Forum Title: Freezing Pipes
Hello Plumbers, Here is a picture of the situation: Last winter the pipes supplying water to my basement bathroom toilet and sink were freezing up (both hot and cold). We had to let both taps drip for the whole winter to avoid burst pipes. The shower, strange enough, was fine. The previous house owner had been living with this for at least six years so I decided to open up the walls. What I found is that the hot and cold supplying the sink/toilet do not run the shortest possible distance, but actually wrap around the tiled shower. This is against the outside foundation wall and involves about 12 feet of copper pipe. I'm confident that the freeze is happening somewhere in these 12 feet. Originally I thought I would just open up the wall and wrap the pipes in heat tape, but now I realize this would mean carefully pulling out and then replacing about 30 shower tiles. Heck no. What I propose instead is to cut into the wall at the location marked in the picture and to cap the copper piping running behind the shower (without doing this the pipes will still freeze, and may burst.) Then I would run NEW hot and cold lines with PEX from the sink toward the furnace room (toward the right in the picture) and cut into the lines in the furnace room. I would use the shark-bite type copper-to-pex connectors they have at Home Depot. Can anyone comment on the plan and flag any concerns I haven't thought of? Thank you. Mike
Category: Plumber Post By: JONATHAN FLORES (Dearborn Heights, MI), 07/10/2017

Are the Sharkbite fittings going to be exposed for future service/replacement?

- HERBERT FRANKLIN (St. Joseph, MO), 09/13/2017

I was not planning for this, no. I am hearing that it's not a good plan to have concealed sharkbite caps, especially in an area that may freeze, but it only takes a minute to cut into drywall. Is copper a better idea? Could I learn to work with copper in a day or two? How dangerous is it to solder in a confined space full of insulation? Do I have any other options here? Thanks,

- WILMA VEGA (New Albany, IN), 10/05/2017

I am as frugal as they come, but sometimes, if you are not prepared, it would be cheaper to get a professional involved. Maybe this would be one of those times, especially when dealing with a torch, solder and flammable items.

- VIVIAN KELLER (Tallahassee, FL), 10/09/2017

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