Thanks a lot again!
The last time (before bed) I checked, the garage temp had gotten as low as 40 by the pipes (outdoor temp was about 3 degrees and wind chill I found out now was around - 5).
I kicked up the house thermostat 2 degrees (69) and made sure to leave the furnace room door slightly ajar (6 inches, measured from edge of door to door frame).
I also, to be extra safe, left the COLD water (steady/constant trickle stream), since that costs almost nothing anyway as far as I am concerned, and I wanted to ensure that the concealed [not sure if they are inside outer wall or are slightly further in than that and insulated by wood framing] behind pipes for the kitchen sink didn't freeze (they may not have been at risk with the house temp where it was and the cabinet doors open etc. but...
I also filled a slight gap at the top right side of the 2nd garage door to seal out that draft.
If the temps in garage do start to push freezing:
1) I will probably go the heating cable route, making sure to follow ALL the precautions carefully, since that will make it easy not to have to worry much.
2) I would then supplement this with the trickling trick, just to try to help the kitchen pipes behind the sink; that combined with the house heating being on same temp (67 - 69 depending on what I decide; currently 69) all day (even when not home and at night).
I do have a portable Pelonis 1500W ceramic heater, but I found this to be VERY inefficient. Even in the house (I once used it in the family room which is downstairs adjacent to garage) it is inefficient.
While it blew a lot of very hot air up to a few feet away, it surprisingly seemed to do literally NOTHING for the room temperature as a whole even when on for 20 minutes, forced air is MUCH better).
I had thought about the fact that if power to the furnace went out, it could be problematic, but such is life.
The heating cable wouldn't help in that case either...
And, about being pennywise and pound foolish I fully agree!
That is why me heat is on 69 even though I am not home; they mention 55 - 60...
That is also why I am making sure to cover all bases by asking questions and following MULTIPLE simultaneous prevention procedures, even if running the faucet is not absolutely required. The 2 degree low and wind chill made me decide to play it safe!
However, I did want to obviously do it as cheaply as possible, as long as I wasn't jeopardizing the anti-freezing procedures in the process.
For example running a steady stream of warm water 24 hrs a day for several days can add up of course.
I tehrefore didn't want to use a mix of cold AND HOT water if it wasn't necessary under MY circumstances (i.e. with MY location and type (COLD supply only) of pipes in garage area).
Thanks again for all the tips BigMonkey!
PS: I noticed the R-value on the package for the foam pipes.
In that regard, I thought to myself yesterday, that if I didn't want to go heating cable route (if potential fire cocerns continued to bother me) AND if the temps in garage dropped a bit below 40 for more than 30 minutes or so, that I could try the balc insulation, although I don't remember the
In any case, I will keep monitoring the forecast; hopefully next week will; be much better.
If we get another forecast for a WEEK like this, I may just get the heating cable and be VERY careful in its installation.
Then again, my current approach seems to be working nicely so far and
normal highs this time of year are.
The gas and electric bill for last month (and that is with WARMER than normal temps) was almost $210, hopefully it will only be another $35 or $40 this month...
It comes with home ownership unfortunately.
Going forward, I keep temps during the day colder; I had been worried about pipes in unheated garage and therefore kept heating on 67 even when not home!!!. I didn't realize till this educational experience (thanks BigMonkey and a few colleagues at work, and web sites) that the temps we had most of winter were 0 cause for concern in terms of pipe freezing.
In any case, it is MUCH better than a call to the plumber, and worst of all, damage to new carpeting, newly-refinished hardwood floors, newly-painted walls, newly redone bathrooms, electronics, the list goes on!!!