Frozen Pipes Solution

jtablerDecember 21, 2010

About four years ago my primary home received a bathroom remodel over a concrete slab.

The workers did not insulate the pipes and laid the flexible PVC down into a groove they jack-hammered into the slab. This was the first time I had ever used a contractor, so don't laugh. This 6x6 bathroom had insulation, subfloor, and ceramic tile laid down over-top of this groove. I.e. I can't access it.

For four years, the pipes have frozen. I let the faucets drip to prevent them from freezing. It is a secondary bathroom.

Is there something I can install DIY for under a couple hundred bucks that will exchange water both cold and hot to prevent the pipes from freezing? I've tried heat tape all the way up to the slab, but it is freezing the 5 foot section between the crawlspace and exit to the sink. Since it's a crawlspace, I don't want to install a heater or anything else other than heat tape to heat the water.

Thanks!

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aidan_m

A recirculating pump installed under the sink will solve the frozen pipe problem with both hot and cold supply lines.

This type of system circulates the hot water back through the cold line.

This will also provide fast hot water at all the other fixtures between the heater and the point of installation. The intructions say to install it at the furthest point away from the heater, but you need to install it under the sink with the frozen pipe problem to make it part of the circulation loop.

An electrical receptacle is required for the pump.

Here is a link that might be useful: watts recirculating pump

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 1:47AM
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justalurker

Agree with the above post and here's an option for a more compact all-in-one retrofit recirc pump. I've had one for a long time... reliable and works great.

http://lainginc.itt.com/pages/autocirc.htm

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 12:21PM
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jtabler

Thanks so much for confirming the recirculating hopes! This is really awesome. Merry Christmas!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 6:13PM
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