Will my pipes freeze...

dmathieu Posted By dmathieu, Oct 30, 2008 at 12:48 PM

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  1. dmathieu

    dmathieu
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    Oct 30, 2008
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    Litchfield, NH
    I installed a MT Vernon a couple of weeks ago and I believe I will be able to heat the entire house with it. I have a forced hot water heating system and I am concerned that if I don't use it my pipes might freeze.

    Any thought?

    Thanks
    Dave
     
  2. Smudge88

    Smudge88
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    Sep 24, 2008
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  3. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Jun 5, 2008
    461
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    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    This being our first year with a pellet stove, we are also a bit concerned about the possibility of pipes freezing. It so happens that the pipes I'm most concerned with are located in a crawl space under only a part of the house. So, what I did was purchase a simple remote thermostat at Home Depot (below) for $14.99. It comes with a remote unit (not shown) that I mounted on a 1"x2" suspended in the air in our crawl space which I put where I thought would be the coldest area to be worried about. The receiver sits wherever you want and shows the time of day, the temperature at the receiver and the temperature at the remote unit. This gives me absolute peace of mind knowing that all I have to do is look at it and see what the temperature is under the house, which is at 55° fahrenheit right now, and the outside temperature got down to 31° last night. If I ever notice the temperature getting close to or at freezing, I'll run my furnace intermittently to keep the pipes from freezing.

    I had purchased another one of these over a year ago and placed the remote unit for it outside in a shaded area on our porch and it has worked perfectly, and the remote unit still has it's original AA batteries that I put in.

    Another alternative is to add anti-freeze to your hot water baseboard system, which also is a great solution. I'm pretty sure that it requires anti-freeze made for hot water heating systems.

    Happy heating!

    Steve
     

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  4. burntime

    burntime
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    Aug 18, 2006
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    I have a similiar setup with 1 outside and 1 in the kids room, that way I know how cool it is in there for the little guys. Works great!
     
  5. dmathieu

    dmathieu
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    Oct 30, 2008
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    Loc:
    Litchfield, NH
    Thanks guys, those are great suggestions!

    My major concern is the water line going to the breeze way, so maybe a remote Thermometer would do the trick. Where did you guys find you remote thermometers? I like this one: http://www2.oregonscientific.com/shop/product.asp?cid=2&scid=5&pid=854 but I was hoping for something little cheaper.

    Thanks again.
    Dave
     
  6. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Jun 5, 2008
    461
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    Loc:
    Southeastern MA
    As I mentioned earlier, I got mine from Home Depot for $14.99 and it works perfectly. It's sold by The Weather Channel.

    Check it out: Here

    Happy heating!

    Steve
     
  7. aweya

    aweya
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    Oct 30, 2007
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    dma,

    I have a forced hot water heating system also and my pipes that run through the attic froze last winter during a stretch of very cold days. There's a product out here called a "Freezestat" that is used mainly to prevent the freezing of air conditioning coils. You can attached the sensor wire to a pipe that you think is the most susceptable to freezing and then wire the device to your circulator pump. Make sure you insulate the pipe well. When the pipe reaches, lets say 32 degrees (you may have to play with the setting) your circulator pump will come on circulating the water through the house and in turn warming the pipe then shutting the circulator pump off. Like I said, you may have to toy with the cold setting. Good luck fellow pelletier.
     
  8. JBlank912

    JBlank912
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    Aug 18, 2008
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    I have one with 3 channels and I purchased the extras, 1 in my crawl space, 1 outside and 1 in the garage with the water softner. I can sit in my office and check all 3 temperatures. Makes it easy to monitor pipes for freezing possibilities.
     
  9. bridgerman

    bridgerman
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    Oct 21, 2008
    154
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    Loc:
    Montana
    Hi Dave,

    John Walsh here.... I patented a product called ThermGuard to solve this very problem. It is called ThermGuard and attaches to your thermostat and circulates a small amount of hot water through your heating system periodically. I live in Montana and my pipes would freeze above an unheated garage. Now I have a ThermGuard on the thermostat and when the weather gets nasty, I turn it on....my pipes have not frozen since. There is no need for antifreeze or any other action from your part. Simply turn it on and sleep easy while ThermGuard keeps your pipes from freezing.

    Check out www.bearmountaindesign.com for information

    You could also search this forum for ThermGuard and find other folks who have solved problems using my invention.

    Cheers,
    John
     
  10. in-control

    in-control
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    Jul 18, 2008
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    John:

    I have forced hot water, three zones each has a programmable thermostat(day/night/weekend etc.), Home Depo kind. Will your product work with these and I noticed a mention of a discount - how do I get that?

    Thank you
     
  11. teamorange

    teamorange
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    Oct 8, 2008
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    Funny I was also just thinking about the whole "will my pipes freeze" question. I have 2 zones, and even with both programmable thermostats set at 55, my boiler kicks on every so often for a couple of minutes. I also have a oil heated hot water tank but this has its own unit to heat it, seperate from the main boiler. I am not sure why my main boiler kicks on every so often. I am having the anual cleaning this month so figured I would ask them to see. Only thing I can come up with is that it is circulating the water so the pipes don't freeze, any thoughts on this? This would happen even during the summer. So I just turned the main boiler off during the summer...
     
  12. in-control

    in-control
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    Jul 18, 2008
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    Does your hot water come from your oil burner? Mine does.
     
  13. teamorange

    teamorange
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    Oct 8, 2008
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    I would say I am 99% sure it doesn't since it has the same looking "brains" unit attached to hot water tank that the boiler has as well. And the hot water in the house was hot when I switched the main boiler off :)
     
  14. Smudge88

    Smudge88
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    Sep 24, 2008
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    Your boiler is going to turrn on periodicly just to maintain its aquastat temp...probably on at 160 and off at 190....You can turn those 2 settings down like I have...On at 140 and off at 160...I use the tankless and have good HW at those temps...
     
  15. imacman

    imacman
    Guest 2.
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    Here's the info from john on the discount on the ThermGuard: Please enter code: 101657512 in the vouncher/discount code. The hit the recalculate button.
     
  16. teamorange

    teamorange
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    Oct 8, 2008
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    Ok cool, I will check to see if I can find somewhere to change the settings to a lower number if not I will ask the mait tech when he come to clean it, thanks!
     
  17. bridgerman

    bridgerman
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    Oct 21, 2008
    154
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    Loc:
    Montana
    Hi Dave,

    ThermGuard works with programmable thermostats, no problem. I think Macman referenced the information as to the discount. Just enter code: 101657512 in the vouncher/discount code. The hit the recalculate button.


    Cheers,
    John
     
  18. bridgerman

    bridgerman
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    Oct 21, 2008
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    Loc:
    Montana
    Hi Smudge,

    I don't think that keeping the aquastat at temperature circulates water through the zone does it? If the zone valves are not opened by the thermostat, there will be no water keeping the pipes from freezing. At most, some might flow through the bypass valve....at least in the systems I am familiar with. I am not a plumber so I wouldn't want to place any wagers, but still, should there still be a concern about freezing pipes?

    Cheers,
    John
     
  19. DOBS

    DOBS
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    Oct 1, 2008
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    Central NH
    I had my boiler servie guy dump 8 gallons of antifreeze in my system. He said it is good down to -50'F (brust) -5'F (flow). Now I only have to worry about the domestic water lines. Not sure of any negative consequences with using the antifreeze, but it was a bit expensive $18/gal for the stuff he used. I've had antifreeze in the system for about 6 years without any issues. I asked him to purge and refresh this year since I'll only be using it for domestic... not heating. I put the antifreeze in initially because I have a line that goes outside a kneewall and had frozen prior to the antifreeze. 45% solution Cryo-tec non-toxic is what he used.
     
  20. kast

    kast
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    Sep 28, 2008
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    $144 for antifreeze you could have bought the ThermGuard for $69.99 and that's with out the 10% discount.
     
  21. DOBS

    DOBS
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    Oct 1, 2008
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    True, but my oil service guy probably wouldn't have liked me supplying my own material. He would have lost his lousy 200% profit margin. Oh well... :sick:
     
  22. Smudge88

    Smudge88
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    Sep 24, 2008
    104
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    Cedar Knolls, N.J.
     
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