Foam faucet covers - do they work?

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replying to snipped-for-privacy@aol.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 freeze.
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On Sat, 04 Jan 2014 00:44:01 +0000, Rob

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.
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On 1/3/2014 4:44 PM, Rob wrote:

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 into the warmer ground. 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 bib. 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

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On Sat, 04 Jan 2014 00:44:01 +0000, Rob

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 helps.
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.
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wrote:

That works, to, though you'll need something to keep it dry.

That works.
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wrote:

makes mounting it securely a snap. Stuff it with insulation, if you must.
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On 1/4/2014 7:22 PM, Bob F wrote:

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.
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Compressing insulation doesn't render it useless. It does help keep it in place, though.

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Here in Chicagoland, it is supposed to be between -15F and -11F on Monday. With the hi temp at -11F, a styrofoam cover is not going to be enough to prevent sillcocks from freezing.
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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.
Greg
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On 1/3/2014 9:01 PM, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net 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.
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On 1/3/2014 9:01 PM, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net 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.
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On 1/4/2014 8:09 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

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. ^_^
TDD
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On 1/19/2014 3:52 PM, The Daring Dufas wrote:

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.
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On 01/19/2014 04:02 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Could you put in some louvres in the wall between the water heater cabinet and the living space?
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On 1/19/2014 5:07 PM, Tom Silvah wrote:

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.
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On 01/19/2014 05:27 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Yah, even Kevin O'Conner could handle that job.
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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 it on.
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.
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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.
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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.
Paul
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