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Should You Keep Faucets Dripping at Night?

During the cold winter months, your exposed pipes are susceptible to freezing and bursting. A busted pipe can be very costly to repair and an inconvenience to you and your family. To avoid this, some homeowners turn their faucets to a slow drip at night. Let’s look further into this practice to see if it’s effective in preventing frozen pipes in your home.

faucet dripping

Why Frozen Pipes are a Problem

Water freezes at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When it does freeze, it expands and takes up more space. This can be extremely problematic for your pipes because if water freezes inside of them, your pipes aren’t designed to expand with the water. Instead, due to the pressure of the newly-expanded substance, pipes easily crack and burst. This can leave you with little to no water supply, water leakage once the pipes thaw out, or even worse, flooding.

Some of the most at-risk places in your home for pipe freezes are:

  • The attic
  • The basement
  • The garage
  • In cabinets

These are the places where your home’s heat is less prevalent. Even though these places don’t have much heat contact, there’s still something you can do to lessen the likelihood of pipes in these areas from freezing, and that’s to keep your faucets that are located in these areas dripping at night.

Benefits of Keeping Faucets Dripping at Night

In the winter, temperatures drop tremendously. This means that for the many hours you and your family aren’t using the faucets at night, the pipes supplying water to them are prone to freezing. It can take as little as a couple of hours for the water in your pipes to freeze and have you waking up to busted pipes. To avoid this, leave some of your faucets dripping overnight.

When you allow a small amount of cold water to flow through any of the fixtures of your home (such as sinks, bathtubs, and showers), it allows for water to continually move through the pipes. If water is continually moving throughout the pipes, the water doesn’t have time to be stationary and subsequently freeze. It also relieves pressure inside of the pipes. If you’re concerned about wasting water, place a cup or bowl underneath all of the dripping faucets and re-purpose the water when you wake up in the morning.

Have More Winter Maintenance Questions for a Carroll County Plumber?

Are you looking for an Eldersburg, MD plumber to help you with your pipes this winter? You’ve come to the right place! Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating has a team of experienced and knowledgeable technicians that are ready to fix any of your plumbing problems as well as answer any questions you may have. Contact us today!

What Our Customers Say

"Great experience. Moved into a new home and experienced major plumbing issues (flooding) the morning after New Years. The plumber arrived that morning within the hour and relieved the issues, also provided some recommendations that benefited us in the long-run."

-Matt Lewis

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