This is a question we hear a lot when it comes to homeowners doing what they can to prevent frozen pipes in their home. The truth is, you only need to allow one of your faucets to drip. This faucet should be the farthest away from the area where water enters your home through the pipes.
When do you let your faucets drip?
When a cold wave hovers around or below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius), it’s time to let at least one faucet drip. Pay close attention to pipes that remain in attics, garages, basements or crawl spaces because temperature levels in these unheated interior areas usually imitate outside temperatures.
The pipes that will cause you the most problems when it comes to breaking, bursting, and freezing are the ones located in basements, crawl spaces, attics, kitchen cabinets, and garages. This is because they are exposed and don’t have the insulation that other pipes in your home do.
Here are some useful tips to prevent you from ending up with frozen pipes:
1.) Drain, remove and store all of your outdoor hoses.
2.) Walk around your home and secure any other water supply lines that are in unheated areas (both inside and outside). Any hot or cold water pipes should be insulated.
3.) After removing stored chemicals and placing them in a secure location out of the reach of children, you can leave your kitchen and bathroom cabinets open so the warm air in your home can get to the plumbing.
4.) If temperatures drop dramatically, allow the hot and cold water to drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. This helps prevent pipes from freezing.
5.) Keep your home at a reasonably warm temperature during the day and throughout the night.
But Can One Dripping Faucet Really Save the Day?
If it’s the right one.
The dripping faucet should be as far away from the water source as possible so the water will flow through the entire length of the system. If you aren’t sure where the incoming water source is located, setting any faucet to drip will help. A common misconception is that the drip prevents water from freezing because it stays in motion when it’s running through the pipes. Although this helps, the truth is that at extreme temperatures water can freeze even while it is flowing. The real reason a dripping faucet can help prevent pipes from bursting is that the constant drip relieves pressure that is building up in the pipes between the ice blockage and the faucet, and helps to prevent them from bursting when the pipes begin to thaw.
What To Do If You Think Your Pipes Have Frozen
When you turn on your faucet and nothing comes out, you may have a frozen pipe. If this happens, the best thing you can do is leave the faucet on and call the plumbers at Rooter Man right away. If you suspect one of your pipes has burst, you should turn off the water at the main shut-off valve, still leaving the faucets on.
If you have questions, or you are simply unsure of the state of your plumbing, don’t hesitate to call our experts. The sooner we can inspect your plumbing, the sooner we can stop or prevent a major mess in your home. We have extensive experience when it comes to treating pipes that are affected by weather conditions. We are here to help so call us today — or Visit Rooter Man online, or contact us at 504-464-0145, for more information.