Prevent Valves from Freezing

Custom Powerblanket Pipe Heaters

Cold weather has the ability to shut down your entire piping system if not properly mitigated. Pressure valves, flow meters and other temperature-sensitive components are especially prone to freezing. What steps should you take to prevent valves from being vulnerable to the cold?

Thawing Versus Freeze Prevention

It is easier to find a method of freeze protection rather than to thaw a valve that is already frozen. It takes a lot more energy to thaw a solid than it does to warm it enough to avoid freezing. Stop valves from freezing by not letting them get cold enough in the first place. 

Valve Freeze Defense

The best way to avoid valves from freezing is to apply a direct source of consistent heat. When pipes and valves freeze up, it can cause some down time along with additional costs for damaged valves. Begin taking precautions by seeking out parts of your system vulnerable to freezing. 

Identify Sensitive Equipment

Valves are particularly prone to freezing up when the temperature drops too low. So are pressure monitoring equipment and other flow controls on your pipe system. These areas should be regularly checked to ensure there is no buildup of water moisture or frost, as these are key indicators of the early stages of pipe freezing. This is especially important if you currently are not using any kind of heat source to prevent your equipment from succumbing to the cold.

Avoid Operating in Cold Temperatures? Yeah, Right

Regardless of what is flowing through the pipelines, avoiding damage means to avoid freezes, especially during the times that the pipelines are not flowing. However, this is not always feasible. Operating in cold weather is always inevitable. It’s best to be prepared to deal with the potential for freezing valves instead of hoping it will never happen to your equipment. 

Options for Keeping Valves Ice Free

There are many ways to prevent valves and other freeze-prone equipment from heading too far into the cold:

  • Draining and bleeding pipelines and valves
    • Works great in your home or commercial sprinkler system, but this may not be feasible in all operations. Some pipelines run continuously, and cannot afford to be shut down to empty them of fluids.
  • Electrical Heat Trace
    • Though heat tape is efficient at melting ice and keeping cold away from temperature sensitive equipment, using this type of warmer can limit access to valves.
  • Building temporary housing/heating units
    • Constructing a shelter over valves and other parts of your pipeline can take time, material and labor away from other parts of your operation. Then there is always the potential that such housing can collapse in high winds. Plus, you have to rebuild it every time you need it.
  • Temporary heating solutions such as propane or space heaters
    • The key word here is temporary. In most environments, it won’t be cold year round. However, propane and space heaters are less safe to use due to the potential to ignite flammable vapors that might be emitted from pipe leaks. They also don’t provide an even amount of heat, much of which dissipates due to no surface-to-surface contact between the heater and the valve.
  • Heating blankets or heating wraps
    • This is the preferred option, which is explained in more depth below.

Heat Your Pipes With Heating Blankets valves

Only one method of freeze mitigation can truly protect control valves. To prevent valves from freezing, heating them is recommend. A safe electrical heating source is the best way to go. You need to be able to control the temperature safely and evenly to avoid damaging valves or the contents inside pipes.

Finding a solution with an even distribution of heat is also important to avoid hot and cold spots. The best product on the market today for heating or thawing valves would have the following features:

  • Easily installed or removed
  • Easy access for monitoring and maintenance
  • Even and efficient heat
  • Meets current safety standards
  • Available in standard and custom sizes
  • Durable for year-round cold weather use
  • Flexible for storage during the warmer seasons

Find a solution and get it installed before the cold season begins. When searching for an answer to potential valve freezing problems, look for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained and installed without the costs of additional labor and monitoring. 

Powerblanket Valve Heaters

Powerblanket heating blankets are the number one valve heaters available anywhere in the world. Manufactured in the frozen heights of the North American Mountain West, these insulated heated blankets perform in temperatures well below freezing. Custom Powerblanket pipe heaters can go even lower, keeping pipes warm even in places as cold and remote as the Arctic Circle. Powerblanket enhances operational functionality of tanks or flow systems by wrapping around and heating the exposed valves preventing critical cold weather related problems, thus reducing unnecessary costs related to shut-downs and repairs.

For more information about Powerblanket valve heaters, contact our temperature control specialists by calling 866.945.4203. or by email at [email protected].

Powerblanket's equipment boxes keep your valves and manifolds from freezing in even the harshest outdoor environments.


Alex Pacanowsky

Meet Alex, one of our experts in freeze protection and the head of the custom team at Powerblanket! For the past several years, Alex has worked closely with oil & gas pros, medical device startups, and pharmaceutical suppliers (just to name a few) to create weatherproof operations. No matter how cold the weather, or what needs to be heated, Alex knows just what to do! He also loves mountain biking and spending time with his two boys, 5 and 9, and two Labrador Retrievers.

Product Spotlight: Pipe Heater

When cold weather hits, your pipes are some of the first victims. Dropping temperatures will alter the viscosity of fluids, often causing buildup and restricting flow. The less fluids flow, the more delays you’ll have while waiting for the pipes to thaw. When this happens, you’ll need some kind of pipe heater.

Bring the Heat

There are many ways to ensure pipelines stay warm in the winter:

  • Cover pipes with insulation
  • Blow hot air on pipes via space heaters
  • Propane flame torch (avoid this if at all possible)
  • Wrap pipes with insulated electrical wire, such as heat trace
  • Use a heat lamp
  • Pre-install a heated blanket

All of these methods are common, but not all are effective. Ambient temperature can have a significant impact on your heating system’s ability to perform properly, so heating lamps, space heaters, or other indirect solutions are usually ineffective. The best solutions are actually combinations of multiple methods.

Heat Trace is probably the most common pipe heating solution, partly because it has been around so long. Wrapping pipes with heating wires is a great solution to maintain temperatures. It is not designed to heat up anything, however. In addition, heat trace requires insulation and protective covering to make it effective. This leads to problems when insulation has to be pulled off to check the heating cables, and troubleshoot issues. There’s no doubt that heat trace works, it’s just not the only solution. That’s where pipe heating blankets come in.

It doesn’t make sense to work at solving a problem when you can prevent it from ever occurring in the first place. Instead of attempting to thaw frozen pipes, keep your pipes from freezing before the freeze even happens.

Pipe Heater

“Piping Hot” Pipe Heater

Powerblanket knows how inconvenient, expensive, and unsafe frozen pipes can be. That’s why, along with our valve, manifold, and instrumentation heaters, we also provide a product for that important element in between. After all, it’s just as important to keep the pipes themselves from freezing, regardless of what type of fluid you may be pumping through them. With this in mind, check out the Powerblanket Pipe Heater, or Heated Pipe Wrap.

Features and Benefits

The Powerblanket Heated Pipe Wrap harbors the same patented technology used in all Powerblanket heating products. This technology, along with its seamless implementation into an easy-to-use and durable blanket, saves labor costs and downtime through simple and fast installation, uninstallation, and reinstallation. It’s also the safest solution, with all of our blankets built to UL/CSA/SE standards.

Protecting fluids from freezing in harsh outdoor environments is what Powerblanket is all about, and Powerblanket pipe heaters make this a real possibility for your pipes or pipeline.

Our Pipe Heaters offer:

  • Savings in labor costs and downtime through easy installation, uninstallation, and reinstallation
  • Freeze protection down to -40°F/-40°C
  • Ready-to-ship sizes, available in multiple lengths and diameters
  • Preparation of pipes for the proper curing of coatings
  • Certification to UL/CSA/CE standards

See all the details of the Powerblanket pipe heater by downloading the free product spec sheet. For more information about pipe heater blankets, click HERE.


Pipe heaters from Powerblanket keep your fluids flowing all year long, providing freeze protection for your entire system.


Alex Pacanowsky

Meet Alex, one of our experts in freeze protection and the head of the custom team at Powerblanket! For the past several years, Alex has worked closely with oil & gas pros, medical device startups, and pharmaceutical suppliers (just to name a few) to create weatherproof operations. No matter how cold the weather, or what needs to be heated, Alex knows just what to do! He also loves mountain biking and spending time with his two boys, 5 and 9, and two Labrador Retrievers.