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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys....this has been a ridiculous thing to wrap my head around, and is making me crazy!!

So...been dealing with freezing pipes in my kitchen sink. I cut open the bottom of the cabinet for access. The pipe from the taps are the plastic flexible type, which then connect to copper. This connection exists in a weird void between the floor (under the cabinet), and what I believe is another sub floor/ceiling in the basement. It is an unfinished basement...so it's weird that the is a 4 inch space between the kitchen floor and the basement divided by floor boards...

Anyway, here's the weirdest part...whenever the furnace turns on, a cold wind blows out from this space. I know that this cold air is contributing to the freezing pipes (the freezing happens right in this gap along the plastic plumbing, just after the connection to the copper pipe). What on earth could be going on??

I have checked the ducts. There is one leading to the kitchen near the sink, but there are no leaks. And there is another one heading to the bathroom vent with a flexible duct. It is a bit crumpled, but doesn't appear to be leaking either, however it should be mentioned that cold air comes from that vent in the bathroom when the furnace is on as well...similar feeling to the air coming from under the cabinet.
Does anyone have any ideas??? This is really weirding me out!!
 

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Are they connected to the supply or return. Are they ran through a cold area.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, the plumbing is in a very cold area. Floor is cold near the sink etc...something dodgy there. Probably the foundation or insulation.

I inspected the duct work. Only one cold air return in the livingroom far away from the kitchen.

I also just discovered a similar thing happening in what I thought was a cold air return in the bathroom. Not the case. The vent plate on the wall was just someone's patch job from inspecting the water lines in there (which freeze sometimes too).

Therefore I am gonna go with CONVECTION as being the cause of air the cold air coming in. I have insulated and patched up, covered the pipes etc and I think it has worked.
 

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Good to hear.
 

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Perhaps you have an imbalance between supply and return air that is depressurizing that area. There happens to be an opening to the outside from that weird space that you are describing and the make-up air is getting sucked in through there.

If the space warms up when the furnace fan is not running, it is a pretty good indication that is what is going on,
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmm. I think you may be right. The areas causing me trouble get warmer when the furnace is off, and when it's on I can definitely feel the cold air from outside coming in through cracks etc (it's an old house). There is only one return and that's all the way at the opposite side (front) of the house. Also, at some point there was an extension added to the rear of the house, and supply vents added to heat the new rooms, but still only the one return.
So that makes perfect sense. Like a car engine; if you open up the back you gotta open up the front or else it will start finding other ways to get the air it needs, which in the case if between the walls/floors...and since the insulation/seal is poor in these areas, cold air is coming inside, and freezing my pipes.

So aside from the obvious part, that I need to patch up and insulate, should there also be another return added to towards the rear of the house?
 
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