Experts: Dripping faucets may not be enough to protect pipes

Dripping faucets may not be enough to protect pipes
Dripping faucets may not be enough to protect pipes
Posted at 5:05 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 13:31:36-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Cold weather continues to plague the area, forcing everyone to protect their plants, pets, and pipes.

When it comes to protecting your pipes, there’s are many different thoughts as to what's the best way to do so. Some homeowners leave their sink dripping all night, while others have a steady stream.

For some growing up, their families would leave faucets dripping when it was cold outside, but after talking to an expert, we learned that that may not be enough to protect pipes.

In fact, sinks should be left with a steady stream about the size of a pencil to keep the water flowing through the entire pipe.

Some individuals may choose to use hot water overnight as a way to keep the pipes warm, but we're told that that's not necessary. Running the hot water through the night, even at a small stream could cause your electric or gas bill to increase.

Still, there a few of us may choose to simply open the cabinets under the sink instead of leaving the water running, but that's not ideal either.

"Opening up your cabinets exposes your piping to the conditioning in your home," said Donnie Stringer, the service manager at Keith Lawson Services. "It would help with the freezing temperatures, but replacing it wouldn't allow the exposed pipe outside and underneath your home to be properly prepared. Water running water though it is what deals with that."

It's recommended that any exposed pipes outside are shut off, and wrapped with sheets, towels, or pipe insulation.

In the unfortunate event the your pipes do freeze over, Stringer suggests turning off water to the house until the pipes can thaw on their own.

Check the pipes and watch the water meter for possible leaks before and after turning the water back on.