Many attempts along various lines have been made to solve the question of protection of water pipes against freezing, with greater or less satisfactory results.
In some cases the covering of supply pipes with prepared covering, such as used in steam and hot-water heating, is effectual, although its use is not so satisfactory as might be supposed. If the pipe is exposed to extreme cold, as would be the case if run in an unprotected place out of doors, there is possibly no more effective protection than that afforded by the following:
Around the pipe, and about one inch from it, build a wooden box of the length of the exposed section, and outside this box construct a second box, with an inch air space between the two. Four or five of these boxes will afford ample protection for a pipe, although more of them can be used to great advantage if the exposure is extreme.
The boxing may be of rough boarding if it is desired to save expense. It is not the boarding that affords the protection to the pipe so much as the air confined between the several boxes.
Pipes laid at the bottom of streams are generally well protected, and also when laid in turfed ground they are very much better protected than when laid in uncovered ground. Another method that is often effective is to lay the pipe in trenches surrounded with hot horse manure. The heat of the manure will keep the frost from affecting the piping. The same method may be followed above ground by running the pipe in a box filled with manure.
The manure must be renewed usually each year, however, as it loses its strength in that time, then affording no protection. Sawdust cannot usually be depended upon as a protection for piping, as it absorbs moisture.
Hair felt closely packed about an exposed pipe acts as a strong protection. The latter material is of special value in pipes inside the house when passing through partitions or floors, the spaces between which are cold.