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How To Keep Pipes From Freezing Without Heat

Winter is a very pretty time of the year, that is if you like cold weather, but like every other season it comes with some complications, more so for homeowners. In many households, one of the biggest challenges of the winter season is, of course, frozen pipes. Pipes often freeze during winter since water may turn to ice, which may cause blockage or bursts of the pipes and much more water damage. But what do you do if you don’t have the luxury of heating to keep your pipes warm? In this blog, let us discuss How To Keep Pipes From Freezing Without Heat. Here are some simple steps that you can follow to avoid pipes from freezing even where there is no heat.

Insulate Pipes and Tanks

Wrap Exposed Pipes

The initial step to ensure your exposed pipes do not freeze is to cover them. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Identify Vulnerable Areas: It is recommended to check the cavities in walls, crawlspaces, attics, and basements as well as any other unheated area and the pipes are left open to the air.
  2. Use Pipe Sleeves or Foam Insulation: Slide the pipe sections into the pre-fabricated pipe jackets or use foam jacketing pipe insulation. These materials can be obtained from any hardware store in the market and the installations are very easy.
  3. Ensure Complete Coverage: Always ensure that the insulation covers all the pipe surfaces to minimize the amount of heat loss that may occur.

Insulate Hot Water Heater Pipes

Don’t forget the pipes connected to your hot water heater. These can also be prone to freezing:

  • Use Appropriate Insulation: Hot water pipes should also be insulated using the same material as other pipes.
  • Check for Gaps: Make sure that it is tightly fitted and covers all the parts of the pipes specially where it connects with the heater.

Increase Water Flow

Let Faucets Drip

Running water is less likely to freeze. Here’s a simple trick:

  1. Open Faucets Slightly: Let a slow, steady drip of water come out of the faucets fixed on exposed pipes.
  2. Monitor Water Usage: This can augment your water bill but is less costly than fixing burst water pipes.
  3. Consider Non-toxic Antifreeze: If you are worried that there might be dripping water and this may lead to freezing of the sewer lines, then you can use non-toxic antifreeze which is preferred for this work.

Improve Air Circulation

Open Cabinet Doors

Allowing warm air to circulate around pipes can prevent them from freezing:

  1. Open Cabinets Under Sinks: This allows warm air in the room to reach the pipe.
  2. Access Panels in Crawlspaces or Attics: Any openings such as access panels should be opened to allow warm air into these locations.

Address Drafts and Leaks

Seal Air Leaks

Preventing cold air from reaching your pipes is crucial:

  1. Inspect for Leaks: Look for air leaks around windows, doors, and the foundation of your house.
  2. Use Caulk and Weatherstripping: Seal any gaps with caulk or weatherstripping to keep cold air out.
  3. Check Your Foundation: Seal any gaps or openings in your base or crawl area.

Utilize Other Methods (if safe and applicable)

What is Heat Tape?

Heat tape is an electric product meant to be wrapped around pipes, so as to generate heat and ensure they do not freeze. It is particularly relevant for regions characterized by extremely low temperatures.

Heat Tape

Heat tape can be a lifesaver for problem areas:

  1. Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Coil the heat tape around the pipes in the mentioned manner.
  2. Avoid Overheating: Do not heat the pipes to a point where they become too hot so as to avoid causing fires.

Drain Pipes

If you’re leaving home for an extended period:

  1. Shut Off the Water Supply: Turn off the main water supply valve.
  2. Open Faucets and Drains: Let all water drain out from the pipes to prevent any water from freezing.
  3. Turn the Water Supply Back On: Before you return, turn the faucets to let air into the pipes after closing them and turn water supply on again.

Additional Tips

Know Your Water Shutoff Valve

In the event of frozen pipe, it is important to identify the location of your stop valve to avoid lots of fuss.

  • Locate the Main Valve: Find out where your main water shutoff valve is located.
  • Test It Regularly: Make sure it works properly so you can shut off the water quickly in an emergency.

Keep Garage Door Closed

In case your water pipes pass through the garage, ensure the garage door is shut to prevent the pipes from freezing due to cold.

Consult with a Licensed Plumber

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice:

  • Professional Inspection: An experienced and licensed plumber will be able to physically examine your plumbing system and give individual recommendations.
  • Emergency Services: Always make sure that you have the contact details of a good plumber around in times of an emergency.

Read Also: Can Walmart Employees Wear Hats?


It is indeed possible to prevent your pipes from freezing even in the absence of heat and this can only be done through some preparations and constant monitoring. One can insulate pipes, ensure good air circulation, control for drafts, and use such accessories as heat tape to prevent pipe freezing. You may decide to be away and one way of protecting your pipes from bursting is to drain them. If you want to protect your plumbing from freeze, and you do not want to face the situation of burst pipes you should follow the below tips.

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