Should You Let Your Faucets Drip This Winter?

You've likely heard that you should let your faucets drip when temperatures get below freezing. But do you let one faucet drip? Multiple faucets? Does the temperature of the water matter? 

Don't let your faucets freeze this winter!

Don't let your faucets freeze this winter!

There's no need to run hot water because the heat from the water should keep the line from freezing. If you know where your water comes into your house, turn on a cold water faucet at the opposite end of the house. What you are trying to do is pull that water through the whole system of the house. 

Leaving a faucet dripping overnight is inexpensive insurance as a dripping cold water faucet uses only 5 cents worth of water in eight hours. 

More Tips For Winterizing Your Home During A Freeze: 

Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses. Detaching the hose allows water to drain from the pipe. Otherwise, a single hard, overnight freeze can burst either the faucet or the pipe it's connected to. 

Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas. If you have pipes in an unheated garage or cold crawl space under the house, wrap the water pipes before temperatures plummet. Hardware or building supply stores will have good pipe wrapping materials available. 

Seal access doors, air vents and cracks. Repair broken basement windows. Winter winds whistling through overlooked openings can quickly freeze exposed water pipes. But don't plug the air vents your furnace or water heater needs for good combustion. 

Find the master shutoff. It may be near the water heater or the washing machine. More likely it's where the water line comes into your house from the street. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house - kitchen, bath, basement or crawl space - this valve turns it off. So find it now and paint it a bright color or hang a tag on it. Be sure everyone in the family knows where it is and what it does. 

Allow steady water flow. In some places you're advised to leave a steady drip or pencil-lead-thin stream of water flowing from a bathroom faucet during the worst of a cold spell.