Styrofoam Faucet Covers - Protect Down to Single Digits?

10,334 Views | 116 Replies | Last: 10 days ago by dubi
Goose83
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Are the standard styrofoam faucet covers sufficient enough to protect down to 3 degrees, or do they need augmenting (pipe insulation (good luck finding that now, though), etc.)?

Or would be running (dripping) water through them be a better option?

Supposedly it was this cold sometime back in the 80's, but I have no recollection as to what (if anything) special we did back then.
rsa
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They are okay. If you have an old towel/t-shirt/etc., wrap it around the cover for extra insulation.
doubledog
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An old sock and a large Styrofoam cup works well too.
histag10
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Malek is giving away free faucet covers to the first 500 callers. I just called and they still had them free.
scd88
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I think I'm going to take an old rag or washcloth and wrap the hose bib and then shove the insulated box over it.
AggiePhil
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scd88 said:

I think I'm going to take an old rag or washcloth and wrap the hose bib and then shove the insulated box over it.

What is a "hose bib?"
CS78
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I could be wrong but Ive never felt the covers made too much difference. It's still going to be almost the same temperature inside them. Again, my opinion but i'd think a fast drip would be a lot safer.
MiMi
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S
Quote:

What is a "hose bib?"

The outdoor water tap on the exterior of your home.
Aggie
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Wrap a dish towel or tube sock around the faucet.. cover it with a plastic bag to keep dry then duck tape the whole thing.

More efficient than a faucet cover
Langenator
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Also, if you have sinks on an exterior wall (kitchen is the most common for this), open up the cabinets underneath. This helps get warmer air onto the outside wall.
Sweet Kitten Feet
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S
Langenator said:

Also, if you have sinks on an exterior wall (kitchen is the most common for this), open up the cabinets underneath. This helps get warmer air onto the outside wall.


And allow both hot and cold taps to drip
Goose83
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Somehow I'm not feeling all that reassured after reading this thread.

Thought about adding some insulation around the pipes (provided one can find it at this point), but thought of opening up the covers at this point and allowing freezing air inside them seems a bit counterproductive.
Counterpoint
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Is there a definitive answer on whether covering or dripping the outside stuff is better?
Aggie
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I've never heard of letting outside faucets drip.

To me you would end up with some some pretty good ice accumulation... likely a solid line of ice from the faucet to the ground
MemphisAg1
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Aggie said:

I've never heard of letting outside faucets drip.

To me you would end up with some some pretty good ice accumulation... likely a solid line of ice from the faucet to the ground
It's a tried and true practice for older homes that aren't insulated well. Yes, it creates a mess but usually avoids a pipe freeze. Newer homes that are designed better, plus faucet wraps should achieve the same outcome without the mess.
Goose83
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Counterpoint said:

Is there a definitive answer on whether covering or dripping the outside stuff is better?
Shame that someone in the local media hasn't gone out and asked some experts about this specifically.

I'm afraid a lotta of people are going to end up getting burned by all of this in the end - Broken pipes, broken engine blocks, you name it.
El_duderino
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As if people/businesses haven't had enough to worry about the past year. Now folks are just keeping fingers crossed their pipes don't bust and have to pay to fix that
ontheedge
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Aggie said:

I've never heard of letting outside faucets drip.

To me you would end up with some some pretty good ice accumulation... likely a solid line of ice from the faucet to the ground
I have done it numerous times having lived with septic systems for 26 years. I'm not dripping into the system by dripping indoor faucets. Most if not all homes built in recent (15) years have Pex waterlines and they withstand the cold much better than PVC. I may turn the main off and drain the system for the single digit temps
Goose83
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The more I read about this, the more and more I get confused. I have enough issues with this old house falling part around me without having to worry about all this.

Of course, options are pretty limited at this point, as all the hardware stores have already been looted and pillaged, so finding anything like pipe insulation tape, pipe wraps, etc. is a lost cause.
scd88
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https://www.clumsycrafter.com/how-to-protect-your-faucets-in-a-freeze/
OnlyANobody
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Possible styrofoam solution - Cut up pool noodles if you still have them.
Psychag
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I used the styrofoam covers and wrapped towels around with duct tape.
Goose83
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So we have:

Styrofoam covers
Styrofoam covers with towels or tee shirts placed inside, or wrapped around the outside.
Styrofoam covers with water dripping.
Dripping.
Pool noodles.
Towels and tee shirts wrapped around the pipes with several layers of plastic wrapping.

Clear as mud. Thinking about trying to drip with the styrofoam covers on (need to figure out how to make that work though).
turfman80
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Did some internet reading and will try this on my most exposed faucets...wrap protruding section from wall with styrofoam pipe wrap, wrap faucet with towel , then cover with a styrofoam cover, like I normally do in freezing weather. In addition, I am now wedging a cheap styrofoam cooler flush with the wall to cover the faucet. An engineer on the net says the extra covered air around the faucet will act as extra insulation. Worth a try with low digits predicted...
"Yeah, well, sometimes nothing is a pretty cool hand"
Goose83
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turfman80 said:

Did some internet reading and will try this on my most exposed faucets...wrap protruding section from wall with styrofoam pipe wrap, wrap faucet with towel , then cover with a styrofoam cover, like I normally do in freezing weather. In addition, I am now wedging a cheap styrofoam cooler flush with the wall to cover the faucet. An engineer on the net says the extra covered air around the faucet will act as extra insulation. Worth a try with low digits predicted...
I thought about this as well.

legalbird
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Old country man used do wrap with towel, then grocery store sack and then duct tape . Simple
aviationag
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Re: outdoor hose bibs

My neighbor suggest wrapping them but leaving an opening to let them drip. Does anyone agree with letting them drip or simply wrapping completely. The covers were all sold out at every store I tried yesterday so I'm using the pool noodle, wrap with cloth and seal with plastic method. It appears my house doesn't have a shut off for only the exterior water so I can't drain them. I see this was discussed a few posts earlier but didn't see an answer for the combination of wrapping AND dripping.
MemphisAg1
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aviationag said:

Re: outdoor hose bibs

My neighbor suggest wrapping them but leaving an opening to let them drip. Does anyone agree with letting them drip or simply wrapping completely. The covers were all sold out at every store I tried yesterday so I'm using the pool noodle, wrap with cloth and seal with plastic method. It appears my house doesn't have a shut off for only the exterior water so I can't drain them.
Just my two cents.... leaving a faucet dripping without a cover has worked for ages. Will create icicles and a mess, but it works.

Dripping the faucet and then covering it feels risky to me. What if ice accumulates and the dripping water has no where to go except back into the wall? Likelihood is probably low but I wouldn't sleep well with it.

I would either drip without a cover, or cover and no drip.

In my case, I have the covers. I wrapped the two on the north side of the house with extra roll insulation and duct tape. Should be good.
aviationag
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MemphisAg1 said:

aviationag said:

Re: outdoor hose bibs

My neighbor suggest wrapping them but leaving an opening to let them drip. Does anyone agree with letting them drip or simply wrapping completely. The covers were all sold out at every store I tried yesterday so I'm using the pool noodle, wrap with cloth and seal with plastic method. It appears my house doesn't have a shut off for only the exterior water so I can't drain them.
Just my two cents.... leaving a faucet dripping without a cover has worked for ages. Will create icicles and a mess, but it works.

Dripping the faucet and then covering it feels risky to me. What if ice accumulates and the dripping water has no where to go except back into the wall? Likelihood is probably low but I wouldn't sleep well with it.

I would either drip without a cover, or cover and no drip.

In my case, I have the covers. I wrapped the two on the north side of the house with extra roll insulation and duct tape. Should be good.
Thank you so much for answering. I'm doing this on my own with very little experience (always had covers) so want to be sure that I don't create another problem on top of the one I'm trying to solve. Thanks again.
Goose83
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Found a couple types of foam pipe insulation strips (noodles) my late father had buried deep in the garage. Not sure which is the better of two, but am going to give them a try (every little bit helps).

As for dripping with cover on, I'm curious as well.
Rockdoc
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Rockdoc
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Well I wrapped with t-shirt, covered with styrofoam cover, and dripping. We'll see.
Goose83
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Feels like we're rolling the dice with whichever decision we make.

This is one certainly one wager I'm not fond of having to make.
Rockdoc
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I let mine drip inside the cover because even if it fails to drain thru the foam gasket and clogs up inside the cover, we're still just talking 32 deg, and hopefully not 5 or 10. That should spare the pipe inside the wall.
Aggie
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Rockdoc said:

I let mine drip inside the cover because even if it fails to drain thru the foam gasket and clogs up inside the cover, we're still just talking 32 deg, and hopefully not 5 or 10. That should spare the pipe inside the wall.


Well it's supposed to be in the single digits.
There is no reason to wrap or cover pipes when it's only 32 degrees. Pipes won't freeze unless it's below 20 for about 4/5 hours.... which looks like we will get

Obviously there is no clear cut better method.
I'll wrap and cover my outside faucets and let the inside drip and hope for the best .
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