I forgot to put the foam cover on the water spigot in my unheated garage. T
he pipe to the spigot runs for about ten feet through a wall that is common
with the garage and my living room. I turned off that supply line in the b
asement; now I'm afraid to turn it back on in case the pipe has burst. I ca
n't think of any way to know if the pipe burst without turning on the water
and waiting to see if it comes through the wall into the living room. Any
I did the same one year but nothing froze. OTOH my situation is not
exactly like yours.
Is the spigot in the garage? Is the garage door shut most of the
time? All of the time? Even unheated, the garage provides some level
of insulation against the cold. After all, the foam cover is unheated
inside, but it often keeps the pipe from freezing. I gather it has been
enough in prior years.
(If you open the garage door to let in the car, the heat of the car and
of your body I would guess matches the heat lost through the open garage
When? Before it got cold or after you thought the pipe may have
As you probably figured out by now, there is really no point to turning
off the water unless you also drain the pipe from the valve to the
spigot. And in many cases you can't even drain the pipe by opening
the spigot because part of the pipe runs uphill That's what the bleeder
valve on the turn-off-valve is for, a little brass cylinder that you
open after you turn off the water, open the spigot, and then go back
inside to drain the pipe.
Although the foam cover may be enough depending on the weather where you
live (where is that?)
What happens when you turn the water on at the spigot?
Regardless of the answers above, I sort of think you should act now,
because there may be colder periods ahead in the next 6 or 7 weeks.
Maybe you need 3 or 4 people. First turn the water on at the spigot.
Does the slightest amount of water come out? Of course not much will
because the inside valve is closed.
Now you need one person to turn the water on a trickle at the inside
valve, one to immediately note and report if water is coming out at the
spigot and how much, and two to watch the wall in question, both inside
the house and inside the garage, to immediately report signs of water
leakage. Since it's only open a trickle, you may have to wait 10??
minutes. You may have to wait 30 but then you can make the rounds and
do the checking If they see any wetness, turn off the inside valve
Can you patch it from the garage side?
If there is no sign of leaking and the water runs out the spigot even a
tifle, let it run and it it will melt any ice in the pipe and the water
flow will soon match how much the inside valve is open.
Sarcasm? I'm sure he didn't do all that or he wouldn't need the foam
cover at all.
On Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 11:38:07 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org
on with the garage and my living room. I turned off that supply line in the
basement; now I'm afraid to turn it back on in case the pipe has burst. I
can't think of any way to know if the pipe burst without turning on the wat
er and waiting to see if it comes through the wall into the living room. An
y better ideas?
From experience, you should know how cold it gets in the garage with
recent outside temps. Does stuff easily freeze? It sounds like only
the spigot is in the garage, with the pipe going directly into the
heated living space. It's likely there is enough heat transfer that
it wouldn't freeze unless the garage was left open, got extremely cold,
heat in the house was off, etc., without the insulation cover.
I'd say you probably have nothing to worry about.
The correct implemenation there is to use a freeze proof sill cock.
Then there is no need to shut off the water, drain it, etc. And you
can have water during the winter, if needed. You could put one in,
but it would require access to the pipe on the other side of the wall.
On 01/14/2015 10:38 PM, email@example.com wrote:
A foam cover is not going to do much, so if you forgot to put it on it
should not be a big deal. Hopefully you had enough sense to drain the
pipe...but even if you forgot to do that...it's not likely the portion
behind a heated wall would freeze.
On Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 7:52:26 AM UTC-5, philo wrote:
mmon with the garage and my living room. I turned off that supply line in t
he basement; now I'm afraid to turn it back on in case the pipe has burst.
I can't think of any way to know if the pipe burst without turning on the w
ater and waiting to see if it comes through the wall into the living room.
Any better ideas?
I would think a foam cover would help a bit, but I agree, I don't think
it will help a lot. It would be interesting to see some test results
where they were actually tested to see the temp diff with and without.
They would help more outside, where they would keep the wind off of it.
But I think the bottom line is, what good are they really? If it's
subject to freezing, then it should be turned off and drained or
even better, a freeze proof sillcock. I sure wouldn't rely on one.
On 1/14/2015 11:38 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
over it. The faucet was on the front of the garage. The garage was
basically unheated, however, there was a heating register in the garage,
built before local codes prohibited that. But, it was mostly closed.
There was a shutoff/drain in the basement. The pipe ran under the
concrete garage floor, came up just inside the front wall, went up the
wall on the surface of the drywall, turned and went to the sill cock. I
would shut off the valve, open the drain in the basement and open the
sill cock outside. Maybe 1/2 cup of water would drain back; certainly
not an amount for approximately 30' of 1/2" pipe. I'm sure it froze
every winter. Never had a problem unless a hose was left attached.
The one time I had some experience with the foam covers, was at my
father-in-law's house. He'd put it on religiously every year, even
though it was a so called freeze proof faucet. It froze and burst inside
of a bedroom closet, just on the other side where the faucet was
located. So, I too, think foam covers are snake oil.
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
If you shut off the water in the cellar there should
be no problem. In the Spring, just turn it back on.
It should "hiss" for maybe 2-4 seconds as the pipe
refills. If that hissing sound of running water doesn't
stop then you know you have a burst pipe. :)
If your pipe is empty, no problem, it ain't frozen or broke.
If it is frozen or broke it's because it has water in it.
And if you leave it that way, it may freeze in a different place and break
If you can, get the water out NOW!
I'd not about it. We know what meant.
As to the frozen pipe, yes, very possible.
Hope when it thaws, it doesn't turn out to
be a leaker.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
In that case I highly doubt there sat full volume of water in the pipe.
Spring comes, just slowly open up the water. I have 3 spigots, 2
outside, 1 in the unheated garage, I shut off all of them from inside
the basement and leave the spigots open after that. But I blow sprinkler
system for sure.
| I really don't understand the logic here.
| If your pipe is empty, no problem, it ain't frozen or broke.
| If it is frozen or broke it's because it has water in it.
| And if you leave it that way, it may freeze in a different place and break
| there too.
| If you can, get the water out NOW!
He's already turned off the water. I've never
seen a pipe burst when the water's been turned
off. Covering the faucet itself would have been
unlikely to do anything, so it doesn't matter that
he forgot to do that.
I have a similar situation. I've got a water pipe
going through my unheated shop -- which right now
is well below freezing -- to an outdoor spigot. I shut
off the valve in the heated part of the cellar in
the fall. I'm not worried that the pipe may burst.
If that were a worry then we'd all have to have
a gizmo to suck water from outdoor taps every fall.
I've never heard of anyone having or using such
So.... It's almost certain the pipe hasn't burst.
If it did, how can it burst again with less water
in it than it had before? (Remember the theoretical
burst will have released pressure, and the valve in
the cellar is closed, so no additional water can get
into the pipe until Spring.) What you're proposing
is that water in a burst pipe, which will certainly drain
and evaporate a bit if it thaws, could then somehow
refreeze with such pressure that it would burst the
pipe again in a second location. It just doesn't work
On Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 10:20:09 PM UTC-5, Mayayana wrote:
Why wouldn't it? Pipe is still full of water, it expands,
it busts. Just like putting a closed bottle of water
in a freezer.
Covering the faucet itself would have been
You should be. What matters is if the pipe is full of
water. When water freezes, it expands, where is it going
to go? I've seen houses winterized that were unoccupied,
where the low point drain was opened, etc., yet pipes
burst in low spots, because they still had water in them
that couldn't run out.
There are millions of sillcocks installed with an inside
shutoff valve that has a small drain cap. To winterize,
you shut it off, then open the sillcock and open the little
drain cap on the valve, allowing the water to run out.
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