Will Pipes Freeze In A House Without Heat? (Explained)

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

During the cold weather, house walls tend to be even colder. The temperatures in the walls can be very low, to the point where they can cause water pipes to freeze.

In areas with freezing weather, cases of frozen water pipes are frequent, which causes the need for proper architectural skills to prevent the bursting of the water pipes. Well, do you wonder if pipes freeze in a house without heat?

A house without heat will cause pipes to freeze during cold weather. Water pipes will freeze at temperatures below 23 degrees Fahrenheit. In the cold weather, a house without heat will have an even lower temperature and cause the water pipes that run inside the walls to freeze and sometimes burst.

pipes (1)

Frozen water pipes will cause a significant obstacle to the entire plumbing system in the house. You may notice that some of the water points in the house lack water during the cold season.

This is always an indication of a frozen channel, along with the plumbing system. The blocked drainage system is also another case that may occur because of frozen water pipes.

Low temperatures may freeze water in the pipes leading away from the ink and other drainage points in the house, causing a blockage. As a result, you may experience an overflowing sink or sink with a slow water drainage rate.

In extreme cases of cold in the house, the water pipes may freeze and burst. This happens when the amount of temperatures in the house walls is meager. Frigid temperatures will cause water pipes to burst and thus damaging the entire plumbing system in the house.

What causes the water pipes to burst during the cold weather is the anomalous expansion of water. Water, when subjected to freezing temperatures it expands.

Since water pipes are made of a rigid material that cannot expand to accommodate the enlarged surface area of the water, they cannot withstand the pressure subjected to them.

Continued exertion of force on the pipes makes them burst and, as a result, damages the drainage system in the house.

Water pipes will typically start to freeze when the outside temperatures drop to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This will, however, depend on the geographical location of your house.

Houses built in areas that experience shallow temperatures have well-insulated pipes that can prevent the line from freezing until very low temperatures are reached.

Houses that are built-in warmer areas have pipes that are not well insulated. As a result, if the temperatures in warmer areas drop for some time, the place becomes cold. The pipes in houses will freeze much more quickly.

You can prevent the frequent cases of frozen water pipes in your home when the cold temperatures set in by getting water pipes that are well insulated to guard it against experiencing a lot of cold and thus freeze.

Allowing for ventilation in your drainage and plumbing system can also go a long way in making sure that your house is safe from the case of frozen water pipes.

Ventilations in your house allows air to flow through the pipes. This will ease the amount of cold in the lines by slightly increasing the temperatures and thus prevent water from freezing in the pipes.

Besides that, ventilations will provide some free space, and in case you experience frozen water pipes, it will not reach the point that the pipes burst.

The fact that the ventilators provide free space for the expanded water makes this possible, and at the same time, they reduce the pressure inside the pipes—all working to prevent the pipes from bursting.

If you have open pipes inside the cabinets, closet, or pantries, leaving their doors open, especially during the cold times, is best.

When the air from outside comes in contact with the pipes running inside the wall, it may help increase the temperatures inside the pipes and thus prevent the cases of freezing pipes.

If the pipes had already frozen, the air might increase the temperatures and cause the pipes to melt. This will help restore the efficiency of your plumbing system in the house.

winter home

How Cold Does It Have To Be In Your House For Pipes To Start To Freeze?

Water will typically freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit in normal circumstances.

Therefore, when the temperatures start to reach this point, the water in the pipes might begin freezing. However, since the pipes are insulated, it will take lower temperatures to drop to cause the actual freezing of the pipes.

At 20 degrees Fahrenheit, the coldness will be robust enough to penetrate the insulation of the pipes in your plumbing system. At this temperature, the water pipes wills start to freeze.

The pipes’ insulation system usually protects pipes that are inside your home. However, when water from the outside enters into the pipes, they bring extreme low temperatures from the outside. This results in your water pipes freezing.

If you have water pipes that are strongly insulated to cancel the effect of cold weather, a colder environment will be required to cause the pipes to freeze. Most water pipes are insulated to guard them against extreme cases of cold.

The insulation is meant to protect the pipes from bursting, especially where the temperatures drop extremely low that the water freezing is creating pressure in the pipes and thus bursting it.

If you leave your home when the temperatures are low, at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit and you will be out for more than four days, you should be concerned about freezing water pipes.

Temperatures at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit can cause the lines to freeze if water is left stagnating in them for long without moving. For people who do not spend most of the time at home, you should be concerned when the temperatures drop to 50.

Temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit should not cause you any concern. At this point, the water pipes will not freeze. Your plumbing system will operate at its best efficiency level without blockages caused by frozen water.

However, when the temperatures drop way below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, think of ways to raise it. Low temperatures beyond 20 degrees will cause more harm to your pipes than just forcing them to freeze.

At low temperatures below 20 degrees, most of the water pipes in the house will start to burst. This is because of the increased pressure caused by expanded water in the lines. Unlike other liquids, water undergoes anomalous expansion; it will contract at low pressure and expand at extremely low temperatures.

At temperatures below 20 degrees, the water in the pipes will expand and exert a lot of pressure on the pipes. If the pipes are not tough enough to withstand the pressure, they will burst.

Freeze Damaged Pipe

Will Pipes Freeze In A House Without A Heater?

When the outdoor temperature dips below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, water pipes often begin to freeze. This will, however, be determined by the geographical location of your home.

Houses built in frigid climates have well-insulated pipes that keep the pipe from freezing until cold temperatures are reached. Houses built in warmer climates, on the other hand, have poorly insulated pipes.

As a result, temperatures in warmer locations drop for a while, and the place becomes chilly. Household plumbing will freeze significantly more quickly.

During cold weather, water pipes in a home without heat will freeze. Temperatures below 23 degrees Fahrenheit will cause water pipes to freeze.

A house without heat will have an even lower temperature in cold weather, causing the water pipes that run through the walls to freeze and even burst.

Frozen water pipes will wreak havoc on the entire plumbing system in the house. During the winter season, you will notice that several of the water points in the house are dry. This is always the result of a frozen channel in the plumbing system.

Another issue that might arise as a result of frozen water pipes is a clogged drainage system.

Low temperatures can cause water to freeze in pipes running away from the ink and other drainage sites in the house, resulting in a blockage. As a result, you may have an overflowing sink or a sink that drains slowly.

House walls tend to be even colder in frigid weather. Temperatures in the walls can drop to dangerously low levels, causing water pipes to freeze.

Cases of frozen water pipes are common in locations with frigid weather, necessitating the need for relevant architectural skills to prevent the water pipes from breaking.

Water pipes in the house may freeze and burst in extreme weather. This occurs when the temperature in the house walls is extremely low, below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cold temperatures cause water pipes to rupture, causing damage to the entire plumbing system in the house.

The abnormal expansion of water is what causes water pipes to rupture during cold weather. When water is exposed to freezing temperatures, it expands.

Because the water pipes are composed of a rigid material that cannot expand to fit the increased surface area of the water, they cannot sustain the pressure applied to them.

The continued strain on the pipes causes them to break, causing damage to the house’s drainage system.

You can avoid many incidents of frozen water pipes in your home when the low temperatures set in. It is recommended that you acquire water pipes that are adequately insulated to protect them from being exposed to a lot of cold and therefore freezing.

Allowing for ventilation in your drainage and plumbing system can also help ensure that your home is protected from frozen water pipes.

Your home’s ventilation system permits air to move through the pipes. This will reduce the amount of cold in the pipes by slightly raising the temperatures, preventing water from freezing in the pipes.

Ventilation will provide some free space, and if you have frozen water pipes, it will not reach the point where the pipes explode.

This is possible by ventilators, which give free room for increased water while also lowering the pressure inside the pipes. Everyone is working hard to keep the pipes from bursting.

If you have open pipes within cupboards, closets, or pantries, it is better to leave their doors open, especially during cold weather.

When outside air comes into contact with the pipes flowing through the wall, it may assist raise the temperatures inside the pipes, preventing them from freezing.

When the pipes have already frozen, the air might raise the temperatures, causing the water in the pipes to melt. This will assist in restoring the efficiency of your home’s plumbing system.

Thermometer on snow shows low temperatures

What Is The Minimum Temperature To Keep Pipes From Freezing?

Since pipes begin to freeze at temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it is essential to ensure that the room temperature is above that to keep pipes from freezing.

Twenty degrees Fahrenheit is the minimum temperature drop that will keep your pipes from freezing.

Twenty degrees is called the temperature alert threshold, especially for pipes that are insulated.

There are instances where the pipes may freeze at temperatures above the set threshold. This will apply to pipes that aren’t well insulated.

These pipes tend to freeze much faster than the insulated pipes and at a slightly higher temperature. They will thus require a slightly higher temperature to be their minimum for them not to freeze.

If you aren’t sure if your pipes are insulated or not, it is better to set the minimum temperature at 32 degrees. Typically, the pipes will start to freeze at temperatures between 20 and 32 degrees, depending on whether they are insulated or not.

To avoid ice forming in the water pipes, avoid exposing them to temperatures near the 20-degree temperature threshold. While this is the bare minimum to keep pipes from freezing, you should also keep them from nearing 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you are leaving your home during the cold season, you must set the temperature to no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

When you are going out, and you will spend more time outside your home. Your pipes will have stagnant water, and the chances of water freezing in them will be very high. As a precaution, you should not set very low temperatures. Fifty-five degrees should be the minimum temperature to select if you have a thermostat.

Pipes have a high tendency to freeze if water is not constantly flowing in them. This is because the cold accumulated and built up faster, making the pipes reach the freezing point more quickly than they would if the water was flowing in them.

The insulation in your home protects the pipes that are inside. When the temperature outside is near freezing, the water coming into your home from the outside will be significantly colder.

However, because your pipes are protected by insulation, it will take outside temperatures much colder than 32 degrees to trigger freezing and burst pipes. Six continuous hours of exposure to cold air at 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower might cause your pipes to freeze.

How Do You Keep Pipes From Freezing In Your House Without Heat?

To prevent your pipes from freezing, turn off your home’s water supply valve. Then, open all drain valves and run all faucets until the pipes are dry.

It’s a good idea to mark these valves ahead of time. After that, flush all toilets and pour a small amount of denatured liquor into toilets and sinks to prevent water from freezing in traps.

Do not use automobile antifreeze if your water system is faulty; you do not want the antifreeze to contaminate your drinking water.

Nontoxic antifreeze used to winterize motor homes, on the other hand, is allowed.

Make sure your pipes are adequately insulated, especially those that enter your home from the outside. Pipe insulation comes in various forms, which you can have installed by a local plumber.

An insulation layer consisting of fiberglass or polyethylene is available. You can also use fiberglass or foam insulation in the shape of a tube that wraps around your hot or cold water pipes.

It would help if you also ensured adequate insulation in the walls near the entrance site for pipes.

An inadequately insulated basement puts you at greater risk for burst pipes because there is no added warmth to warm up the frozen water from the outside.

Allow one or more of your faucets to leak, especially in cold weather. But first, figure out which faucets are linked to pipes that are exposed outside. Then, leave them loose. A small drip would suffice to avoid ice buildup.

You may buy items that are specifically designed to insulate your pipes. If you don’t want to utilize foam insulation, this Frost King Foil Backed Fiberglass Pipe Wrap is available.

Polyethylene goods can also be used. Duct tape and newspaper can be used as a temporary remedy in an emergency. If you’re thinking about pipe insulation, be keen on the pipes in unheated sections of your home, such as your garage and basement.

Ensure you adequately insulate pipes beneath your bathroom and kitchen drawers.


Freezing water pipes is a notorious problem, especially in areas where there are very low temperatures. Frozen pipes lead to blockage of the plumbing system and waterways in homes.

In extreme cases, the water pipes might freeze and even end up bursting the pipes, wreaking havoc on the entire drainage system.

To avoid this problem, it is better that you insulate your water pipes properly. If you have a thermostat in your home, set it at higher temperatures to keep the water pipes warm and thus prevent freezing.