Along with the freezing temperatures that come with winter, you also have to deal with the issue of frozen water.
This problem causes pipes to burst and a lack of water for daily use or livestock and poultry. How to keep water from freezing?
Let’s dive into this article to get the easy-to-follow ways!
What Temp Freezes Water?
32°F (0°C) is the temperature at which water freezes. Cooling water causes ice crystals to develop.
The water is in an equilibrium condition and won’t change once it reaches this temperature.
In other words, unless something else causes a change, the quantity of these crystals will not make a difference.
What To Add To Water To Keep From Freezing?
Water will not freeze under some circumstances. That’s because various additives have molecular structures that stop things from freezing.
If you are looking for tricks to keep the water from freezing, you may add chemical and natural additives.
Below is the safest and most effective additive to keep drinking water from freezing. Let’s scroll down to learn more about these options!
Does salt keep water from freezing? The good news is yes! Adding this substance to water is the easiest way to prevent the freezing process.
However, you may wonder: Why does salt prevent water from freezing? Here are the explanations!
Freshwater freezes because its oxygen and hydrogen molecules have united to form an ice crystal structure.
Since ice typically repulses salt molecules, the salt addition impedes the ability of water atoms to attach to the crystal structure.
Therefore, in a way, the salt prevents water molecules from combining with ice by getting in their way.
Salt melts frozen water by rubbing against the ice and dislodging the water molecules from the structure, slowing the freezing process.
For this reason, you may notice salt frequently used on ice surfaces to prevent further freezing and to improve safety.
However, it would be best to use moderation when adding salt to your drinking water. So, how much salt will keep water from freezing?
You must ensure that the ratio of salt and water is not over 1:3. It’s unhealthy to drink salt water since it makes you more dehydrated.
Additionally, this ingredient will cause a flavor difference that some individuals find unpleasant.
Contrary to popular belief, alcohol can help prevent the freezing process of the water.
If you put a liquor bottle in the freezer, it won’t freeze! If the alcohol has lower quality, it may emerge as ice crystals but mainly liquid.
How much alcohol to keep water from freezing? In most cases, adding a little alcohol, like vodka, will not cause a considerable difference in flavor, and the drinking water won’t freeze.
How To Keep Water From Freezing While Winter Camping, Hiking, or Mountaineering?
The typical difficulty you encounter while out in nature is keeping water from freezing at temperatures close to or below zero.
What are the best ways to prevent the water from freezing in the winter while camping, hiking, or mountaineering?
Let’s refer to the following practical tips!
#1. Use Insulated Containers
Insulated containers are one of the most excellent methods to keep water liquified.
The only drawback of this solution is you will have to pack extra things, but it can make your journey more manageable, especially in winter. For instance, you can use a cooler as an insulated container.
While its primary purpose is to keep stuff cool, you can use it to keep things warm thanks to its insulated design, which won’t release heat outside.
Since coolers often contain numerous internal and external layers, the temperature outdoors can’t affect the foods and drinks stored inside.
Heat the water to 70 degrees, pour it into plastic containers, firmly fasten the lid, and place them inside your cooler.
Your water won’t freeze since the cooler’s heat-trapping capacity will keep the bottles’ heat inside for about 12 hours.
If you don’t have a cooler, it’s acceptable to use your insulated jacket to cover your water bottle.
It’s the ideal place to keep your water bottle because your jacket absorbs heat and rests on you. The water will remain warm due to your body temperature.
#2. Always Carry The Water Bottles With You
It’s the simplest way to prevent the water freezing process. You don’t need to carry an insulated container or other heavy tools.
Before embarking on a camping vacation in winter, as a camper, you must prepare yourself with the necessary supplies and clothing.
Your body releases heat, cooling you down as you climb or hike. You won’t lose heat because of the insulating garments you’re wearing.
Layers of winter clothes are insulating and prevent cold air from passing through. The water won’t freeze when you put warm water bottles inside the clothing layer.
However, this method may cause wet condensation from the bottle, which makes you uncomfortable.
#3. Use Bottles With Wide Mouths
Wide-mouth water bottles hold up better to cold than narrow-mouth ones do.
This approach is for when you’re out trekking or hiking in frigid weather and you feel thirsty.
The neck area of narrow bottles often freezes first, which prevents water from going out. This case won’t happen to containers with broad mouths.
You may warm water in a pot or kettle and then transfer it to a bottle to maintain the warmth for longer.
You can adjust the water temperature depending on how long you want it to be warm.
#4. Use Sleeping Bag
You may be more susceptible to nighttime cold when camping in the winter since your internal temperature starts to decrease at night.
The primary purpose of sleeping bags is to keep campers warm on frigid nights.
That’s why several experienced campers keep their bottles inside their sleeping bags so the temperature outside won’t affect the water at night.
Before pouring the water into bottles, it’s a good idea to heat it. This way, your sleeping bag is warmer, the water is hot longer, and you also receive extra heat at night.
#5. Bury Your Bottles
It may seem like an extreme solution, but burying the bottle will be effective in stopping water from freezing.
Simply dig a small, shallow hole near your campground, then drop the bottles inside throughout the night. Also, to avoid the neck freezing, keep your bottle upside down!
Otherwise, you can bury these bottles in an area in your tent. This way, they will be safer, and you will find it easy to track.
The temperature of the ground increases when you dig lower. However, ensure the hole is not too far from your reach.
If snow is around the hold, cover it with snow. You may be surprised to know that snow is a good insulator.
How To Keep Water From Freezing Without Electricity?/ How To Keep Water From Freezing Outside?
You must avoid letting your water freeze if you want to keep it outside. Can you stop the freezing process without electricity? The good news is yes!
Let’s consider the following recommendations to keep water from freezing outside without electric power!
#1. Use A Steel Tank
Instead of a plastic tank, it’s better to consider a steel one. It will absorb the sun’s heat and hold it longer to provide warmth for your water, preventing it from freezing overnight.
Make the most of your steel tank’s capacity to prevent frozen water by adhering to the following advice:
- Put the tank where it will receive as much sunshine as possible.
- For better absorption of the sun’s heat, paint the tank black.
- Wrap your tank in inexpensive emergency blankets or newspapers to insulate it.
- To absorb part of your house’s heat, try to place the tank such that it touches one side of it.
#2. Use An Old Tire As Insulation For Your Container
This method is popular among livestock owners. However, it is only effective on small containers because of the tire size.
A typical car tire often fits wheels 15 inches in diameter. Thus, it can only cover containers of similar sizes.
You can consider using a tractor tire if you have a larger container featuring around 42 inches in diameter.
Put the tire where you intend to keep the emergency water, pack it full of rocks or stones, and wedge the container into your tire.
The tire can collect the sun’s heat and transmit it into the rocks during daylight hours.
After that, these things can keep the heat inside to warm your water overnight.
Besides, you can overlay two tires using bolts and foam insulation to fill them for better results.
#3. Keep Your Backup Water In A Greenhouse
The greenhouse is always warmer than the surrounding environment, even in the middle of winter.
If you want to improve the temperature in your greenhouse, you can establish a compost pile.
You can increase the temperature inside your greenhouse by establishing an open-top bucket or a compost pile.
The compost heap should be relatively large, around 3ft2 – 5ft2. It may provide 150°F – 175°F in cold months.
#4. Keep Water In A Cooler
Your home’s water supply might run out and become polluted during a disaster, making drinking unhealthy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every household should store at least one water gallon/per person a day for about three days to drink and
The CDC recommends storing at least 1 gallon of water per person daily for three days for drinking and sanitizing.
If you intend to maintain the CDC-recommended amount of water, you can store it in a cooler to prevent frozen water.
A typical cooler has a capacity of about 20 liters or around five days’ water supply for a household of four.
A massive cooler with a 378-liter capacity might be helpful if you want extra space.
This cooler will keep water warm in the chilly winter months, just as it does in the hot season to hold your beverages cold.
#5. Insulate Your Water Tank
The water won’t freeze if you wrap the tank in newspaper or blankets to act as insulation.
Old blankets might also work, but remember that they lose effectiveness after a few years.
#6. Use Additives
It’s a good idea to add safe additives to your water. This way, your water won’t freeze in cold months but may have a strange taste.
As shared earlier, you can use salt or alcohol as additives. Remember to use these substances in moderation.
Alcohol lowers your body temperature and increases the risks of hypothermia by causing the capillaries beneath the skin’s surface to dilate.
If you have a container with 20 liters, it’s advisable to add about two pure alcohol liters.
Using salt is a good alternative if you don’t want your drinking water to have a potent smell.
However, ensure you use the salt-water ratio of 1:3. Don’t overuse it, as it may increase the dehydration level in your body.
#7. Bury Emergency Water In The Ground
The last trick is creating water storage underground. The water won’t freeze due to the ground’s insulating effects.
It would be best if you prepared a bigger tank since the large water volume will require much time to freeze.
What Makes Water Freeze Faster?
As mentioned above, water freezes at 32 ℉ or 0℃. You must increase this point if you are seeking ways to make it freeze faster.
However, it’s challenging and nearly impossible to raise the freezing point, but scientists have found ways to achieve this goal.
You can use electricity, add testosterone, or alcohol to make water freeze faster, but these tricks are only effective for pure water.
Why Does Water Get Bigger When It Freezes?
Water takes a specific shape when it freezes because the molecules are organized into a crystal structure.
The chemical makeup of water has a role in this phenomenon: oxygen and hydrogen atoms.
Water molecules travel very little when it freezes because they are grouped in six-sided crystal structures, which gives them a defined shape.
You can watch this video to learn more about this chemical combination:
Because there are spaces among the molecules in this crystalline structure, it’s much less dense, which causes water to “expand” in volume.
Therefore, a technically accurate statement would be that the volume of water increases as it freezes.
#1. Will An Aerator Keep Water From Freezing?
The short answer is yes! The aeration process will create columns of air abundant in oxygen to rush to the water’s surface.
This process, combined with rippling effects, can prevent water from freezing.
#2. How Much Methanol To Keep Water From Freezing
Methanol is a promising antifreeze compound. However, you should use this substance reasonably. The water-methanol ratio should be 50:50.
#3. How Much Antifreeze To Keep Water From Freezing?
It would be best if you mixed antifreeze with water at a ratio of 1:1. It means using one antifreeze gallon for one water gallon.
#4. How Much Calcium Chloride To Keep Water From Freezing?
You can use one pound of this substance to increase the water temperature of one gallon by more than 30°F.
When Calcium Chloride dissolves, it will generate heat to keep water from freezing.
#5. Will Vinegar Keep Water From Freezing?
The answer is yes! You can use vinegar to slow the freezing rate of water. This substance also helps water avoid re-freezing.
#6. Will Bleach Keep Water From Freezing?
The short answer is no! Bleach is easy to freeze when it reaches 19℉.
#7. Does Molasses Keep Water From Freezing?
The good news is yes! Molasses is among the most effective natural types of antifreeze, and it won’t freeze quickly and can slow the freezing rate.