CPVC in Crawlspace with Heat Tape

Yesterday I did an inspection where I found CPVC in a crawlspace. It’s in Kansas where it gets well below freezing in the winter. As to what temperature the crawlspace actually gets, I don’t know.

Question 1: Is CPVC appropriate in unconditioned spaces where there’s a good possibility of freezing temperatures?

In this particular installation though, it appears the plumber wrapped it with heat tape which would take care of the freezing issue. There’s a plug coming out of the heat tape and then an extension cord coming down into the crawlspace from above, but the two were not connected.

Question 2: Do you leave heat tape plugged in year-round or only during the winter?

I don’t have a problem seeing CPVC in a crawlspace, although I like to see it completely insulated. It also helps if they insulate the crawlspace walls.

I would recommend an outlet be installed as extension cords are meant for temporary use.

It only needs to be plugged in during the winter, although I don’t see many of my clients remembering (or wanting) to enter the crawlspace to plug them in every year.

To be properly installed (in addition to the items already mentioned above) heat tracing should be thermostatically controlled and the pipe /tracing should be insulated. Otherwise, it still might not save a freeze during exceptionally cold / windy weather.