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Old 09-29-2009, 03:01 PM   #1
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Default heater in crawl space

The gc wants a baseboard heater in the crawl space to help keep pipes from freezing. I've seen this before and I didn't like it then, still don't. Mice build nests in there and they just get covered with crap. They plan on using fiberglass in the floor joists and foaming the exterior walls. The crawl space is 3' tall by thirty feet long. I'd like to put in one of those utility well house heaters, but they are only 500 watts. and I don't think the air would circulate all that well. I'm just not comfortable with electric heat in a crawl space that no-one will ever check on. Unit heater with a fan? something else? smoke detector? Thanks

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Old 09-29-2009, 03:19 PM   #2
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Default Heater in crawlspace

The fact that your own inner self "KNOWS" the type of heater suggested is not appealing to you shows you care about the "RIGHT THING TO DO" and that is a good thing. The only help I can give you is to fall back on the CODE WORDING "APPROVED FOR THE PURPOSE". I have learned from many years in this business that if you try to save the customer a lot of money by giving the lowest price they usually think that that Is what you think you are worth.

A customer will forget the cost of a job long before they will forget a BAD JOB.

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Old 09-29-2009, 03:59 PM   #3
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Is the heater suitable for a damp location?
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:05 PM   #4
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Why not use a heated pipe cable system?

http://www.heatersplus.com/fpc.htm

http://www.chromalox.com/productcata...ils.aspx?p=310
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by te12co2w View Post
The gc wants a baseboard heater in the crawl space to help keep pipes from freezing. I've seen this before and I didn't like it then, still don't. Mice build nests in there and they just get covered with crap. They plan on using fiberglass in the floor joists and foaming the exterior walls. The crawl space is 3' tall by thirty feet long. I'd like to put in one of those utility well house heaters, but they are only 500 watts. and I don't think the air would circulate all that well. I'm just not comfortable with electric heat in a crawl space that no-one will ever check on. Unit heater with a fan? something else? smoke detector? Thanks
Most decent GC's condition the crawl around here. But not using baseboard heat. The heaters are not rated for a damp location. He just needs to add a few pieces of duct.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:15 PM   #6
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Most decent GC's condition the crawl around here. But not using baseboard heat. The heaters are not rated for a damp location. He just needs to add a few pieces of duct.
Why would you want to waste heat energy from a central system in a crawl space? The OP wanted to keep pipes from freezing. So why not address the pipes directly? A lot less energy required and only when needed.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:53 PM   #7
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Why would you want to waste heat energy from a central system in a crawl space? The OP wanted to keep pipes from freezing. So why not address the pipes directly? A lot less energy required and only when needed.
just because YOU"VE NEVER seen it,,,,,don't act like you know everything.



I"LL SAY IT AGAIN<<<<<<<MOST GOOD CONTRACTORS CONDITION THE CRAWL,,,,,,,I see it here alot. I went in a crawl that had a homeless guy living in there at night. AGAIN<<<<<< MOST GOOD CONTRACTORS CONDITION THE CRAWL. You wanna hear it again?
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LJSMITH1 View Post
Why would you want to waste heat energy from a central system in a crawl space? The OP wanted to keep pipes from freezing. So why not address the pipes directly? A lot less energy required and only when needed.
There are alot of GC that put those sealed crawl spaces in and they have a few ducts grills in them to keep the crawl the same temp as the house.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:00 PM   #9
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You wanna hear it again?
Yea, I sure would. BTW I love those sealed crawl spaces.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:03 PM   #10
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I agree with mcclary here on this one. While I don't work on a lot of houses with crawl spaces, the ones I do have conditioned crawls. It does away with the need to have crawl vents, reduces mold and mildew, and, most importantly, it keeps the pipes from freezing. You don't need to keep the same temp. in the crawl as the house, so a few vents will do.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:10 PM   #11
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The GC wants electric baseboard because it's the cheapest way out for him. Thermostatically controlled heat tape is the right solution, and it is expensive.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:14 PM   #12
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The GC wants electric baseboard because it's the cheapest way out for him. Thermostatically controlled heat tape is the right solution, and it is expensive.
That sounds like most of the GC that I've worked around.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:16 PM   #13
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just a thought,but to keep pipes from freezing does not require alot of heat in many areas. How about a couple incandescent light bulbs,even if on a thermostat? I just go turn mine on if we are getting a deep freeze for several days.

Of course I forgot to look if you are in the great white north. that might make my idea impractical.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mcclary's electrical View Post
just because YOU"VE NEVER seen it,,,,,don't act like you know everything.



I"LL SAY IT AGAIN<<<<<<<MOST GOOD CONTRACTORS CONDITION THE CRAWL,,,,,,,I see it here alot. I went in a crawl that had a homeless guy living in there at night. AGAIN<<<<<< MOST GOOD CONTRACTORS CONDITION THE CRAWL. You wanna hear it again?

What is your problem buddy? I have seen it and I think its a hack way to address a "PIPE FREEZING ISSUE". "Good Contractor"? Riiiggght... We are not talking about moisture, mold, or any other issue except PIPE FREEZING...You wanna hear that again!?

Open your eyes and read the OP!!
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:29 AM   #15
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Well, i think it would depend on the humidity of the crawl space and what type of heater to use. Some customers want the baseboard heater although as said it will not hold up well and is not meant for wet locations. I have done quite a few hanging heater units and had no issues but there was little humidity too.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by LJSMITH1 View Post
What is your problem buddy? I have seen it and I think its a hack way to address a "PIPE FREEZING ISSUE". "Good Contractor"? Riiiggght... We are not talking about moisture, mold, or any other issue except PIPE FREEZING...You wanna hear that again!?

Open your eyes and read the OP!!

I don't have a problem other than you implying a BASEBOARD heater is more efficient than a SEER rated piece of equipment. YOUR idea is the one that is wasteful. And I still stand by my statement. A Good contractor will condition the crawl, it's a stement,,,,,,NOT saying it's the answer to his question. OPEN YOUR EYES and read my "statement".
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:18 AM   #17
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I don't have a problem other than you implying a BASEBOARD heater is more efficient than a SEER rated piece of equipment. YOUR idea is the one that is wasteful. And I still stand by my statement. A Good contractor will condition the crawl, it's a stement,,,,,,NOT saying it's the answer to his question. OPEN YOUR EYES and read my "statement".
I never said or implied anything about a baseboard heater. Read my posts in this thread. The OP was asking if using a baseboard heater in a crawlspace would be a good solution to eliminate freezing pipes. No other reason was given. What don't you understand? You are reading into this WAYYY too much. An electric or hydronic baseboard heater would be MUCH more energy consuming than the small wattages required by thermostatically controlled, pipe heating tape. That's a fact.

Now, if controlling moisture was a primary concern, conditioning the crawlspace is the best plan - HOWEVER there are other things that need to be done as well, such as providing a proper moisture barrier on the ground, proper insulation, and venting requirements. Don't care or believe me? Read this...

http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...=crawl%20space

I have seen HACK work with providing conditioned air to crawlspaces with floors insulated, no moisture barrier installed over the dirt, or just a random tap off branch ductwork not correctly sized for the space.

Hope that clarifies things for you.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:59 AM   #18
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The link seems to be in favor of conditioned crawlspaces with minimal vented air supplied....
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:12 AM   #19
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Why would you want to waste heat energy from a central system in a crawl space? The OP wanted to keep pipes from freezing. So why not address the pipes directly? A lot less energy required and only when needed.
If crawl space is below the living space where do you think the heat loss is going to go? Most likely the majority of the heat will rise to the living space so it is not really lost.

OTOH if the crawl space is not sealed or insulated very well that alone will make a big difference in whether additional heat is needed.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:33 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by mcclary's electrical View Post
just because YOU"VE NEVER seen it,,,,,don't act like you know everything.



I"LL SAY IT AGAIN<<<<<<<MOST GOOD CONTRACTORS CONDITION THE CRAWL,,,,,,,I see it here alot. I went in a crawl that had a homeless guy living in there at night. AGAIN<<<<<< MOST GOOD CONTRACTORS CONDITION THE CRAWL. You wanna hear it again?
What's it like to be such an angry person always ready to fly off the handle?

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