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Winterizing the Water Lines

by on Sep.25, 2006, under Water System

Thermometer
23 Sep 2006.
OK, we actually made it back on schedule!
I had wrapped the connection in duct tape to protect it from the sun, in case we didn’t make it back for a long time.
Here, we took a cheap indor/outdoor thermometer and connected the outdoor sensor directly to the pipe, so we can keep track of the temperature of the water at that point. It has the indoor and outdoor reads, and more importantly, has the minimum and maximum reads since the last time it was reset. So when we visit, we can check to see how cold the water got since last time we were up. That might give us a heads-up that we might need more insulation if the reads go too low.
Pay no attention to the reads in the picture, I haven’t peeled off the plastic demo tape yet!

Thermometer for Monitoring Hi/Low Temps

Thermometer for Monitoring Hi/Low Temps

Foil Insulation
23 Sep 2006.
Here, we have begun to wrap the pipe in foil covered insulation typically used for water pipes in cold areas.
We did two layers of this.

Insulating Tank Valve

Insulating Tank Valve

Fiberglass
23 Sep 2006.
Next, we added two layers of fiberglass insulation, and waterproofed it with rolls of plasic wrap that came with the fiberglass.

More Insulation

More Insulation

Retaining Wall
23 Sep 2006.
Here, we are starting to build a retaining wall to hold dirt around the entire pipe. That will provide extra insulation.

Retaining Wall

Retaining Wall

Retaining Wall
23 Sep 2006.
We went 4 blocks, about 32 inches high. After placing an access well over the valve, we filled this with stuff they call “garden soil” at Home Depot, but it’s more like mulch that has not finished composting.
I remember as a kid, that we would use bales of straw against building foundations to act as insulation. Well this stuff has enough wood chips and straw in it to serve the same purpose.

Wood Chip Mulch Insulation

Wood Chip Mulch Insulation

Cleanup
24 Sep 2006.
We broadcast the left over mulch on the ground to help fill in some of the holes. It should compost up into dirt in the next couple years.
I feel pretty good about the installation. It has about two feet of dirt over most of the pipe, and the access well is filled with fiberglass insulation, too. On the first night, before we had finished the retaining wall, so there was only a few inches of dirt, the thermometer said it got down to 34 degrees outside, but the water temperature varied only from 62 to 59 degrees.

Finished Water Line Install

Finished Water Line Install

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