1

Pretty simple question, but conditioned crawlspaces seem new enough that I couldn't find anything about it on Google. Does the warmth from the crawlspace make winterizing the faucets unnecessary?

Update: sorry for not providing climate details. I'm in Tennessee; we get mild winters. We get from 4-7 days from Dec-Feb where the temperature drops below 20*F.

The house has two climate zones for the upstairs and downstairs living spaces, and the crawlspace is tied in with one of them.

The outside faucets are not freeze-proofed silcocks.

  • It's only a simple question if all the relevant information is provided. What are your typical winter overnight temperatures? How warm is the crawl space kept? What type of faucets are we talking about? – isherwood Dec 9 '16 at 20:06
3

Varies with climate/temperature and specifics of the faucets/plumbing. We've had heated basements for a long time, so nothing all that new here.

If they are frost-free sillcocks, probably nothing is needed, but you'll save a bit of energy and add some insurance with an insulated cover over the outer part. I have seen these freeze in a heated basement under very cold conditions with no water use (so even though the sillcock was drained back to the inside valve, it conducted enough heat away from the inside that water in the pipe near it, on the other side of the valve, froze.) That was probably at -20F and the basement was heated, but not hot. Since the piping for the faucet was near the outside wall, it was a relatively cold spot in a "heated" basement, with a hunk of thermally conductive brass sticking out into the cold.

If the sillcocks are not of the frost-free type with a long stem and a valve on the inside, in my opinion they need to be drained in any climate where it freezes, though you might get away with neglecting that in a very mild freeze, depending how well the pipes are exposed to the heat; again, that can be improved somewhat with the insulated covers for the outside part, but draining them is safest.

2

Depends if they're plain faucets or actual sillcocks. Sillcocks have the valve setback considerably into the building so it's in the "warm zone".

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  • 1
    My concern is that most crawl spaces aren't heated to the extent that a living space would be. I'd only heat mine to say 50 degrees. In extreme cold (-20F or below), that may not be enough to prevent freezing for several feet inside the insulation line, considering the rapid heat conductivity of copper. – isherwood Dec 9 '16 at 20:05
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    Then it becomes a game of temperatures; can the water-laden pipe equalize with the ambient crawlspace faster than heat leaks down the dry but brass sillcock. This is where judicious application of insulation and heat radiators would help; i.e. insulating the wet part of the pipe is the worst possible thing you could do. Also, heating tape would make short work of this situation. – Harper Dec 9 '16 at 20:10

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