Q&A / 

Prevent Frozen Water Pipes in Outside Wall

Quick Column Summary:

  • How to prevent pot filler pipe from freezing
  • Insulate the wall cavity
  • Caulk all the gaps
  • Keep pipe on warm side of insulation

Tom Chan wants to install a new pot filler faucet in an outside wall. But he's got a problem.

"I want to install a pot filler faucet.  How do I prevent the water pipe from freezing on an exterior wall for this pot filler?  We live in a region that has long a cold winters."

Here's my simple answer to Tom:

Tom, you need to expertly insulate the wall cavity space where this water line will be placed. This means you need to caulk the gaps between the wall studs and the exterior sheathing and any penetrations or holes in the top and bottom wall plates must be completely sealed.

You then install the water line so that the pipe will be in DIRECT CONTACT with the drywall. The water line will be between the drywall and the insulation.

This places the water line on the WARM side of the insulation.

Be sure in the basement or crawlspace that you have a ball valve installed that can be turned off in the event you have a bitter winter and somehow it's so cold the drywall surface falls below 32 F. If that happens, it means another Continental Glacier must be at your doorstep and you have far more serious problems than a frozen pot filler water supply.

Run away from the glacier!

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6 Responses to Prevent Frozen Water Pipes in Outside Wall

  1. Having the pipe in contact with the drywall, will this not create moisture at certain times with the humidity during the summer months and create a mold issue?

  2. on those exterior wall water pipes, for insurance, wrap them with a short electrical heat tape that has an automatic off on thermostat

    • Spray foam is a great product so long as you can control water vapor.

      Realize that it's a problematic material at a later date when remodeling or trying to fish cables. There's pluses and minuses to every material.

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