Above Ground Freeze Protection

davey4000November 10, 2006

I am providing a water supply for a detached workshop from my house. The pipe will be buried below the frost line; however, where it needs to come through my basement wall is about 6" above grade. Is there any way to insulate and protect from freezing this small above ground section? I was thinking of building a "box" around it and filling it with foam insulation. This is located in the Atlanta, GA area.

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lazypup

The proper procedure is to pass it through the basement wall below the frost level.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 8:52AM
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davey4000

Thanks, although that was a strange way of saying no. I already knew the proper procedure.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 10:38AM
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pinocchio

The answer isnÂt necessarily, Âno. why do you say, " where it needs to come through my basement wall is about 6" above grade."

Pinoke

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 10:41AM
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lazypup

You need to go through the wall at one point or the other and the procedure for going through the wall is the same..so the best method would be to dig down below the frost line on the outside, drill a hole through the footer wall and install a sleeve, then pass the line through the sleeve.

You then seal the inside of the sleeve water tight with expansion foam and you will have no freeze problems.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 10:53AM
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davey4000

I guess it doesn't necessarily need to go through the wall at that point. Due to obstructions inside the basement I was trying to avoid re-routing water supply lines inside the basement. Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 12:44PM
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pinocchio

Well, see? You have choices. And you canÂt beat the choice that LP explained. But just for the sake of discussion and not knowing the climate in Atlanta, Ga. (OK, very liberal, but thereÂs also global warming there. That should help a little.) you could get away with your plan, "Is there any way to insulate and protect from freezing this small above ground section? I was thinking of building a "box" around it and filling it with foam insulation."

Supposing you just have a small risk of freezing, you can wrap it with electrical heat tape. Works good if the power stays on. But you are adding heat when you do that. Insulation is good for retaining heat that you already have. One thing you could do, is to put a loop in the line to add heat from indoors.

This loop is a circuit. Water that is warm indoors and cold outdoors will flow around the circuit without even pumping it. In reality, the flow is quite slow, but you know that Âmoving water does not freeze.Â

At the same time, the water moves because of the influence of a heat difference. The heat itself will move around the circuit, losing a small amount depending on the insulation.

Pinoke

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 2:17PM
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Pooh Bear

There is an outdoor faucet at my parents' house that connects
directly to the main supply line from the well.
The pipe Ts off from the main supply line and runs to that end
of the house where it sticks up out of the ground and has a
spigot on it. Every winter we wrap it with insulation and
put a 5 gallon bucket over it. Put a concrete block on the bucket.
Been doing this to that faucet for over 5 years now.
It's very common place in this area. (Chattanooga area).

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 8:31PM
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lazypup

The easy answer to the question is that code requires all lines, water, gas and sewer to enter the structure a minimum of one foot or 6" below the average frost line below grade, whichever is greater.

If there is some obstruction inside the structure that makes it difficult to enter in a direct line with the supply line, the option is to route the supply line parallel to the footer wall below grade, then enter below grade at a more convenient point.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 11:20PM
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pinocchio

Hi there, Pooh Bear!
I love it when you write in to this Forum. You have, at least, one excellent perspective to give to this Forum; and that is, from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. (I donÂt remember where that is, or who Mason or Dixon were, but I know a redneck when I see one. AT&T sends you an email. And itÂs in Morse Code.)

What I think you are describing is called a farm hydrant. They are self-draining and frost-proof. When shut off, standing water falls back to the frost-free area in the ground. So, you say, "The pipe Tees off from the main supply line and runs to that end
of the house where it sticks up out of the ground and has a spigot on it. Every winter we wrap it with insulation and put a 5 gallon bucket over it. Put a concrete block on the bucket. Been doing this to that faucet for over 5 years now."

ThatÂs fine. It may be exactly what you need to be doing. But it is worth mentioning, that a farm hydrant wouldnÂt freeze under any circumstances when properly installed. So, no Âheroic efforts are required. As a standard for maintaining a water line, all that represents a work-around for formerly poorly-done work, but not a system requirement for the task at hand.

Geez. I wish I had invented that, though. I didnÂt realize you had to deal with freezing water in coal country.

Pinoke

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 9:38AM
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Pooh Bear

Actually it is just a water pipe with a spigot on top.
We are thinking of changing it to a farm hydrant for freeze protection.
Or we may remove it all together as it is no longer needed.

All the outdoor faucets at my house are the freeze proof type.

At the house I spent my teenage years in, the only outside faucet
was on the main supply line from the water meter.
We had an outside faucet with street pressure on it.
The pressure reducer was inline after the outside faucet.
And we lived at the lowest elevation on our water system.
Using that faucet was like using a pressure washer.

And in the winter time we kept it covered with a 5 gallon bucket too.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 5:58PM
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