One of the easiest ways to prevent frozen pipes this winter is by leaving the drainage system on a slow drip. This means keeping one or more faucets on at around five to ten droplets per minute to alleviate pressure in the plumbing system.
Here's a list of the few times when it's important to leave the inside faucets on a slow drip to prevent freezing in the winter.
Before Freezing Weather Occurs
An important time to drip your home faucets is before freezing weather occurs. For example, if you know that the overnight temperature is planning on dropping to an alarming 32 degrees Fahrenheit, leave a faucet or two on a slow drip throughout the night. If you’ve left it to the right amount of drips-per-minute, the dripping won't be loud and should be barely noticeable.
This is also a good idea if you know freezing weather is going to hit overnight or while you’re at work, out to dinner, or otherwise not thinking about your home’s plumbing system for a long period of time.
During Ice, Snow & Sub-Freezing Temperatures
The most crucial faucets to drip during extremely cold weather include those that align an outside wall or are in a non-heated area of your home. For most homes, this includes a kitchen or bathroom sink or tub. You might also consider areas like utility rooms, attics, laundry rooms, or garage sinks as prime candidates for drip duty.
When You're Going Out Of Town
Leave a water faucet that's located as far away from where water enters your home on a slow drip. The reason the location matters is that being far away from the source requires the entire system to be pressurized and prevents freezing.
Also, keep the programmable thermostat set no lower than 58 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure warm, circulating air and not-frozen pipes. Also, it is helpful to ask a friend or family member to stop by and check for any plumbing problems every few days - especially if you know cold temperatures, ice, or snow are in the forecast while you're away.
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