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By AaronBurns
#6971
Just like storm windows, a double pipe can keep the weather out, but PVC and steel pipes break in the winter even when they are insulated if they are single pipes. I have seen that pipes of any kind (plastic, steel, copper, etc.) used in any application come in any size you want them in. If you have a one inch pipe then you place the hardly useable insulation over it tightly, then you place a slightly larger pipe over it which provides a pocket of air around the inner pipe which will never freeze since it is never exposed to the air. Even glass can produce this effect. Imagine how easy this quick fix is for any type of pipe especially a plastic pipe of some sort when you are passing a liquid of any kind through it and you do not want its temperature to change.

This idea is applicable to rubber hoses as well or any material holding any liquid where the temperature of the liquid is to remain the same. The real use is too keep the plumber away from the house when the pipes freeze because they are payed exorbitant prices and it takes days to go through an entire wall to repair and/or replace a pipe or hose.

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By Jonathan D
#7654
The pipes might work but probably not the hoses, the hoses are to flexible and it might not make a difference.
By Rishi
#7656
AaronBurns wrote:Just like storm windows, a double pipe can keep the weather out, but PVC and steel pipes break in the winter even when they are insulated if they are single pipes. I have seen that pipes of any kind (plastic, steel, copper, etc.) used in any application come in any size you want them in. If you have a one inch pipe then you place the hardly useable insulation over it tightly, then you place a slightly larger pipe over it which provides a pocket of air around the inner pipe which will never freeze since it is never exposed to the air. Even glass can produce this effect. Imagine how easy this quick fix is for any type of pipe especially a plastic pipe of some sort when you are passing a liquid of any kind through it and you do not want its temperature to change.

This idea is applicable to rubber hoses as well or any material holding any liquid where the temperature of the liquid is to remain the same. The real use is too keep the plumber away from the house when the pipes freeze because they are payed exorbitant prices and it takes days to go through an entire wall to repair and/or replace a pipe or hose.

Reward: Credit

Every material has a finite thermal conductivity. There is no real material with a zero thermal conductivity. Air has a substantial conductivity. This means that there will be a finite heat loss from the contents to the outside. The water will freeze if it is stationary inside any pipe with a passive insulation.

It will be cheaper to keep the water moving. Or, heat the outside of the pipe as you suggested elsewhere.

Rishi
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By AaronBurns
#7660
What if we heat the air through out the pipe or hose?
That would keep stagnant water from freezing and take very little power to do so.
By Rishi
#7668
While it is true that air has a low thermal mass, the toal power needed is decided by the heat loss from the outermost pipe surface. This could be about 300 watts fer sq.ft. of surface of a buried pipe assuming a 20 deg.F difference in temperature between the pipe and the soil. The total power can be quite large depending on the pipe size and length.

Rishi
By Ariaelf
#23873
AaronBurns wrote:Just like storm windows, a double pipe can keep the weather out, but PVC and steel pipes break in the winter even when they are insulated if they are single pipes.


FYI: This is no longer true with the latest technology in pipe materials. Copper and PVC have freezing issues (and are supposed to be insulated with foam pipe insulation per code) however PEX tubing is not affected by freezing. That's because the pipe is not rigid, and freezing water expanding is not a problem for the pipe with it's slight flex.

So rather than calling the plumber every time your pipes freeze, just replace the old ones with Pex. (Or make sure they are installed to code to begin with, on an interior wall and insulated where exposed to the elements.)

I'm a bit of a plumbing geek - hope that helps :)
By Ariaelf
#23874
Isn't it interesting that everyone in the thread was thinking of ways to keep the *water* warm, rather than thinking of what actually causes the pipe to burst? (the expansion of frozen water in a rigid pipe?)

I love how a bit of out-of-the-box thinking (let's make the pipe flexible!) solved this old problem without spending any energy or using any extra materials, with no possibility of failure.

Gotta love great engineering :) As in math, the best solution is always elegantly simple.
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