19 January 2001

Warm goodbye to frozen pipes

FED up with frozen standpipes and having to thaw out cattle drinkers?

Grene is marketing a French frost protection system which uses heat stored in the ground to prevent pipes freezing up.

La Buvettes system comprises a standpipe which has a smaller, gas-filled pipe running through its length. The end of the gas-filled pipe is buried at some feet below that of the water supply pipe and picks up the residual heat from the soil at that depth, conveying upwards to the weather-exposed standpipe.

While the manufacturer remains reluctant to disclose the type of gas in use, it admits that it is retained at a pressure which at a set temperature causes it to be a liquid.

As it is heated by the surrounding soil, it boils off to a gas and takes this heat/energy to the top of the pipe and prevents the standpipes water freezing before returning as a cooled liquid to the warmer lower depths once more. &#42