How Many Faucets Should I Let Drip To Protect Water Pipes?

If you live in frigid zones, freezing water pipes due to low temperatures are not uncommon. This situation can cause trouble for your family’s daily activities.

The worst scenario is that the frozen water can burst the pipes. Therefore, it is best to tackle the problems instantly just by opening your house’s water faucet. And How many faucets should I let drip will be answered to give you detailed information about this method.

Why Do Water Pipes Burst?

The pipes placed outside insulation areas such as attic, crawl spaces, or exterior walls are at higher risk of freezing and bursting at any time. Especially, when the pipes are long-used and have cracks and openings, these open spaces will allow cold air to seep inside, leading to freezing.

The lack of heat causes the water to freeze. As water is frozen, it expands and exerts great pressure inside the pipe, then pushes the water towards the closed faucet. As a result, the pipe breaks and ruptures under pressure.

Is This A Problem?

When the temperature falls to the freezing point, make sure to examine the pipes in case they can freeze and even burst. Breaking pipes could be a bugbear for your family in daily use…

As it is hard to find the bursting pipe, the water inside will leak and flow out, affecting the household furniture. Your house will turn out a mess even before you can call the plumber.

Since the burst pipes can damage the whole drainage system, it would be expensive to repair. It can affect your family’s daily activities if the repairs take up a few days as well. Therefore, it is a must to protect the water pipes from freezing during winter.

Should I Let My Faucet Drip In Cold Weather? 

One effective solution to prevent pipe freezing is to let the drainage system slowly drip. The flow keeps the water in the plumping system mobile and alleviates the pressure built inside the pipes. This solution is easy to follow and effective in avoiding pipe freezing.

If you wonder, how many faucets should I let drip to prevent freezing, the answer can be only one or even more for the best result, but they should be in the right positions. So make sure to read about it to avoid wasting water.

Do you have to turn on all the faucets? The answer is not necessary. Only one faucet if it is in the right position is enough. You also don’t have to turn on warm water as the principle is to reduce the pressure inside the pipes, not to warm up the pipes themselves.

Read more: how to remove the flow restrictor from a delta kitchen faucet

How Many Faucets Should I Let Drip?

How much should faucets drip to prevent freezing? When the temperature fluctuates around or below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius), it’s the right time to open the faucets to drip. The amount of dripping will depend on specific situations.

Here are some situations when you can let the faucets drip and know how many dripping faucets are enough to protect the pipes.

Before The Freezing Point

Every smartphone has a weather app that can check the temperature outside and inside. It is necessary that you pay attention to the temperature as it can vary in a few hours as a sudden change.

In this case, how much should faucets drip to prevent freezing, and how many faucets are enough? As this is for precaution, you can leave one faucet to drip at a slow speed. The dripping should be unnoticeable and slow. It will discharge only about a gallon per hour.

The ideal faucet is the furthest one to make sure that the water runs through the entire plumbing system. Otherwise, open the faucet in the places where the heating system can’t reach, such as the kitchen, attic, garage, and bathroom.

During Ice And Snowfall

In snowfall when the temperature gets too low, it is vital to keep the faucets drip to avoid freezing. Keeping them slow like a trickle but in the right positions, as I mention below.

The most important faucets to let drip during freezing cold spell include those located outside walls or insulted spaces where cold air can easily freeze the water pipes. These areas can be your kitchen, bathroom sink, or bathtub.

And How many faucets to drip to prevent pipes freezing? Only one faucet if it is in the right position is enough. You also don’t have to turn on warm water as the principle is to reduce the pressure inside the pipes, not to warm up the pipes themselves.

During Your Absence

If you are planning a faraway holiday this winter? Make sure to turn on the faucets to protect the pipes. How much should I let my faucet drip in cold weather is a common question I encounter. The answer is one faucet in a trickle is enough. It will not waste your water that much.

Turn the faucet on until the temperature is above the freezing point. The low speed of flowing is enough. At this rate, it will fill a gallon pitcher in about an hour and cost only 2 cents each time.

You also should ask for help from your neighbors. Call them to visit and check the plumbing system every day to make sure it is well-operated.

Read more: Pull out vs pull down faucet – which is the better?

Other Feasible Solutions To Impede The Pipes From Freezing

Letting the faucet drip is an easy way to hamper freezing pipes. In the meanwhile, there are other alternatives you can apply as follow:

  • Check around the house to see if there are any cracks or openings on the pipes where the cold air could seep into. Fix or seal them properly, either by yourself or have it done by a professional.
  • Open the sink cabinets or bathroom doors during the winter spell so that the warmth from the heating system can circulate these spaces to avoid freezing water pipes.
  • Apply tapes, especially heating and insulating tapes to the pipes that are exposed to cold air, such as the ones placed in the non-heated parts of your house.
  • Turn off the main valve that supplies water for your entire house in the worst scenario of breakage. By closing the valve, you will save your house from water spilling or flooding.


Have you found out the answer to the question “How many faucets should I let drip?” Yes, right?

Along with this issue, you also learn some tips to better prevent the water pipes from freezing… I hope that the above information will be useful for you. So, apply these tips in real situations and act before it is too late.

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