Condensation on Water Pipes

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Patrick Larkin, May 2, 2004.

  1. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    In the basement of my house, I noticed a small drip pattern in straight lines across my basement. I look up and the water line from where it enters the house all the way around the basement is covered in water droplets. The droplets are dripping.

    Is this normal? Its humid today but not overly. The house is 6 months old. Should I call the plumber?
     
  2. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    The air is humid. The pipe is cold, due to water supply temp. This happens.

    Short of dehumidifying the air in your basement (which is likely quite high humidity- moreso than outside), it'll happen.
     
  3. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Thats what I thought. Never seen it before at my old house. I suppose if they are drywalled in later they won't be exposed to the humidity.
     
  4. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Actually, they still probably will be. Unless you go with some dehumidification system for the area where the cold water pipes are, it'll always be an issue. The humidity will permeate the drywall.

    What type of water line is it? PVC? Copper? If it's some type of plastic, you can usually get away with wrapping it with pipe insulation, and that helps to minimize the heat exchange from the basement air to the pipe. Try it before you do the drywall. Wrap the pipe, then periodically check the wrap to see if the moisture is reduced. If it is, then you won't have any issue leaving it that way, when you drywall.

    You're getting the condensation because the temperature of the pipe is below the dew point in your basement.
     
  5. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I second the pipe wrap and get a dehumidifier down there. Every basement should have one.
     
  6. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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    Yep, insulate the pipes and you will be good to go. Get the black rubber insulation that is slit down one side and has the peel and stick strips. Rubbatex is one brand name. It is available at Home Depot, Lowes or any plumbing supply store. Super easy to install, it just cuts with a utility knife or probably even scissors. Make sure you cut the corners like a miter and get some tape that should be nearby to make the corner joints tight with no gaps.
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I wrapped the pipes in the basement of our previous home (copper pipe) to prevent dripping. I have not experienced this problem in our current home, though. I do agree that a dehumidifier in a basement is a must. The doors in our finished basement swell and are difficult to shut, the air becomes very musty and the paneling begins to warp if I do not run ours in the summertime. Attach a drain hose so you do not need to worry about emptying the holding tank.
     
  8. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Pipes are copper. So the black pipe wrap stuff would do the job then? And a humidifier. Thanks.
     
  9. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    -DE- humidifier. Big difference.[​IMG]
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Most definitely. However, this brings up one other point -- if you have a forced air furnance and central air system with a humidifier installed, make sure you shut off the humidifier for the warm weather months. No sense placing even more moisture in the air during those humid summer months.
     
  11. ClintS

    ClintS Stunt Coordinator

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    My advice is like the other get a dehumdifier, especially in a new house the concrete is still curing adding to the moisture problem. My builder includes a dehumidifier for every house with a basement for this reason.

    Only other thing is I would recommend a model designed to deice in a cold enviroment, they are labeled usually for basement use below 60 degrees or something like that.
     

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