Dirt Farmer Wisdom - Insulating Water Pipes

Winter is coming! It is late autumn, am I adequately prepared? The water pump in the diary house is surrounded by styrofoam with a 40-watt incandescent bulb hanging inside for some steady, gentle heat. I think I’m ready but I worry about the pipes in the house.

With plumbing added only in the past few decades, all of the pipes are (fortunately) located in one small section at the front of the house. Still, I’m not sure if they are even wrapped since the house inspector could not get under the house to check the status.

Lately, as I enter the bathroom, I can feel the coolness of the changing air and suspect I’m may be in trouble. As I wondered what I could do (afford really) other than keep the little electric baseboard heater cranked, my dear neighbor came to the rescue.

“Don’t throw those straw bails in your barn away,” he says. “You’ll need them to protect your pipes.” Then he proceeded to give me instructions on stacking the bails snuggly against the outside wall to protect them from freezing temperatures. The bails in the barn were a bit too questionable for my liking so Kona and I purchased a few new ones and set to work. In a matter of a couple of hours (and less than $70), we were done and proud!

Now, winter is here! My makeshift insulation project is serving me very well! Come spring, the straw will be repurposed into the garden, providing protected pathways and even becoming the insulation to my compost pile.