Will Space Heaters Keep Pipes From Freezing?

Frozen pipes are an expected winter catastrophe. The extreme winter’s temperatures are not only punishing you but can freeze your pipes, risking bursts and other related problems like dangerous flooding in your home. Most frozen pipes occur in unfinished basements or behind poorly insulated exterior walls connected from wall to wall. 

When water freezes in the pipes, the ice expands and can crack the copper pipes. The water will seep through the cracks in the pipes when the pipes warm and the ice thaws. These damages are costly to homeowners. Being educated and prepared is the best way to prevent pipes from freezing.

In this post, we’ll address some concerns, such as if space heaters can keep pipes from freezing, and suggest other methods that can be used to achieve the same results.

Prevention is more cost-effective than ripping apart walls to insulate pipes even if you have to keep the space heaters constantly running for several days. The cheapest and easy fix to prevent pipes from freeing is space heaters.

Installing a space heater in your basement can keep any poorly insulated pipes from bursting as the heat will act as an insulation barrier. At this time of the year, plumbers have a long list of customers with similar problems. Most insurance companies will not pay for repairs without first sending an adjuster to inspect the damage.

Due to these factors, it can take some time to get the pipes fixed, leaving a portion of your home unusable. Hence you can be proactive and take preventive measures to save you headaches and a lot of money.

Why do Pipes Freeze in Winter?

When water freezes inside the pipes, the molecules expand, and density decreases, causing the ice to expand, pushing the ice towards the faucet. The expansion causes a significant amount of stress between the ice blockage and the faucet.

In the end, the pipes can handle the pipe buildup and bursts. Usually, the burst occurs in a location in the pipe where there is little or no ice. The more exposed the pipes are to freezing temperatures, the greater the risk of rupturing during winter. The pipes at greater risk are not insulated, and the indoor pipes are in unheated areas like basements and attics spaces. 

Will pipes freeze in one night?

The lower the outside temperature and unprotected water pipes are, the more likely the pipes are to freeze. With very low temperatures and uninsulated pipes, the pipes can freeze overnight.

How quickly do pipes freeze?

Generally, the pipes are expected to freeze within 3 to 6 hours of drawn-out subnormal temperatures. There is a specific threshold below which pipes are in grave danger of freezing and most likely bursting. 

Lowest temperatures to keep pipes from freezing

Not all temperature levels are disastrous to your pipes. You should be worried when the prevailing temperatures fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit in an unheated house, and the temperature constantly remains low for hours.  Pipes are exposed to freezing even when the temperature lingers above 20 degrees Fahrenheit if openings are letting in the cold air near the pipe’s location.

At what temperature do pipes freeze without heat?

There are activities you can undertake without the heat to keep your pipes from freezing. It is all contingent on how low the outside temperature drops and the amount of time the temperature stays that way.

The temperature is different from state to state making it different to guess the exact temperature to be vigilant to the endangerment of freezing and bursting pipes. As stated by the research overseen by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois, without heat the temperature threshold for pipes to freeze is 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Will pipes freeze at 32 degrees?

Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but the indoor pipes, even those in unheated parts of the house like the basement and attic areas, are guarded against the extreme outside temperatures.

Just because the outside temperature is 32 degrees, Fahrenheit doesn’t necessarily mean the pipes will reach those temperatures. For pipes to freeze, the outside temperature must drop to at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.  

At what temperature should you set your heater to keep pipes from freezing?

Although leaving your heater ON may seem counterintuitive, it can be disastrous if the cold temperatures freeze the pipes and burst them in the process. However, it doesn’t mean you have to keep your home as warm as usual as any temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or higher is appropriate to keep your pipes safe.

How long does it take a space heater to thaw pipes?

The space heaters can be used to thaw out pipes in 30 to 45 minutes. It’s advisable to get professional help if the pipes burst from the buildup pressure to cause property damage.

Although the space heater can aid in rectifying the situation, preventive measures like insulating the pipes that are highly susceptible to freezing and move outdoor pipes to warmer areas can save you time and money during winter.

Best heaters to keep pipes from freezing

Stiebel Eltron heaters 

Some of the Stiebel electron heaters are CK, CKT, and CK. These heaters are designed to heat the room quickly and are extremely quiet. Although the CK, CKT heaters have an integral thermostat, the CK heater can be connected to a central thermostat when installed in a room larger than 215 square feet. 

 

Stiebel Eltron 236304 CK Trend wall mounted Electric fan heater (forced air)

The Stiebel Eltron 236304 CK Trend heaters can be attached to the wall and are ideal for recess mount heaters.

Characteristics

  • It has a sleek design and can be easily mounted on the wall
  • It has an integrated thermostat for your comfort
  • Has a downdraft style that allows it to heat the surrounding evenly
  • It has a frost protection setting
  • It is ideal where instant heat is required.
  • Has a low noise level during operation
  • It has a low weight of about 5.50 lbs making it easily portable
  • Operates on a voltage of 1500.0 watts
  • It has a dimension of 5.13 by 10.88 by 15.75 inches making it easy to mount.

Stiebel Eltron 074058 model CK 15 e wall mounted electric fan heater, 120 volt 1500 watts heater

Features

  • It has an integral thermostat for maximum comfort
  • Has a dependable performance
  • It has a sleek design making it easier to mount
  • Has tranquil operation at 49.7 dB
  • It has a downdraft design to heat the space evenly
  • It has installed frost protection setting
  • The heater model is ideal anywhere heat is required instantly

Specifications

  • Voltage 120v
  • Watts 1500W
  • Amperage 12.5A
  • Quiet operation 49.7 dB(a)
  • Weight 8.0 lbs

Stiebel Eltron 236305 CK trend wall mounted Electric fan heater (forced air and convection)

Features 

  • Has sleek design
  • Quiet operation at 49 dB
  • It has an integral thermostat for maximum comfortability.
  • It has a downdraft design that enables it to heat the environment evenly
  • It is a standard quality German manufactured product
  • It has a frost protection setting
  • Flawless in any area heat is needed instantly

How to install the Stiebel Eltron heater

    • The CK and CKT heaters are to be wired before being operational.
    • When installing the CKT heater models, allow a space of  5 inches from the wall, while for the CK models, 5 1/8″
    • Install the heater at a maximum of  6-6″ and a minimum of 4″ from the floor.
    • Mount the CK heater model vertically
  • Follow all the guidelines in the manual about installation procedures 

Advantages 

  • The even heating downdraft design

When installed in a central place, these heaters can supply enough heat for minimal rooms.

  • Built-in thermostat

Have an integral thermostat for adjusting the heat quickly. For a room larger than 250 square feet, a wall thermostat can control the CK and CKT heaters.

  • Booster timer

The timer outputs maximum heat up to 1 hour and then reverts to the original thermostat setting when the timer goes off.

  • The switch

When the heat is not needed, the ON/OFF switch shuts down the heater completely. When switched OFF the frost protection setting will disable.

Heat storm HS -1500-PHX-Wifi infrared heater

Features 

  • It has a high heat output
  • Weights 9.00lbs
  • Operates on a voltage of 1500.0 watts
  • Wi-Fi enabled, making it easier to adjust the temperature of your room through your phone.
  • It has a safe grill that doesn’t burn when you touch
  • They are all wall-mounted designs allowing you not to lose any floor space and are perfect for bedrooms, kitchens, and offices.

Heat storm heating technology

The heater is built in a design to bring the consumer a better experience. Wi-Fi innovative heater designs make it easy to manage your heater from your phone. 

Advantages 

  • Efficient 

The heater warms the room instantly, enabling you to rest easy, knowing the heater is highly energy sufficient due to the advanced technology.

  • Portable 

These heaters are either wall-mounted or portable, making them the perfect option heater to install in your bedroom, living room, or any room in your home.

Envi High-Efficiency Whole room 120v Plug-in Electric Panel Wall Heater

Features

  • Saves on utility bills to about 50% or more on energy costs. It allows you to only turn on the heat in areas of your room where it’s needed. 
  • It is a high performance rate
  • Can be wall-mounted
  • These heaters replace the whole room heating 
  • When installed in a central place. These heaters can be left operating 24/7 without causing fire and you can be at ease that the children and pets are protected from a burn. The heater doesn’t blow specks of dust and allergens around the house leading to a healthier environment for those individuals with respiratory diseases. It doesn’t dry out the air hence lowering problems like the winter nose bleed and eye syndrome. 
  •  Operates in total silence
  • It is simple to install.
  • The heater only uses 500 watts and 4.2 Amps; hence many heaters can be installed without tripping the breaker

How do you keep your pipes from freezing without a furnace?

Some of the preventive measures to prevent freezing within the pipes without the furnace are;

  • Ensure the garage door is locked when your water supply lines are installed there.
  • Allow warmer air to circulate the plumbing by opening the kitchen and bathroom doors 
  • Let the cold water drip from the faucet from exposed pipes when the temperatures are very low outside to prevent them from freezing.
  • Set the thermostat during day and night at the same temperature
  • When going on a trip or business during winter, leave the heat ON synchronized to a temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Does the Stieben Eltron 074058 have a fan setting without heat?

The fan only operates when the thermostat overheats, and it shuts down temporarily to adjust the heat.

What is the difference between 150 and 200?

The 150 should heat about 150 square feet of the area while the 200 should heat about 200 square feet of the area

Conclusion

A sign of a frozen pipe occurs when you flip on the faucet, but water doesn’t come out. At this time of the year, plumbers have a long list of customers with similar problems. Most insurance companies will not pay for repairs without first sending an adjuster to inspect the damage. Due to these factors, it can take some time to get the pipes fixed, leaving a portion of your home unusable. Hence you can be proactive and take preventive measures to save you headaches and a lot of money.

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