My garage is below a heated room, and there are heating pipes running through the garage to heat that room. In the recent incredibly cold spell in New England, one of those pipes froze and burst. I have lived in this house for 30 years, and this is the first time I've had a problem; now I have to figure out the correct solution. My plumber tells me that the pipes can't reasonably be moved anywhere better. They do have pipe insulation on them (though due to my own stupidity the insulation on the place that burst had fallen off and I hadn't replaced it.)
The garage is about 17'x17'; there is an adjoining room as well that is about 13'x12'. The house itself is heated with gas forced hot water. The garage has an old large radiator in it that is part of the basement zone; several years ago I put insulation over that radiator, as the basement zone rarely fires (it stays pretty warm down there due to the boiler itself).
In addition to better pipe insulation (which again my plumber tells me is insufficient), I see two reasonable solutions:
- replumb the radiator in the garage to be on its own zone and set it to some really low temperature, or
- purchase an electric wall-mounted heater to heat the garage, again to some low temperature.
Which of those is preferable (or is there another solution I'm missing)?
Clearly this is (at least historically) a pretty rare issue for me, so I don't need or want a high-end solution, but it was sufficiently unpleasant that I would like to address it.