The best way to keep pipes outside the house from freezing is to not have any water in them at all.

Try to turn off the water supply that feeds pipes in empty buildings, pasture water lines, sprinklers and garden hoses.

There are two options to keep the water flowing if you have to use outside pipes during freezing weather.

One option is to add heat to the water through things like electrical heat tape.

The tape can be wrapped on pipes and then plugged in if you’ve got electricity available.

You can also add heat with a heating device like a heat lamp if it’s in an enclosed space, a relatively small building or something similar.

If adding heat isn’t possible, try running a constant trickle of water through the pipes. It does not have to be warm water.

You don’t want to do this all winter, but a steady trickle does work well during the extreme cold when you’re worried about the pipes freezing solid.

Outdoor water lines that run through a heated area can benefit from having insulation wrapped around them.

For example, if a short run of pipe had to go through an unheated space where most of the pipe was protected but it went through a crawl space under the house, wrap that pipe with insulation.

When the water comes through the pipe, the heat cannot escape from the water line as it’s passing through the unheated space. That kind of insulation can help.

Water pipes that are exposed in barns and sheds can be insulated, too, but keep your animals in mind. Livestock might find insulation interesting to chew on.

Recommended for you