Wrapping outdoor faucets (hose bibs)

Getting mighty cold in central Texas. Last couple days was 80+ degrees. Got down to 40 at midnight last night and by 9:00 this morning, it was 32. Going to be 17 degrees tonight, and 15 tomorrow night. In fact, we may not get above freezing until Saturday sometime. It was a short summer.
Anyway, I went out and dutifully wrapped all our outdoor faucets; first with a bath towel, then with two inch thick foam rubber, and taped it all tight around the faucets.
But, I wonder why this keeps them from freezing. Obviously, there is no heat generated by wrapping them, and there is very little residual warmth in the faucet / pipe stub. A little residual warmth from the brick siding, but that is all. It seems to me that the bitter cold would soak through the towel and foam rubber in a few hours. Then, what good does it do to wrap them?
I know it seems to help by wrapping the faucets, but I'm not sure why. Any ideas?
Bob-tx
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On Feb 1, 3:37 pm, "Bob-tx" <No Spam no contact> wrote:

Heat is transfering from the inside out. Warm always moves towards cold.
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On 2/1/2011 2:45 PM, jamesgangnc wrote:

Is that why I should keep the refrigerator shut when I fart? :-)
TDD
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On Feb 1, 2:37 pm, "Bob-tx" <No Spam no contact> wrote:

Assuming that it is warmer indoors than out, heat is conducted through the pipe and the water toward the outside.
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On Feb 1, 3:37 pm, "Bob-tx" <No Spam no contact> wrote:

Every other week I hear somebody tryin to wet me But I be out of town, gettin water where the hose lay I'm gangzta with the hose bib So don't be messin with my nozzle
...Oh sorry, you didn't mean that type of rapping, did you?
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== Probably do as much good as wrapping it with a rag...although that will help retain some heat. ==
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"Bob-tx" <No Spam no contact> wrote:

It slows the transfer of heat. Metal is a great conductor of heat, which means that the cold outside will follow the valve/pipe into the wall. By wrapping the facuet, you put a thermal break in place which in tun keeps the pipe and valve warmer. In most cases, it only takes a few degrees to keep things above freezing at the valve.
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== And also since the OP lives in Texas...just cracking the valve open enough to let the water slowly dribble out over night for the few times that temps go below the freezing mark would work. This may not be practical depending on location of the valves vis a vis the walks, shrubs, foot traffic, etc.. ==
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On 2/1/2011 3:37 PM, Bob-tx wrote:

As somebody already pointed out, heat flows from high to low. Wrapping your faucet insulates it so that the heat isn't so readily lost to the outside. It's enough to keep it from freezing in most cases.
Jay
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On Feb 1, 3:37 pm, "Bob-tx" <No Spam no contact> wrote:

Not that it matters much, but most of todays hosebibs are "frost free". which means there isn't any water in the bib itself. The valve is inside the house. If you have this type, it doesnt matter if you wrap them or not.
Hank
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I have seen these up north, what we have here are just short stubby hose bibs with the valve just below the handle. Bob-tx
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I don't know about "most", mine aren't, but frost-free are certainly available. The line to one goes through the attic of the garage, too. I do the best I can; shut off those lines at the manifold and leave the valves open.
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