Okay, kind of a random question, not that I am seeking plumbing advice from the forum, but for those of you with off mountain houses / winter houses, how are your water lines / pipes situated? 

Currently, the set up in question is through a well which is channeled through an unfinished basement via PVC piping and warmed with a hard wired electric heater. This has got to be the most inefficient set up known to man. However, it does keep the pipes from freezing. The o-zone cries itself to sleep every night know that this heater is constantly pumping. 

I can't imagine that everyone is doing the same sort of thing. Anyone?

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I haven't a clue, builder told me it was state of the art.  some cool looking tubing running up the middle of the unfinished side of finished basement from the well.  13 years, never frozen. Knock on wood!

I agree.

MonkeyBrook is by far the best plumber on this board, since he often skis with a real one.

Not to mention, he also stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last week.

The water line from the pump into the house should usually be below the frost line (~4 feet) so no warming would be necessary.  How far below ground does the pipe come in?

If you have any question a little pipe insulation and some heat trace from HD will give you a piece of mind and the heat trace will only come on when the pipe is in danger of freezing. This way your not heating the whole space. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/30-ft-Automatic-Electric-Heat-Cable-Kit...

I’m not sure how far down it is as I’ve never really looked. The pipes have burst before but I’m not sure if the circumstances. I do know when we leave that we power down the pump and turn off ththe hot water heater. My concern is the residual water that rests in the PVC.

poe said:

The water line from the pump into the house should usually be below the frost line (~4 feet) so no warming would be necessary.  How far below ground does the pipe come in?

The pipes are insulated and the heater is currently set to maintain a 45 degree temperature. I would have to look and see how this heat trace works

Wheelie said:

If you have any question a little pipe insulation and some heat trace from HD will give you a piece of mind and the heat trace will only come on when the pipe is in danger of freezing. This way your not heating the whole space. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/30-ft-Automatic-Electric-Heat-Cable-Kit...

tear off the insulation. attach the heat tape directly on pipe (preferably along the bottom) and make sure the "thermostat" (that black button thing near the plug) is touching the pipe. re-insulate the pipe. when the thermostat senses the pipe is near freezing it turns on the small heating element in the tape.
you're only running a small draw to heat just the insulated pipe. it is very efficient.

One thing to note. If your tub and shower drain traps are in that same space and they require heat too. you can also heat tape and insulate them as well. they make shorter lengths for that application.
Most drain lines pitch so they don't hold water and aren't at risk of freezing but the traps do hold water. that's their job

I am sure Iplated is gonna rip me for being a cliff claven now



MAC said:

The pipes are insulated and the heater is currently set to maintain a 45 degree temperature. I would have to look and see how this heat trace works

Wheelie said:

If you have any question a little pipe insulation and some heat trace from HD will give you a piece of mind and the heat trace will only come on when the pipe is in danger of freezing. This way your not heating the whole space. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/30-ft-Automatic-Electric-Heat-Cable-Kit...

Can I rip you for this?  Not sure where nickel is.  You are a nerd.

Wheelie said:

tear off the insulation. attach the heat tape directly on pipe (preferably along the bottom) and make sure the "thermostat" (that black button thing near the plug) is touching the pipe. re-insulate the pipe. when the thermostat senses the pipe is near freezing it turns on the small heating element in the tape.
you're only running a small draw to heat just the insulated pipe. it is very efficient.

One thing to note. If your tub and shower drain traps are in that same space and they require heat too. you can also heat tape and insulate them as well. they make shorter lengths for that application.
Most drain lines pitch so they don't hold water and aren't at risk of freezing but the traps do hold water. that's their job

I am sure Iplated is gonna rip me for being a cliff claven now



MAC said:

The pipes are insulated and the heater is currently set to maintain a 45 degree temperature. I would have to look and see how this heat trace works

Wheelie said:

If you have any question a little pipe insulation and some heat trace from HD will give you a piece of mind and the heat trace will only come on when the pipe is in danger of freezing. This way your not heating the whole space. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/30-ft-Automatic-Electric-Heat-Cable-Kit...

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