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Old 01-15-2013, 02:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Since the owner pays the water bill, I wouldn't heat the pipes at all. Just run a slow trickle and that will prevent them from freezing.

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Old 01-15-2013, 12:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I was gonna add that when I tried this for my 3 stage heat pump hvac in my vacant condo it kind of burned me so to speak. I had an automatic energy efficient t stat and if the temp was up more than a degree from current room temperature it would activate the electric heat. If it was 2 degrees or more it activated the emergency heat. I am guessing 110 vs 220? Low vs high? Anyway it cost me the same power vs leaving it set to a constant 72 degrees.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i wouldn't mess with nature, most water pipes are copper and they can conduct significant amount of heat. This means the standing water in the pipes can quickly lose its heat and freeze, perhaps even faster THAN on a concrete floor out in the open. If you even wrapped that in the thickest blankest it will still freeze, it just needs a bit more time. This is because the water it self doesn't have enough heat for the blanket to prevent escaping. it's Not like the human body where blood circulation is constantly generating heat, and so insulating ourselves can raise our ambient body temperature.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I ended up using wall timer and just ran the heat at 30 min intervals (30 min on, 30 off), and I set the timers for the times I knew it would be under 30* (had to check Accuweather.com for hourly temperatures). I also got a more efficient heater, an electric heater fan instead of a radiator-type heater. All in all my bill was only $14 more than usual, so it seemed to work. If I am still in this garage next winter, I'll be looking into a thermostat instead as well as the other ideas for insulating and heating. Thanks all!

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