replying to email@example.com, Rob wrote:
Insulation is effective when you have a significant temperature differential
between the spaces on each side of the insulation. The hose bib is "outside,"
right? So, outside the cover you have frigid outdoor air, inside the cover you
have the hose bibb and more outdoor air. With no source of heat, and no seal,
how long is it going to take for the temperature inside the cover to become
equal to the temperature outside the cover? Not very long.
As "insulation" I can't see how those covers can do much of anything other than
make money for the manufacturer and stores that sell them. There might be a
little value in dissipating wind chill if the faucet is exposed to the wind,
though, and keep snow and ice off of it.
A more effective thing might be to use a heat tape on the pipe during periods of
extreme cold. This will keep the pipe warm enough so the water inside will not
cover CAN prevent freezing. The copper pipe will conduct heat out of
the heated space, and the cover will help p;revent that heat from
dissipating, keeping the faucet from freezing, at least untill the
temperature difference gets too large or the cover gets knocked off.
That's the key.
My outside hose bib valve is inside a heated wall and the water
stays almost a foot inside the wall. I don't expect it to freeze, but
I put an insulated cover on it to make sure.
The one in the garage goes down the garage wall to a shutoff/drain then
The pipe is insulated.
I put a cover on that one too to slow the heat flow from the shutoff
valve to the outside. All I need is the ground to keep the valve from
freezing by putting in more heat than is lost thru the outside insulated
When it gets below about 15F, I lay a 25W light bulb near the valve on
that one. Happens a few times a decade.
Insulated covers are cheap and often helpful...but not a substitute
for thinking about the thermodynamics of the situation.
You'd expect that homes constructed in a region would be tolerant
of weather conditions in that region. YMMV
and no seal, how long is it going to take for the
The wall and pipe are the source of heat. If your insulation were
perfect, you'd be right.
I'm with you, if you're talking about Northern climes. In the South,
these work reasonably well because it rarely gets very cold for
extended periods of time. If it gets to 15F for an hour, here, it's
damned cold. The daily highs are rarely below 35F, or so. Anything
If you're in the North, you really need frostless silcocks or drain
any standard silcocks. The little boot isn't going to do anything but
let you sleep better. ...until the pipe breaks.
Actually, that probably doesn't help much if any as doing so would
basically compress the fiberglass to a solid mat at which it has very
little actual insulating R value left. It's the same idea as that on
not compressing fiberglass batts by squeezing an R19 roll for 6" stud
into a tubafor wall cavity.
An air barrier, otoh, would be beneficial to stop airleaks.
My folks house had two outside faucets. One in garage, and one going out
through the electrical box wood enclosure. The garage was near the ceiling.
The other high in a basement room. We never had an issue I remember. It
used to get cold in Pittsburgh. I remember -17. I think the pipe on the
inside of the cinderblocks is at least 50 degrees, so I guess that helps.
It's going to be colder Monday than, well I can't remember last time, -9
degrees. I heard -22 in 1994.
On 1/3/2014 9:01 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
a styrofoam cover is not going to be enough to
prevent sillcocks from freezing.
Did you email Al Gore, the global warming guy, and
ask for your money back on his prediction?
Sounds rough. I'm glad NYS isn't that bone numbing
cold. I hope you have backup heat in case the
power or gas goes out.
On 1/3/2014 9:01 PM, email@example.com wrote:
covered his outside faucet with said foam cover. On the other side of
the wall was a bedroom closet where the water meter was located. At
this time I don't remember if the faucet was one of the freeze proof
units where the valve is actually on the inside of the wall. But, that
closet was cold because, besides one short wall being an exterior wall,
one long wall backed up to the unheated garage. Plus, the bedroom was
unused, so they probably shut off the heat registers. Anyway, we had a
cold snap and the pipe froze and cracked (copper). As I recall, we kept
the faucet and put in a shut off with drain, inside the closet.
When the weather gets really cold, a lot of folks make the mistake of
closing off rooms when there are pipes in the walls, in the ceiling or
under the floor. When we had a cold snap and the temperature dropped to
7°F which is unusually cold for Alabamastan, my roommate had closed off
his bedroom to keep my barking rat out of there while he stayed with
family in another county, I had to partially open the door and block the
bottom to keep Sandy out because there are pipes under his bedroom.
We had no pipes freeze but the kid across the street came over to borrow
my water key to shut off their water because pipes froze and burst in
their unheated basement. Sometimes it costs more money when you try to
save money. ^_^
I'm in the frozen pipes club, too. I had one freeze
one night when it got down to about +2F, and the
wind was blowing into my water heater cabinet. I need
a new thread on how cold does it have to be, before I
leave a faucet dripping.
Sure, that's not all that hard to do. What I
actually did on the day of the freeze, was to
cover the (about) 9 x 13 inch hole in the WH
cabinet door, with mylar double bubble wrap.
Cut down on the cold blast coming in.
I've not had frozen pipes and I've lived in Cape Cod, KS, NY and PA (not in
the winter in PA) though. For many years I did use the foam covers. I've
even been told that in a pinch, you could use a large foam cup and duct tape
A few years ago, I bought faucet socks. I like those better because they
take up less room to store.
Here in WA it doesn't normally get as cold as it does in the places I
mentioned above. Still when the water gets really cold and stays there, I
will leave a faucet just barely running, just in case.
On Sun, 19 Jan 2014 14:52:02 -0600, The Daring Dufas
It's amazing that pipes burst in a basement. There must be some
really bad air leaks down there. I'd get that fixed as soon as
possible. My basement is still around 60F, though I did insulate the
above-ground portion last Winter.
It helps to know where your plumbing is. I have one bedroom upstairs
closed off because there is nothing in it (the two of us really don't
need five bedrooms). Other than the silcocks, there are no water
lines in the outside walls, though. The bathroom upstairs is in the
center of the house and it is upstairs (convection) so I'm not worried
about heat up there. My office is in the FRoG, so it does get chilly
up there. I turn the heat up when I use it for any time.
On Monday, October 9, 2006 7:41:03 PM UTC-4, Eigenvector wrote:
I use heat tape where needed, like on the line coming from the oil tank to the basement or the lines in the pump house out by the barn. We have shut offs for the outside faucets so we shut them off and drain them at the beginning of winter.
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