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Old 09-18-2017, 10:53 AM   #1
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Insulating water lines in crawl space


Hi guys,

I have an insulated crawl space below my 24x30 cottage. I live in northern Canada where it often gets below -20 on any given day in Jan/Feb.

Last year I have my crawl space spray foamed. This kept the temps in the crawl space above freezing. I'm finding my floors are still very cold and I want to insulate inbetween the floor joists this fall but that will leave my pipes below without a heat source to keep them from freezing

Does anyone have any method of insulting ALL of the cold/hot water pipes into one main conduit? I want to redo the plumbing and run everything together in some sort of thickly insulated conduit so o don't have to heat the entire crawl space just for those pipes. Any ideas?

Ryan
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:18 AM   #2
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Re: Insulating water lines in crawl space


Oh Boy...

That's a tricky proposition.... because your plumbing not freezing is likely a function of your living area keeping it warm.

I have had similar issues in crawl spaces in Colorado.... and basically insulated the pipe with a temp controlled heat tape within the insulation.... I do wrap the heattape in a looose tin foil in such a matter that it is not running directly on any plastic drainage that could melt with concentrated heat.

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Old 09-18-2017, 01:35 PM   #3
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Re: Insulating water lines in crawl space


I didn't hear any mentioned of conditioned air being introduced into the crawl.

If you further insulate the floors as @MTN REMODEL LLC mentioned, you are going to freeze some pipes.

You would be better served to add additional insulation to the walls and pump in some heated air into the space.
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:56 PM   #4
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Re: Insulating water lines in crawl space


Before you throw some heat down there, consider the suggestion that @MTN REMODEL LLC mentioned. Heat trace the water lines.

Also, you might be wise to seal the ground in the crawl space with a 6 mil (or better) poly sealed to the walls so the ground moisture doesn't become an issue. You could go so far as to add some styrofoam under the poly.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:34 PM   #5
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Re: Insulating water lines in crawl space


+1.

The floor should be covered at this point and should have been part of the insulation workscope to be honest as it should have been incorporated to the sealing/insulation of the walls.

Is there no ductwork in the crawlspace?
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:44 PM   #6
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Re: Insulating water lines in crawl space


I've done it two ways, or maybe it was three.

Electric heat trace is usually fine with insulation covering the pipe and heat trace wire if the electric power is dependable. Electric power failure of course causes problems.

The other way I've prevented freezing is to insulate the supply pipes and leave a small stream of water run. A stream of water about the size of the lead in a pencil always worked for me. For the down side to this approach is back to electric power. If well water is the supply with an electric pump, I'm once again screwed.

I think the third way was leave a stream of water flow with no insulation and that worked in many instances depending on temperature of course.
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