How Much Water Should Drip To Keep Pipes From Freezing

June 26, 2022
 | By 
Michael McCullers

Winter is here, and you are expecting a sharp plummet in temperature. So, now it's time to think about keeping your pipes from freezing. Today, I will talk about how much water should drip to keep pipes from freezing.

First of all, let me clear that dripping faucets won't keep the entire pipe from freezing; however, they can help keep the frozen water in the part of the pipe where the faucet is. As a result, you will get some extra time to thaw frozen pipes before they burst, which can save you from a devastating situation.

Now let's go through a step-by-step discussion on how much water should drip to keep pipes from freezing so that you can better protect your property when winter arrives in full force.

The Importance Of Faucet Drip For Freezing Pipe Prevention

If you want to keep your pipes from freezing, one simple trick can help. You need to make sure a small amount of water is constantly dripping out the faucet in your home.

Water bursting out from a frozen pipe

To understand why this is necessary, it helps to know how pipes work. Pipes are made up of two different types. They can be either metal or plastic pipes. Metal pipes freeze when there's no heat present in them but warm air outside of them (which causes condensation). Plastic pipes don't freeze as easily because they're more porous than metal ones and tend to have fewer ice crystals form inside them when cold temperatures set in (due to their smooth surface).

Because of this difference between metal and plastic, the best way for homeowners who live where winters get especially chilly would be to invest in both types of materials so they can prevent any damage from happening during the winter months. It's important for homeowners who live in areas where winter weather frequently comes every year, not just once every six years or so but on an annual basis instead, should always have these kinds available at all times.

The Amount Of Water To Drip For Preventing Freezing Pipes

A single faucet dripping at a rate of 1 gallon per hour will do the trick. You can check if your faucet is dripping correctly by placing a container between the spout and its base, then checking how much water accumulates in that container over the course of an hour. If there's less than one gallon, try adjusting the flow rate until you hit that mark.

If you're worried about pipes freezing while you're away from home on vacation or otherwise won't be able to monitor them yourself, consider hiring a professional plumber to take care of them for you. This way, if something goes wrong with your system before or after your trip (or during), someone who knows what they're doing will be there for any necessary repairs.

Why Does Pipes Freezing Happen?

The reason pipes freeze is simple: the temperature inside your house drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The water inside a pipe, which is also at that temperature, begins to form ice crystals. When this happens on its own, you don't have anything to worry about—it's called frost, and it can be safely removed by simply turning on your faucet or running hot water through the pipe (but don't do this if there are any chemicals like bleach in your home).

If condensation forms within a single pipe, however, it expands when frozen and causes pressure build-up that leads to burst pipes. As long as there's no risk of freezing temperatures and you're using an anti-freeze solution in your pipes every day or two during cold weather (more on that later), you won't need to worry about bursting pipes because of condensation forming inside them when they freeze!

Ways To Prevention Of Freezing Pipes

In this section, we'll discuss what you can do to prevent freezing pipes. If you're in such a critical situation where you need to take care of frozen pipes and don't know what to do, this is the section for you. Take a look around the house to see if any water supply lines are located in places that are not heated, under kitchen and bathroom cabinets, as well as in the storage room, crawl spaces, roof, and garage.

When it comes to the preventing your pipes from not getting frozen, there are several things that can help:

Insulation Of Pipes

Pipe insulation is an inexpensive and effective way to prevent pipes from freezing. There are three main ways to insulate the pipes: foam, heat tape, or heat cable. Foam is a good choice for areas where you can't easily access the pipe or where there are multiple layers of insulation that would be difficult to wrap with a material like fiberglass or reflective foil paper (such as in-ground irrigation systems).

Heat tape also works well for the exposed pipes. We can easily use it for additional frozen pipes outside (Places like outdoor hose bibs) because it's easy to install and doesn't require access points for maintenance or inspection. Heat cables are typically used on smaller diameter pipes that do not have access points nearby where electrical wiring could be run through them (if using this method). All types of water supply lines, like hot or cold water pipes, need to have insulation.

Find Out The Leaks And Seal Them

If you've found a leak somewhere in your house, you can use a pipe snake to find it. A pipe snake is used to clear clogs and blockages in pipes by pushing them through. If there's something blocking your drain or garbage disposal, the snake will push it out of the way so that the water can go with the flow again.

Leak detection dyes are another useful tool when searching for leaks underneath sinks or toilets where there are no visible signs on walls or floors above ground level that indicate where it might be coming from - this means someone could become trapped underneath without knowing until too late! You'll need several different colors so that when combined together under UV light (e..g blacklight), they will show up clearly against white tiles/grout lines, etcetera.

Secure Your Outdoor Valves And The Faucets

We must protect exposed water pipes at any cost. Even if you leave your water running in the house, it's important to make sure that your outdoor valves and faucets are secured. The cold weather can freeze them up, which could lead to a burst pipe. To secure them:

  • Remove any debris from around the valve or faucet
  • Turn on the water supply outside of your home and let it run for at least five minutes
  • Close off all valves that aren't currently in use with a wrench

Water Dripping

The best way to keep your pipes from freezing is to pour warm water down the drain after you use it and leave the faucet dripping for a few seconds before turning it off. For maximum effectiveness, place a bath towel or heavy blanket over your sink so that the warmth stays in place for as long as possible. This method may take longer than other solutions but will help prevent any frozen pipes if done properly.

Thermostat Adjustment

The thermostat is called the brain of your heating system, so it's no surprise that everything else revolves around it. The device is small and simple—in fact, you can often find them in local hardware stores for around an amount of dollars.

Ways To Fix If Your Pipes Have Already Frozen

A frozen pipe outside the house in the Winter season

If your pipes are already frozen, then you should fix them immediately. You can do so yourself, but it's best not to try to fix frozen pipes yourself unless you have experience doing so.

If this is your current case and you do not feel comfortable fixing a frozen pipe yourself, it's the best decision that you call a professional plumber such as Jet Plumbers Arvada simply by calling us at 720-538-9961. The plumber will be able to come out and give you an idea of what the problem might be and how much it will cost for them to fix it.

Keep The Faucet Open

If the faucet is open and the water is still not flowing, there's a chance that the pipes are frozen. If this is the present case, you can try turning on and off your faucet to see if it thaws them out. Or, you could try using a hairdryer or heat gun to defrost them as well.

Apply Some Heat To The Frozen Part Of The Pipe

If you have a propane torch and have no plastic pipes, then use that. If not, then turn to some other heat sources. An electric heating pad wrapped around water pipes will work if you place it on the frozen pipe for at least an hour and keep checking it as water can thaw and refreeze quickly, depending on how much ice there is in your plumbing system.

You can also use a hot water bottle wrapped in one of those insulating covers that come with them at most stores. This should work, but we recommend keeping it far away from any water as they are electrical devices (and therefore unsafe). Lastly, if all else fails: an electric hair dryer or a portable space heater might help you!

The Final Words

We have talked about some basic things that you should do to prevent your pipes from getting frozen. Moreover, we have also gone through the ways that you can use when your pipes get frozen. You should not wait until the winter comes and things start getting worse. Start now to save yourself from any pain and trouble in the future. Please follow our advice properly and take every step carefully so that nothing goes wrong with your home this winter season!

If you need any kind of plumbing-related services, then Jet Plumbers Arvada can be an excellent choice for you. Our team has been in the field of plumbing for a time period of long ten years. We provide all types of plumbing services at your doorsteps by our professional plumbers. Our customers' satisfaction is one of our main priorities. You can get to us in a very easy way just by calling 720-538-9961. Schedule a consultation today without any delay!