How to Properly Drip a Water Faucet
A slight but steady stream of water through faucets during prolonged cold spells can help prevent pipes from freezing.
Fortunately, we live in a state that doesn’t see a lot of bitterly cold winter weather. However, it can still get cold, even in the Deep South. When the weather forecast shows temperatures staying below freezing for several days, be prepared to drip your indoor faucets to keep your pipes from freezing and possibly breaking.
(Video by Michaela Parker)
- Which do I run, hot or cold water? Run the cold water faucet.
- How much water do I run? You need just a trickle of water to drip so that water is moving through the pipes consistently.
- How long do I run the water? Let the faucet drip until temperatures are consistently above freezing to be on the safe side.
- Isn’t it expensive to let the faucet drip? At the rate the water is dripping, it will fill a gallon pitcher in about an hour. At current rates, this will cost about 2 cents per night to drip one faucet. Much cheaper than broken pipes and water damage!
- Which faucet/s should I drip? If you know the farthest faucet from your water meter, you can run only that faucet and it will draw water all the way through the house.
- Can’t I just open the cabinet doors? Opening the cabinets to allow warm air into those enclosed spaces can help, but most pipe problems happen in places that are not as accessible. Uninsulated pipes in uninsulated spaces, especially garages, crawl spaces, and attics, are usually the places more likely to have problems with freezing.
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