- Drip, drip, drip: the sound of your money going down the drain
- Why letting your faucets drip is a bad idea
- The science behind why dripping faucets waste water
- The myth of the “drip pan”
- How to prevent your pipes from freezing
- Why you shouldn’t use space heaters to thaw frozen pipes
- How to thaw frozen pipes the right way
- How to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place
- The bottom line: is it really worth it to let your faucets drip?
- Additional resources
You may have been told that letting your faucets drip Cold Weather is a good way to prevent your pipes from freezing. However, this is actually a bad idea.
Checkout this video:
Drip, drip, drip: the sound of your money going down the drain
Did you know that letting your faucets drip cold weather is a bad idea? You may have heard that it’s a good way to prevent your pipes from freezing, but the truth is that it’s actually a huge waste of water and money.
Here’s why: when water drips from a faucet, it loses heat as it falls. This means that the water going into your pipes is colder than it would be if you let it run at a normal flow. As a result, your pipes are more likely to freeze, which can cause all sorts of problems.
Not only that, but every time you let water drip from your faucet, you’re wasting valuable resources. Even if your municipality doesn’t charge for water usage, there are still environmental costs associated with the production and distribution of water. In addition, all that wasted water could be put to better use – watering plants, cleaning dishes, or even flushing toilets.
So next time you’re tempted to let your faucets drip Cold Weather think twice!
Why letting your faucets drip is a bad idea
Many people think that letting their faucets drip during cold weather will prevent their pipes from freezing. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, letting your faucets drip can actually lead to your pipes freezing and bursting.
Here’s why: when water drips out of a faucet, it forms a small puddle on the ground. This puddle can then freeze, which can cause the pipe to freeze as well. When the pipe freezes, the water inside it expands, which can cause the pipe to burst.
If you want to prevent your pipes from freezing, you should insulate them instead. You can do this yourself with some foam insulation or by hiring a professional.
The science behind why dripping faucets waste water
As water passes through pipes, it can pick up bits of rust and other impurities. In cold weather, this process is accelerated by the fact that water freezes at a lower temperature when it contains impurities. As water freezes, it expands and this can cause pipes to rupture.
Even if your pipes don’t burst, the pressure from expanding ice can cause tiny cracks to form. These cracks allow small amounts of water to seep out, which can add up over time and waste a lot of water.
In addition, constant dripping can waste a lot of energy as water heater have to work harder to maintain a consistent temperature. This added wear and tear can also lead to premature failure of your water heater.
The myth of the “drip pan”
This is a myth that needs to be put to rest. Placing a drip pan under your faucet will not protect your pipes from freezing. In fact, it can actually make the problem worse. The water in the pan will eventually freeze, which can put additional pressure on your pipes and cause them to burst.
How to prevent your pipes from freezing
If you have ever let your faucets drip in cold weather, you may have been told that it is necessary in order to prevent your pipes from freezing. However, this common advice is actually a bad idea.
The reality is that letting your faucets drip does very little to prevent your pipes from freezing. In fact, it can actually cause your pipes to freeze more quickly. When water droplets fall from a faucet onto a frozen pipe, they can cause the pipe to freezes even faster.
The best way to prevent your pipes from freezing is to keep them warm. You can do this by turning up the heat in your home or by insulating your pipes. If you are worried about your pipes freezing, you can also purchase a pipe heating tape. This tape wraps around your pipes and heats them, preventing them from freezing.
Why you shouldn’t use space heaters to thaw frozen pipes
Frozen pipes are a major problem during winter months. If your pipes have frozen, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve and call a plumber. Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame, such as a candle or torch. This is extremely dangerous and can damage both your pipes and your home.
How to thaw frozen pipes the right way
When water freezes, it expands. And as it expands, it puts pressure on the pipes it’s contained in. This pressure can cause the pipe to crack or break. And once a pipe cracks or breaks, you’ve got a serious plumbing problem on your hands.
One of the most common questions we get here at Reddi Services is “Should I let my faucets drip in cold weather?” The answer is no! Letting your faucets drip when temperatures outside are freezing does nothing to prevent your pipes from freezing. In fact, it could actually make things worse.
If you have frozen pipes, the best thing to do is call a professional plumber. We have the tools and experience to thaw your pipes the right way, without causing any damage.
How to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place
Can letting your faucets drip in cold weather really prevent your pipes from freezing? The answer is both yes and no.
While it’s true that running water is less likely to freeze than static water, the phrase “a dripping faucet won’t freeze” is a myth. The reality is that any water in your pipes – whether it’s moving or not – can freeze if the conditions are right.
What you need to know is how to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place. Here are a few tips:
-Make sure your pipes are properly insulated, especially if they run through unheated areas of your home like the attic, basement, or garage.
-If you know a cold snap is coming, open all your cabinet doors so that warm air can reach your plumbing.
-Letting a faucet drip during extremely cold weather can help prevent a pipe from bursting – but only if you do it correctly. Make sure the dripping water is running at a slow, steady pace (not gushing out), and open the faucet farthest away from where your water main enters your home first.
-If possible, keep your thermostat set to the same temperature day and night. Sudden temperature changes can cause pipes to expand and contract, which can lead to cracking and bursting.
-If you’re going away for an extended period of time, shut off the water to your home and drain all the pipes completely.
The bottom line: is it really worth it to let your faucets drip?
The bottom line: is it really worth it to let your faucets drip?
When water freezes inside your pipes, it expands and puts pressure on the pipe walls. This pressure can cause the pipe to burst, resulting in costly repairs.
In addition, leaving your faucets dripping wastes water and raises your water bill. If you’re concerned about your pipes freezing, there are other steps you can take to prevent this from happening, such as insulating your pipes or keeping your house warmer.
There are a number of articles and videos online that explain in more detail the science behind why dripping faucets are not effective in cold weather:
-The Myth of Dripping Faucets (video)
-Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Faucets Drip in Cold Weather
-Stop That Dripping Tap! You’re Wasting Water AND Money