Kae describes our attempts to counter the havoc that extreme cold could wreak on our plumbing system. We have chosen to install braided heating cable around nearly all of our interior piping, which should prevent freezing down to temperatures of -20 °F; the pipes are then wrapped in fireproof rubber sleeves, which adds additional insulating capacity. We may never need this level of freeze protection, but living in the Rockies – who knows? We decided that it made most sense to prepare for the worst, rather than experiencing a serious freeze that blows our entire plumbing system and requires us to tear down the walls for repairs…
Here are the key components of our freeze protection system:
EasyHeat Freeze Free Cable: This braided cable is designed to be wrapped directly around pipes, and is “self-regulating,” meaning that more heat will be delivered to colder pipes (and less heat to warmer pipes) which not only prevents freezing, but also minimizes unnecessary energy output. If you’re a science dork like Kae and Reid, check out this brochure to understand how the system works : ) The outlet attachment and end cap are sold in a separate kit, and are super easy to install.
Armacell Rubber Self-Seal Pipe Wrap Insulation: These are the rubber “sleeves” that we wrapped around the pipes; the braided cable requires a layer of fireproof insulation, and with an R-value of 3.3, these “sleeves” will also help significantly in preventing our pipes from freezing!