 with 30mph winds. There is no sight of +32 for another few days.

So I have been looking at a lot of ideas and it looks like success is fleeting. except Der mond is confident in his solution from his experience.

I will be getting the no freeze tape and hanging inside the stacks. Can't do it the way he says so I think I will drill in from under the roofline and run the tape up the stack instead of down into it. Hang it from the top and seal the hole in the side of each of the vent pipes.

Just wondering if there are t-stat cubes that will activate at lower than 35 degrees. I have no problems until zero so if I could get one that activates at 10 above I'd be happy.

Another thought, Anyone tried one of the remote control devices like a garage door opener button used for lamps or Christmas lights inside to activate their tape? don't want to be in the attic or on the roof plugging stuff in when it stinks and is stinking cold.

Also not wanting to leave the tape power on when it is not needed. Save power and less chance of short circuit or heating a pipe that does not need to be heated at that time...

I have 3 vents spanning 40" on a roofline so need to figure out how to get them all on with the same switch too. One power source outlet in the attic about 25 ft from the longest point so that will likely be the tap.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:52 PM   #35
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Frozen Vent Pipe


What about using a circulating pump and hot water from your hwt. Use 3/8 inch pex and wrap your vent with the tubing. Leave yourself a way to drain it down and only use when it freezes shut.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:57 PM   #36
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Well it might work but Seems like one problem for another with running water up to the vents. would have to Figure out a drain once you push the water up there and if it clears the vent, No way you need a flood on a floor somewhere in weather that cold... keeping the water hot enough through the pipe to get it there and do some good... Frozen water down the roof if it breaks for some reason. etc... rather have an electric on off solution I think.

I lived in the S/W US for many years and had no clue issues like this occurred! Fun stuff!
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:52 PM   #37
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Frozen Vent Pipe


The last time we had a frozen vent pipe weeee.. OOOps sorry iam in south Florida its December and its 80+.... -25 - 55 you guys must be nuts no offense but geees, .. forget about the vent move Miami and lets go boating in December
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:15 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mginwyo View Post
Enlarged the vents to 3" from 2" and thought I would be done but the last week they froze again.
Go to 4".

That's mostly what you see around here (Winnipeg, Canada) and our temps hover around -40 in January. It doesn't COMPLETELY eliminate the possibility of freezing, but it cuts it down to almost nothing.
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:17 AM   #39
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forget about the vent move Miami and lets go boating in December
Nah. No offence but it gets a bit boring doing the same thing all year round. Come here though and I'll show you how to strap on some scuba tanks and play ball hockey on the under side of the ice.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:30 AM   #40
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Frozen Vent Pipe


What if we used a double wall heat exchanger and circulated antifreeze?

Now no need to drain it.
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Old 12-27-2013, 01:00 PM   #41
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We installed a 'T' in the attic portion of the vent pipe. The 'T' allows access for inspection and in my case to run a drain cleaning spring-wire snake up the vent.
Our vent had a lot a frost on the vent pipe walls, but the snake went to the top where it met resistance (combination snow-ice cap??). Using the snake like a drain cleaner I was able to bore through and open the vent.
It's cheap, easy and in our case worked.

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