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Old 11-11-2011, 02:17 PM   #1
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What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage?


What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage? I need to run a 1/4" water line to my humidifier. While the garage is normally above 32F, it could drop below that if we have a cold spell. I'd also like to prevent water damage if the humidifier should leak or overflow. The distance to the humidifier is about 8 feet.

The things I have considered are:
- PEX tubing (could freeze and not burst)
- Floodsafe (their 1/4" icemaker line should work)
- Foam insulation on copper
- Heat tape (tracer) on copper

Any thoughts?

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Old 11-11-2011, 02:40 PM   #2
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What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage?


If the walls are already insulated alls you might need to do is insulate the garage door.... of course depending on where you live. Here in MD with insulated door and walls my attached garage never gets below 45 or 50 deg F in winter. Just a thought... otherwise the heat tape should work.

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Old 11-11-2011, 02:50 PM   #3
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What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage?


I have an attached garage that also rarely gets below 42-45 degrees but at times it can dip below freezing overnight. I have a toilet with a sink enclosed in one corner. In the winter I use a heat lamp in an overhead fixture to warm the room. During really cold weather I bite the bullet and leave it on all the time. Cheaper than frozen pipes.
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:16 PM   #4
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What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage?


I forgot to mention that I have a water heater and furnace in the garage, so there's a vent in the garage outside wall for combustion air intake. But like yours, my garage is still much warmer than outside.

I need to check temps in there because I'm not really sure.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:25 PM   #5
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What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage?


If you have copper pipes use heat tape. Pex is a good solution but when the pipes unfreeze the crimp rings generally do not stay at the right compression and can cause a bigger problem.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:32 PM   #6
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What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Patforva View Post
If you have copper pipes use heat tape. Pex is a good solution but when the pipes unfreeze the crimp rings generally do not stay at the right compression and can cause a bigger problem.
The tubing isn't in yet, so I can use whatever I want. 1/4" copper with heat tape would be ok with me if there isn't a better way.
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:03 PM   #7
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What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage?


Quote:
Originally Posted by garya505 View Post
I forgot to mention that I have a water heater and furnace in the garage, so there's a vent in the garage outside wall for combustion air intake. But like yours, my garage is still much warmer than outside.

I need to check temps in there because I'm not really sure.
If you have a water heater and a furnace in the garage, I doubt the temp will go below freezing with the heat loss from these appliances.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:22 PM   #8
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What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage?


Just foam covering for pipes is not enough, you need heat tape or you need a room temperature above freezing.

Particularly when the furnace draws combustion air from the interior at large and there is a louver to let in outside air (not having a modern exterior combustion air intake and exhaust piping system) you need to make sure that water pipes running through the basement and also humidifiers don't freeze.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 11-12-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:53 PM   #9
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What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage?


Where the line needs to go, getting copper in there would be tricky. So I'm thinking of using a FloodSafe icemaker hose, with heat tape and insulation on the parts that might get cold. The FloodSafe hose is contained in braided stainless, and the has the added benefit of stopping flow if the humidifier should spring a bad leak.
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:32 AM   #10
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What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage?


Anybody use the Frostex heat cable? It looks like the best one for this type of application and it's what the mobile home supply houses seem to like. You can cut it to the length you need, as opposed to the fixed length heat cables you see at Lowes and HD. It has a built in GFI and there is no problem wrapping it over itself as with some of the others. I found the Frostex locally.

I'm thinking of just using the 1/4" copper with the Frostex heat cable. It needs to be covered with insulation too, as it's designed for a very low heat output. Oh, and I may put one of those thermostatic outlet devices on it so it doesn't run in warm weather.
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:51 PM   #11
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What's a good way to prevent frozen pipes in the garage?


buy some bags of ice,much easier!

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