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I find it happens with customers who take 30 minute showers....and many of them the spouse takes a 30 minute shower right after....It always seems to be a major part of the issue...along with the frozen vent being near by that shower...the steam rises and freezes....short showers on below 30 degree days 'may' help

they also sell a heated vent....I looked it up on the internet for a customer...its more popular in Canada.....you plug it in during the cold weather and it keeps it from freezing
 

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I've seen 3" vents frosted shut too.
 

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The Grand Wazoo
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Hoar frost is why Chicago requires all roof penetrations to at least one pipe size larger than the vent stack, the minimum being 4", a 4" vent stack would require a 5" roof penetration.
 

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diplomat
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The problem is so common in Fairbanks, Alaska that several solutions had been tried. 3-4" vents for one, and insulated up to the roof deck and sometimes beyond. Sometimes a J shaped bend of soft 1/2" copper with a 3' long side hung down the vent works. It transferes heat from inside the building to keep a channel thawed. The only solution that has always worked for me though is heat trace down the vent. I have not seen the heated vent product and am interested in that.
 

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diplomat
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I think on my next build in Fairbanks (-50 or colder winters) I'm going to plug the 3" vent into a 3x4 ABS bushing with a 4" sleeve, and I'll wrap the 3" with raychem self regulating heat trace and plug it into a switched from inside the house gfci outlet in the attic. $60 in materials or so.

This should be going in around July. I'll post a pic.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I think on my next build in Fairbanks (-50 or colder winters) I'm going to plug the 3" vent into a 3x4 ABS bushing with a 4" sleeve, and I'll wrap the 3" with raychem self regulating heat trace and plug it into a switched from inside the house gfci outlet in the attic. $60 in materials or so.

This should be going in around July. I'll post a pic.

Andrew,

I am glad I started this thread so that it could inspire you to do what you do. :clap:

Just curious, would the home owner turn on the "switch" when the temps drop below a certain number and leave it on till spring??

Or just turn in on for a hour when the toilet flushes silly??

Thanks,

Les
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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...and plug it into a switched from inside the house gfci outlet in the attic.
Just to keep it interesting, I had a call last winter for frozen pipes in a basement. The pipes in question were wrapped with heat tape, as they needed to be given the layout.

The GFCI it was plugged into had popped. :whistling
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Just to keep it interesting, I had a call last winter for frozen pipes in a basement. The pipes in question were wrapped with heat tape, as they needed to be given the layout.

The GFCI it was plugged into had popped. :whistling

Consider this: Install a small relay that is powered by the GFCI heat tape circuit with a open contact powered by a 9vdc battery to a small beeper. GFCI trips and the beeper goes off.

There are similar devices for freezer receptacles that would do the job as well.

Just a thought!!

Les
 

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You can buy the heat tape with a thermostatically controlled switch on it. True enough it needs to be checked once in awhile to make sure its plugged in and the gfci isn't tripped. We see them a lot under Mobil homes set up like that
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Consider this: Install a small relay that is powered by the GFCI heat tape circuit with a open contact powered by a 9vdc battery to a small beeper. GFCI trips and the beeper goes off.
Yep, that's one way to skin the rabbit. I just wanted to point out that the rabbit exists. :thumbsup:
 

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diplomat
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Maybe a gfci breaker for this one... I'd consider it a non mission critical thing, so they could troubleshoot and reset the breaker easy if the toilet flushes bad.

It would probably just be a turn on for a while when the toilet flushes funny thing. Though self regulating heat trace uses very little power. Cool stuff.
 

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A few years back I read of a fix for this. Don't know if its legal by code or if it works but I'll share what it is and you can do what you want with it.

The "fix" was to hang a piece of copper pipe down inside of the vent pipe so that the copper end is about flush with the top of the pvc vent pipe. The theory was that the copper will conduct heat differently than the PVC and it will bring just enough warmth up from the house to keep the stack open.
 

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The Grand Wazoo
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A few years back I read of a fix for this. Don't know if its legal by code or if it works but I'll share what it is and you can do what you want with it.

The "fix" was to hang a piece of copper pipe down inside of the vent pipe so that the copper end is about flush with the top of the pvc vent pipe. The theory was that the copper will conduct heat differently than the PVC and it will bring just enough warmth up from the house to keep the stack open.

Pure comedy gold.
 

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Actually, it does work. The problem you may run into is you could restrict the free air flow in the vent and cause the same problem- a blocked vent- just from a different source. A lot of times in a stack vent the comment vents will tie in to the stack in the attic so running too much copper would/could block or restrict that comment vent. It could work though under the right conditions
 

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Damn auto correct- should say "common" vents
 
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