Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Anti-freeze device

protect external water taps during cold-snaps.
  (+2, -4)
(+2, -4)
  [vote for,

Basically, an extension cord in various lengths with a light-bulb socket on one end and an off-setting hook with which to hang it from an outside water-faucet during periodic 'cold-snaps' -- the 'offset' having the purpose of preventing the bulb and socket catching any possible drips. An appropriately wattage-rated bulb is selectable for various climes. The light is hung onto the faucet and a section of heavy-duty aluminum-foil is shrouded over the whole assembly, trapping the heat from the bulb. It is expected that this would effectively protect water-faucets even in severe cold, even with a 15-watt bulb. Be sure to utilize electrical cord rated for outdoor use and make allowances for the possible melting of plastics, if used.
CapnDon, Jan 21 2002


       I tell you what, if they didn't appear too haphazardly built, I would buy them.
bristolz, Jan 21 2002

       Pipe heaters are commercially available. I don't know of any that use light bulbs, but nor do I see any advantage to doing so.   

       I should also mention that most outdoor spigots already have anti-freeze valves on them, in case you hadn't noticed.
supercat, Jan 21 2002

       I'm with [supercat]. An electric blanket would be a better choice and I'd want it in the basement/crawlspace.
phoenix, Jan 21 2002

       As [supercat] mentioned, a faucet that was designed to be an outdoor faucet has a recessed valve so that the water cutoff is actually inside the house/building.   

       There is also pipe wrap that you can wrap around pipes in cold areas that acts like an electrical blanket for them to keep them from freezing. This has advantages over the lighbulb in that the warmth is spread over the area that it is needed, and a thermostat regulates the temperature so that it only uses as much energy as needed to maintain the selected temperature.
mwburden, Jan 21 2002

       Way harsh comments. In much of the country extreme cold weather is relatively rare and homes are not so well provided for, making a practical add-on welcome. But who wants to spend $20 per faucet at the hardware store when you can make something. This article gave me the idea of converting some old fashioned big-bulb christmas lights to pipe and faucet heaters. I'll just leave one or two bulbs with the right length of cord at each faucet, buried under the towel wrap, to plug in on the one night a year that is really cold. The christmas lights are already outdoor rated and fused. Thanks for the sweet idea.
porfiry, Jan 23 2003


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