How To Prevent Frozen Pipes Without Heat Tape
Heating tape is an effective means to keep water pipes from freezing up, but heat tape consumes an immense amount of electrical energy. Typically, heat tape consumes about 5 watts of electrical energy per foot of heat cable. Heat tape is an energy hog and also dangerous. Heat tape will short out if the pipe it is protecting develops a leak. A potential shock hazard for people unless the heat tape was connected to a GFCI protected circuit. The intermittent circulation of ambient temp water is a cost- effective way to keep pipes from freezing. A shorted out heat tape can cause structural fires, which can destroy your home. In most cases, heat tape is run in areas where there is no smoke or fire alarms installed, i.e. crawl spaces under homes and manufactured homes.
There is a more economical and safer way to guard water pipes against freezing in all but the coldest climates, by the intermittent circulation of ambient temp water. Using the intermittent circulation of ambient water protects all the water pipes in a home, even those concealed in wall, floors, and ceilings, all the locations where heat tape cannot be installed. Installing heat tape inside walls, floors, and the ceiling is a violation of the building and electrical codes. Installing heat tape in those locations is a fire hazard. Because this system heats the pipes hidden in the walls and floors, there is no need to heat the whole house when you go away on vacation.
The RedyTemp system draws less than 0.52 Amperes or 62.4 Watts, approximately the same amount of energy as a 12 foot section of heat tape, and the RedyTemp system is protecting the hundreds of feet of pipe installed in the average home. You can go away for as long as you like without worrying about power failure because the RedyTemp system has a battery back up that will maintain the system operation for a full 30 days.
The RedyTemp system is simple to install.
The RedyTemp system is so easy to install that even someone new to DIY plumbing can install it successfully in less than an hour to an hour and a half. There is nothing left to buy when you purchase the RedyTemp system because it comes with everything that you need to install it, everything except the few hand tools that you are certain to have in your tool kit.
Tools that you will need:
8-inch adjustable wrench
Installing the RedyTemp unit is a breeze.
The installation is a straightforward three step process, but you need to begin by selecting the furthest point from your hot water heater that gives you access to both the hot water and cold water lines i.e. an upstairs bathroom if your water heater is in the basement or on the first floor. The reason for this should be obvious. The further you are from your hot water heater the more pipes will be protected by the circulating ambient water.
There has to be easy access to a 110 volt receptacle. You can run the cable up through a hole drilled in the sink cabinet and plug the cable into the GFCI protected receptacle found there or you can install a receptacle under the sink. Installing a receptacle under the sink is not rocket science but you will need to purchase a wiring permit for your local building permits department, and you will need to have your work inspected. Installing a dedicated receptacle under the sink is worth the extra expense and time because who wants to drill an ugly hole in their beautiful sink cabinet.
Here, are the three easy steps.
Turn of the hot and cold water valves under the sink. Next, using the basin wrench, disconnect the existing flex lines from the sink's faucet connections and connect them to the “E” and “G” connections on the RedyTemp unit.
Using the two new flex lines that came with the RedyTemp unit connect the “F” and “H” connections on the RedyTemp unit to the “Hot” and “Cold” inlets on the sink's faucet assembly.
Open the Hot and Cold water valves. Plug the RedyTemp unit into the 110 volt receptacle and turn the unit on. Follow the instruction, given in the manual that came with the unit for setting the programmable timer.
One final note, if you are using a tankless hot water system in your home you will need to order the TL Series RedyTemp unit.