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Placing a Thermostat to Keep Pipes from Freezing

I have just purchased a house in Middletown, CT and thought I was being smart by buying a pellet stove to beat the high oil costs. My house is a two-story house with a basement. I installed the stove on the first floor. As it gets cooler I have realized how cold the basement gets now that the furnace never kicks in. My worry is frozen pipes.


My thermostat is also on the first floor so I am thinking it needs to be moved. My first thought was to move it to the second floor and away from the heat. But then I started thinking of moving it to the basement and setting it to 58. The basement move would be far easier than moving it to the second floor but I don't know if it is a good idea or not. Any one out there with some advice/input?


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By guest (Guest Post)
October 19, 20080 found this helpful

You could put a thermometer in the basement to see how cold it will get. I doubt it will go below 55 degrees. I say that because I live in Maine and that is how cold my basement will get during the winter.


You could insulate the pipes in the basement as I have done. I bought the insulating stuff from the home center and it is made to cover pipes. It just slips over the pipe. You will find it in the plumbing section. I don't understand why you want to move the thermostat. If you put the thermostat in the basement and set it to 58 and the basement cools to 55 I would think the furnace will run a lot and defeat the purpose of the pellet stove. I would insulate the pipes,put a thermometer in the cellar to check the temp and forget about it.

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October 19, 20080 found this helpful

My DH says the thermostat should be where the heater is and the pipes that your worried about all in the same place.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 21, 20080 found this helpful

Leave the thermostat where it is and turn it down accordingly so that it won't turn on unit until it's necessary. What I would do is turn the furnace fan on only (recirculate the warm air from the pellet stove) and see if that helps with the basement temp. I would be worried about freezing pipes!

I placed my pellet stove in the basement (along with the furnace) very warm, I'm trying to do the opposite - move the air up in lieu of down.

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October 21, 20080 found this helpful

As Harry suggested I think insulating the pipes is paramount...One thing he did not address was location of the stove. Heat rises, so perhaps basement location for stove good idea, but do you want to run up & down to replentish pellets. Most pellet stoves will heat so well they almost run you out of the house so don't understand the additional need for furnace. Good luck & God Bless and stay warm!


Gale aka stormy10000

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December 30, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Cropner,

You might try a ThermGuard from Bear Mountain Design:

It attaches to your need to move your thermostat...and you can program it to cycle water through your pipes periodically. I had a similar problem. I burn wood in my house and my heating pipes would freeze and burst because the stove kept the house warm enough so the heater never kicked on. It happend twice and I couldn't find a solution that would work for me until ThermGuard.

It has a microprocessor controller and doesn't need any batteries. It remembers the programming even if the power is lost.

It only costs $70 and it is a lot cheaper than antifreeze or fixing the mess when the pipes go.



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