freezing pipes/heat tape

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Smelt, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. Smelt

    Smelt Active Member

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    Seasons Greetings :)

    As usual right on time, it's starting to freeze here in the North Country.

    What do you think of this outside faucet idea? Have a "freeze proof" 8" faucet in our little un-insulated mud room plumbed into the usual waterline. Then putting heat tape as per manufacturer instructions along the exposed (in mud room) copper pipe up to the sill cock valve, and wrapping all this with fiberglass insulation...perhaps even wrapping the fiberglass insulation with some sort of aluminum foil, ect.

    My goal is to have the outside faucet available for filling up 5 gal water buckets rather than coming inside to the tub (and my wonderful wife yelling at me!) :p

    As usual, your wisdom is appreciated.

    smelt
     
  2. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like it would work to me.As long as it doesn't catch any drafts a little heat tape goes a long way.We have the 8 inch freeze proof faucets.I dont even cover them up.Haven't had a problem in 4 years.But then agin I'm in TN where it doesn't get very cold for long.

    They make a foam cover that goes over pipes.Made for 1/2 and 3/4 inch pipes.Lowe's and HD both sell them.There about 4ft long each and cost like less than a buck each.I have used these in the past and just duck taped the crack in them and them end to end.So no drafts came across the line.
     

  3. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 "frost proof" hydrants with 4 feet of exposed pipe for barn water. Both are enclosed in 5 inch wide PVC pipe and packed with fiberglass insulation. Haven't had a freeze-up yet even with -20 last winter. I think your plan will work just fine!
     
  4. Smelt

    Smelt Active Member

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    Awesome idea! Did you stick heat tape on the pipe too?

    Thanks all for the responses. :)
     
  5. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Why not just replace the faucet with a "freeze-less" faucet. They look like this:

    [​IMG]

    Our home in northcentral Minnesota has three of these on the outside walls. These never freeze because the valve seat is located inside the house where it is warm. The water left in the faucet after it's shut off, drains outside after each use. No need for heat tape or insulation.
     
  6. Smelt

    Smelt Active Member

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    The picture you furnished is of a freeze proof sill cock... this is what I've already talked about. My problem is that I can't mount the remote part of the valve within a heated place unless I use heat tape, etc. The pipe attached to the sill cock is in an open-to-freezing space. It's not the faucet that is the worry...it's the 6 feet or so of piping to feed the sill cock.

    :)
     
  7. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The black poly foam they make just for this purpose would be a lot less work. They come with an adhesive on the slit. Just put you heat tape on the pipe, then put the foam tube over the top and pull the plastic cover off of the glue as you squeeze the tube together over the pipe and heat tape.

    I'm not real clear, though, on why you don't mount the faucet where it won't freeze and use a hose for the six feet.

    If you don't have the freeze proof faucet already, you could save about $10 by using a regular valve. Since you're mounting it in the mudroom, and it isn't in a freeze proof area, why spend the extra money. You are using heat tape, so that will protect a regular sillcock from freezing.
     
  8. Smelt

    Smelt Active Member

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    Good idea about the poly foam tubes...I've seen them...I just don't want a fire hazard, I don't know if they will melt, etc.

    I have a regular faucet that was mounted in a poor location (3 inches above the ground-covered with snow already) as well as being frozen shut as of about 2 weeks ago. Hoses are frozen within a couple hours. There is no place to mount a faucet (above snow) that will not freeze. We have an old, hand quarried, granite foundation and I don't want to try to get through that...and I don't want to drill into the walls of the house (Post and Beam). The mud room is the only place to stick a faucet that can be used in the winter...it just is not protected from freezing.
     
  9. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The design of a freeze proof faucet requires the end away from the handle be inside where it won't freeze. If the whole fauce assembly is in an area that freezes, it will still freeze. However, if you use heat tape, the water will stay above freezing and the faucet will not freeze. The last I looked, the freeze proof faucet cost around $17 here in Denver. A regular faucet cost around $4. If you use heat tape, you could use the $4 faucet.