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Alert to pellet burners.....watch for frozen pipes

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by imacman, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Just thought I'd throw out a reminder to check your pipes if the pellet stove is keeping the "backup" heat system shut off during these real cold days/nights. Just saw a ServPro guy down the street cleaning up after some broken pipes in a NEW home.

    Bought this little life saver a few years ago.....keeps those pipes from freezing in unheated areas:

    http://www.bearmountaindesign.com

    EDIT: I just remembered that forum member "bridgerman" is the distributor for these....if you contact him he should be able to give you a discount code for 10%(?) off and free shipping.
    heat seeker and glenc0322 like this.

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  2. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    303
    Loc:
    NorthShore, MA USA
    My pipes froze in my front kids playroom last year - luckily they didn't rupture the coppah.
    Good reminder.
    I have my T-Stat for the Nat Gas hydronic boiler set near the temp of the room that the pellet stove is running in - that way it may call for heat at times during this cold blast we're having.
  3. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,422
    Loc:
    Winthrop, Maine
    Got the PDVC in the basement running to keep my floors and pipes warm. I'd rather pay my pellet supplier than the oil man.
  4. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
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    3,640
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    North Georgia
    That's why I put the cook stove down in my man cave. If she locks me down there, at least I can stay warm and cook!!! :)
    briansol, jjs777_fzr and mepellet like this.
  5. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    Central ME
    Whenever it is in the low teens I worry about the baseboard pipes. We keep the top level of our house closed off and it gets real chilly up there. Probably never gets below freezing but I'd rather turn that zone on before going to bed and before going to work just to be safe. My basement never gets below 50 so I don't worry as much about the piping down there but still will turn on the other two oil heat zones for 5 minutes tonight before bed.
  6. Mr. Spock

    Mr. Spock Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
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    542
    Loc:
    SW MA
    Now that you mention it the only thing throwing heat in the basement would be the electric water heater. My house was electricity heated and no baseboards were installed the basement. Don't know if that's standard procedure or not. I just checked and it's 50 deg down there. About as cold as i have seen it. Did remove some insulation between some floor joists a few years back.
  7. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
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    7,026
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    X2, my stove keeps my boiler and pipes warm!
  8. bbfarm

    bbfarm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
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    551
    Loc:
    wisconsin
    Nothing new here. Our kitchen pipes froze every year even with the furnace on since they are in a crawl space and not the basement.

    Had to go the heat tape route a few years ago.
  9. Hdhogger

    Hdhogger Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
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    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    I went through the baseboard pipe freezing back in '79, got educated quickly. Pipes didn't burst but they froze. Used my wifes hair dryer to thaw out the frozen sections, which were usually on the north side of the house, while the zone pumps were calling for heat as soon as they thawed, the hot water started flowing.
    Wood stove was moved to the basement the next year and I haven't had a problem since. Athought on the 2nd floor I will run the base board heat in these temps. just to circulate and avoid problems. JMO
  10. New Hampshire Jim

    New Hampshire Jim Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
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    Loc:
    Westville New Hampshire
    I installed two Thermo guards a couple of years ago and the peace of mine I have now Is well worth the price
    Jim
  11. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Amen to that. Don't have to worry about forgetting to turn the zone on for a few minutes.....
  12. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Install a second stove....... ;)

    (Options and Savings. Thats what its all about)
    P38X2 and smoke show like this.
  13. PoolGuyinCT

    PoolGuyinCT Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    403
    Loc:
    Plymouth CT
    Maybe this will help somebody somewhere some day

    A thoughtfully placed drop i light can save the day.

    I have a few hot tub repairs going on, inside the cabinet I left a drop light or two running, wont have any probs..

    Btw only works with traditional bulbs, as they make the heat.. Thought I'd throw that detail @ you pigs trying to save a nickel by using c f d bulbs
  14. imacman

    imacman Guest

    For the small amount that ThermGuard costs, and the $3-4 a night it cost to run the burner ( I only use it on nights the temp gets below 25), I'm saving a LOT of $$ vs buying a new stove, piping, install costs, more pellets, etc, etc.
  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Not necessarily more pellets.

    Plus. Buying Dino juice, costs more than pellets??

    I save over $3k a year. My ROI is shorter than most and everything I have, has paid for itself.

    Some see a second stove as an added expense?

    But a used stove (or AMFM) and venting is cheaper than 500 gal of oil or LP at $4 a gal.

    $2k on a stove and pellets one year. Yes. But only the cost of pellet's every yr thereafter? Priceless.

    So.you spend $2k this year. You only spend an extra $200 next year. Instead of the $2,000.
  16. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    At $3-$4 a night... Thats a bag or more of pellets.

    Again. Its all about options. It takes money to save money. Whether it's 1 stove or 2 stove's. My Wife hates to here it, but it takes money to save money and it takes money to make money.
    Hdhogger likes this.
  17. Hdhogger

    Hdhogger Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
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    190
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    That's why I'm burnin' Dex. Rather spend 1K on pellets than 3K on oil. Heated my house with free firewood for 33 years. I just can't bring myself to buy more oil.
    DexterDay likes this.
  18. New Hampshire Jim

    New Hampshire Jim Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
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    174
    Loc:
    Westville New Hampshire
    For the last 40 years my oil usage was 500 to 600 gal. per year
    I got my winter delivery 8/10/12 of a fill up
    On 12/31/12 I needed 105 gal Because I am home now(Retired) and run the pellet stove 17 hours a day
    Less than a gal. per day making hot water for shower,dish washing and running the boiler between 10:00 P.M. and 5:00 A.M.= $3.00
    Boiler nozzle uses 1/2 GPH So if the Thermo guard comes on and runs the boiler 10 min. every 4 hours I will use 1/2 gal. of oil =$2:00
    The people next door have a wood stove and last year we had a cold stretch Yep you guested It frozen pipes in a inside wall
    Total bill just under $3000.00
    Lesson learned you do reach a point where there are times you should and have to run the oil If the water pipes are still there.
    As I said before the Thermo Guard Is one of my better investments
  19. imacman

    imacman Guest

    well said.
  20. glenc0322

    glenc0322 Minister of Fire

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    long Island NY
    Only have 15 feet of cooper lines that run under a crawl space.whenI installed the stove I heat traced and wrapped the copper lines and added a thermostat that will turn the heat trace on when the temp drops below 40 so my pipes don't freeze .but good reminder to everyone
  21. MacP

    MacP Member

    Joined:
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    Southeastern MA
    I also ran both zones for a few minutes last night and when I woke up this morning. I have the oiler stat set 2 degrees below the current temperature just in case.
    heat seeker likes this.
  22. gfreek

    gfreek Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful Attica/Varysburg,New York
    Having some hot water baseboard pipes in a crawl space, I manually open the zone valve for that area so water circulates thru there when heating other areas of the house or making domestic hot water.... during this real cold spell
  23. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
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    Loc:
    Lewis County, New York (upstate)
    My pipes froze last night......Despite antifreeze in my boiler. Given it got down to about 20 below last night, the anti-freeze was apparently not enough. I'm hoping like hell they don't burst while I'm at work today and hopefully I can find where the line has frozen and thaw it out when I get home. I should have set the thermostat to the ambient room temp. so it ran a bit last night and kept them from freezing. I could kill myself this morning as I know better. Clearly the anti-freeze idea is only good to a certain temperature.
  24. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
    I would like to know whether the remote thermometer I have in the unheated crawl space, where the furnace has been off since I started using the pellet stove earlier this month, indicates any kind of useful information about the temperature of the pipes. It was reading 38 degrees last night while it was 11 degrees outside. I would sincerely appreciate any help with this. I have forced air but have covered the vents and the returns as the air coming up was sold.
  25. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    central ct
    I'm glad my stove wasn't enough last night. I ran all 3 zones for about an hour to get the house up to temp and then the stove was able to maintain it for most the night.

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