Foam faucet covers - do they work?

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Do those foam faucet covers work for exterior faucets - you know to prevent freezing in the winter?
The previous owner had them on all the exterior faucets when I bought my place, had them stuffed with his underwear of all things - dirty underwear too!
While I don't think I'll stuff them with underwear, assuming they do work as advertised, do I need to stuff them with something or does simply having them over the faucet work?
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Eigenvector wrote:

Sounds like your exterior faucets are not self-draining type. You must have a shut off inside the house. and leave the faucet open.
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HAH, I have a single cold water shut off in this house, at the meter. Sad but true, the builder didn't install any shut-offs on any of the cold water lines - I take that back, there is one at the hot water heater.
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these covers for many years and have never had a faucet freeze under one. Wrapping the faucet in addition can't hurt. Be sure the cover fits snugly against the wall, trim if necessary.
Don Young
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water lines - I take that back, there is one at the hot water heater.
The cutoff at the hot water heater may have been installed when the hot water heater was replaced (I am assuming that it has been replaced at least once). I would add all the cutoff valves that you should have. At the very least do it at every faucet inside the house.
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Eigenvector wrote:

How can they do that? Our local plumbing code requires inside shut off and self draining outside tap.
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Different era. Different location. Different codes.
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Unfortunately in houses on slabs with 2x4 walls, they come into the wall from the exterior and that's it. The only shutoff is the main which is often in a closet.
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i've used them and my faucets still froze.
but better than nothing.
Do those foam faucet covers work for exterior faucets - you know to prevent freezing in the winter?
The previous owner had them on all the exterior faucets when I bought my place, had them stuffed with his underwear of all things - dirty underwear too!
While I don't think I'll stuff them with underwear, assuming they do work as advertised, do I need to stuff them with something or does simply having them over the faucet work?
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They work well in milder climates -- we rarely have extended temperatures below the mid-20s, and they work for a day or two at those temperatures. Still, iffy enough that I drained our faucets until I replaced them with freeze-proof faucets.
--
snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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Eigenvector wrote:

If you have good sill cocks and they are angled correctly to drain the water out, they won't freeze at least down to -20F (assuming you keep your house heated). If you've got those things use them; they obviously provide some protection.
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they might work if the supply water pipe is within a warm room.
Eigenvector wrote:

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On Mon, 9 Oct 2006 16:41:03 -0700, "Eigenvector"

I suggest you wrap the faucet and pipe with 'something' that will retain the warmth in ADDITION to the foam covers. If underwear is offensive to you then use a towel.
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On Mon, 9 Oct 2006 16:41:03 -0700, "Eigenvector"

Are they that much cheaper than a shut-off valve with a waste-plug? And no, they won't help during an extended freeze, unless you're also applying heat somehow from the inside. (If your basement is heated, you might get enough heat conducted along the copper that insulating the outer end will help.)
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wrote:

time here. Besides, no need to do extensive plumbing if a simple styrofoam cover works just fine! But it sounds like they don't....
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Eigenvector wrote:

wireless remote sensors are fairly cheap. So stick a remote in the faucet cover and attach it firmly to the house. Then compare the outside temp with the temp in the faucet cover. It is beginning to get colder so you should get some indication of how effective the cover is.
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On Mon, 9 Oct 2006 16:41:03 -0700, "Eigenvector"

If you live in an area where it gets long freezing temps, and you don't have time to put in freeze proof faucets, then foam covers sound like a way to go.
Just an obvious tip, make sure you install them correctly, and tight. imho,
tom @ www.MyFastCoolCars.com
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Assuming you cannot do it conventionally, any insullation is better than none. How much is another question.
Speculation follows:
It's my understanding that a pipe going through an opening will freeze at that point faster if there is a draft (airspace) on it. Makes sense since a draft can suck heat faster.
I would guess putting a foam cover on it would (help) prevent heat from getting sucked off the faucett faster. How much? Who knows. Packing it loosely with insullation/pipe wrap can't hurt either. Of course, it could still freeze and possibly bust. If it cracks inside the wall it's gonna leak immediately or when the temps rise and thaw it.
Guess the only other option is to leave it running a bit when it's super cold. Direct it away from the foundation would be a good thing, Don't want oodles of water freezing there.
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time to correct the original error and add shut offs all around home, just like I did, use BALL valves they always work and shut off fast! do cost a bit more but they dont obstruct the line at all.
my home had none now they are everywhere, its saved me like the night the bathroom tub faucet decided to not shut off, we would of had no water at all if I hadnt added those valves......
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Actually I wanted to ask about that as well. All of the new valves that I install for fixtures, are 1/4 turn ball valves. I can see a gate valve getting stuck partially open due to buildup of scale, rust, you name it. But a ball valve should be relatively immune to that. It won't be immune to the effects of side leakage and poor tolerancing though.
Are the ball valves worth it?
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