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Thread: Frozen baseboard heating pipe

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member James W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Richmond BC

    Default Frozen baseboard heating pipe

    A couple of years ago during a particularly cold winter came home to a garage full of water. Turned out the original hot water baseboard heating pipe for the top floor had about 8 feet between rooms run through an unheated attic space with no pipe insulation . Haven't had a problem since (it's insulated now!) but I do get nervous on cold days. I was thinking about running a length of heating cable, perhaps on spacers to avoid direct contact, but wonder if this is an acceptable application.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Insulation doesn't 'make' heat, it only slows the transfer from the hotter area to the colder area. If it was that cold, I'd expect that zone would have been calling for heat, and it shouldn't have happened. But, if you shut it off, or turn it down at night, it could. If the line runs close to the ceiling and there's insulation above it, as long as the room below was heated, it should not happen. Many heat tapes should not be installed in insulation...you'd have to read the instructions carefully to see if it was an allowed application.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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