PEX-A direct pipe passive insulation

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pshep123
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PEX-A direct pipe passive insulation

Post by pshep123 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:44 pm

First forum topic, and very new to plumbing, although a generally handy guy.

In early September, I'm moving into a 40-year old house with copper plumbing throughout. The previous owner winterized the house every year so cold protection during the winter was never an issue.

However, I plan on using the house year-round and will be switching out the old copper with PEX-A mainly because of its resilience to bursting when frozen (although I know there is no guarantee). I'm also improving the insulation in the basement and rooms with the fixtures, and there is central heat, but it's in a rural area and power outages are nearly an annual (if not more frequent) occurrence.

So, long story short, I'm looking for maximum insulation of the pipes and want to know of others experience with direct foam pipe insulation on PEX-A pipes.

Thanks!

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Shannon
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Re: PEX-A direct pipe passive insulation

Post by Shannon » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:09 am

Sorry but i have no real experience with this. My suggestion is that if this is a cottage and you will not be there all the time you may want to set it up with drainage points so that you could drain the system if you wanted when away.
Also consider that P traps, appliances and toilets all hold water so you need to consider these points as well.
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pshep123
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Re: PEX-A direct pipe passive insulation

Post by pshep123 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:29 pm

Hey Shannon - thanks for the reply. I've definitely thought about the winterization process for when I'm not there, but if I go up every weekend, it seems excessive to rinse & repeat so many times.

Well, if I go the pipe insulation route, I'll post my experience here.

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A. Spruce
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Re: PEX-A direct pipe passive insulation

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:28 pm

pshep123 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:29 pm
Hey Shannon - thanks for the reply. I've definitely thought about the winterization process for when I'm not there, but if I go up every weekend, it seems excessive to rinse & repeat so many times.

Well, if I go the pipe insulation route, I'll post my experience here.
You may not need a full on winterization protocol, but at the very least, turn off the water to the structure when you're not there, this way if there is a problem it won't flood. Better if you also turn off the water, then crack an outside faucet, this will drain out the house enough that even if there is some frost, it won't burst a pipe because there will be expansion room within the system. Leaving the heat on will keep toilets from freezing, otherwise you've got to winterize more thoroughly during vacancies.
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Love2Learn
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Re: PEX-A direct pipe passive insulation

Post by Love2Learn » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:48 am

A. Spruce wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:28 pm
pshep123 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:29 pm
Hey Shannon - thanks for the reply. I've definitely thought about the winterization process for when I'm not there, but if I go up every weekend, it seems excessive to rinse & repeat so many times.

Well, if I go the pipe insulation route, I'll post my experience here.
You may not need a full on winterization protocol, but at the very least, turn off the water to the structure when you're not there, this way if there is a problem it won't flood. Better if you also turn off the water, then crack an outside faucet, this will drain out the house enough that even if there is some frost, it won't burst a pipe because there will be expansion room within the system. Leaving the heat on will keep toilets from freezing, otherwise you've got to winterize more thoroughly during vacancies.


Hello pshep,

Based on my experience for the past 12 yrs with my weekend place in Ontario with a mix of copper and pex pipes. I only had 1 freeze up and that's when my furnace went out. The water was shut off and so far only had to defrost the toilet tank. Hope this helps.

Cheers.

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Shannon
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Re: PEX-A direct pipe passive insulation

Post by Shannon » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:25 am

yes god point by Spruce here. and I would add opening the faucets at all sinks as well and leaving them open until you arrive again.
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pshep123
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Re: PEX-A direct pipe passive insulation

Post by pshep123 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:30 am

Thanks all. It's a completely new experience for me, so I appreciate real-world advice. I think at the very least, turning off the well pump is a must, and draining the lines (there's only one bathroom and one kitchen, all with max 20' home runs), shouldn't take more than a few minutes. I'll also look ahead to the coming weather - big difference between a 0-degree C weekend and a -25-degree C from a bursting pipe perspective. Will advise on progress.

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