winterizing fresh water supply lines – self-draining option

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  • This topic has 7 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 20 years ago by Guest.
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    • #275223
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      I will be winterizing my cottage water system. Canadian shield rock prevents burying the line, and I am interested in a solution I have heard about but do not know what parts I need to put it into place.

      I am using a submersible pump, and a tank with a bladder. I have a check valve in place to prevent the tank and system draining back. The problem I need to solve is how to allow the water in the poly line to drain back into the lake, i.e. releasing the pressure before the tank, and letting it run down the hill. At the submersible pump, I can either remove the check valve on the pump (not my preferred option) drill a small hole in the fitting/housing before the pump. At the top, air needs to escape when the pump kicks in, to avoid filling my tank with air; equally, I need a mechanism to allow to enter the line when the tank is full, and it is time for the line to drain. I will be using in-line heating at the water’s edge to prevent freeze up at that point.

      So, what do I need to get, and do ?

    • #291460
      Robert Stephen Morton
      Participant

      Radlard, I have no knowledge of freezing except for a short stint in an area where black frost’s occured periodically, in that area the pipes were drained at night. I could never work out why a simple circulation pump was not installed from the source to the end outlet, because to my knowledge moving water wont freeze?

    • #291461
      Guest
      Participant

      Another version of the ‘warm water freezes before cold water tale.’ If moving water does not freeze, then climbing frozen waterfalls is a waste of time or magic. Did the water fall stop in order to let it freeze? Was it frozen in a waterfall mold and applied by climbing supply con-men?
      http://www.bureaudesguides.com/bgm/en_cascade.php3

      The fact is that water freezes as a coat upon a cold object, then more water freezes on the cold ice until it all freezes. Either that or rivers never freeze over; yet an industry existed getting ice slabs from rivers to store for later seasons, olympic champions train on frozen rivers, and armies crossed to reach objectives.
      http://members.aol.com/cragscons2/cneha98.htm

      Water will not freeze if a heat source keeps it over the freezing temperature, so a device to keep fresh water over 32F or zero C would help. It is less expensive to let water drain from the pipe and apply heat to the storage vessel to keep water from freezing in it. Then the air relief valve and vacuum breaker kept warm by close attachment to the 40F heated tank and covered by an insulated shed can continue to operate without ice preventing their operation. Warmed water flowing back to the lake from the vessel will thaw residual ice from the pipe. Pre-insulated pipe can help in this design.
      http://www.offshore-technology.com/contractors/corrosion/logstor/

    • #291462
      Robert Stephen Morton
      Participant

      Harold, as I said I had no expertise with cold climates, I prefer to live in a warm climate with a winter temp of 11 degrees Celcious as minimum. Average winter temp of 28 max, as I said only a short stint in the cold area, didn’t like the cold! and I still suffer on those cold mornings of 11 deg when I have to wear a light jumper, cause my knees get cold. You are a hardy lot you eskimos. But then I suppose you don’t need refrigeration.

    • #291463
      Guest
      Participant

      An understandable conclusion. Homeowners let taps run in the winter to prevent frozen lines. Actually, water coming from the ground in colder areas like Maine is about 42F in the winter as the ground doesn’t freeze deep below the surface there. Alaskan areas have permafrost, but the earth well beneath permafrost is still 40F. The lines don’t freeze as long as the supply of water coming from the ground is enough to provide heat to the lines to keep the water above 32F.

      The rule needs to be fully stated as “Running water warmer than 32F doesn’t freeze.” or “Ground water that was running and dropped below 32F is now frozen.”

      Your idea to keep water circulating will work if the water is taken from a part of the lake that will always be below the ice because the earth is providing enough heat to keep the bottom water above freezing AND the water that is taken from that point has enough heat to keep the pipes above freezing by the time it returns to the lake. The same happens when the homeowner keeps the cold water line open to keep the line from freezing.

    • #291464
      Guest
      Participant

      Guys, you missed the point, and did not answer the question. your information, while interesting did not help one bit. Perhaps there is someone else with expertise in this field.

    • #291465
      Robert Stephen Morton
      Participant

      Radlard. Would it be possible to install a “T” adjacent/above the check valve & fit a waterproof solenoid valve that could be activated when you wish to drain the line? I believe it would be easier to move to Queensland where it is warm all the time & some real good blokes to have aXXX with when it gets too hot. Good luck!

    • #291466
      Guest
      Participant

      Water will not freeze if a heat source keeps it over the freezing temperature, so a device to keep fresh water over 32F or zero C would help. It is less expensive to let water drain from the pipe and apply heat to the storage vessel to keep water from freezing in it. Then the air relief valve and vacuum breaker kept warm by close attachment to the 40F heated tank and covered by an insulated shed can continue to operate without ice preventing their operation. Warmed water flowing back to the lake from the vessel will thaw residual ice from the pipe. Pre-insulated pipe can help in this design.

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