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Does One Dripping Faucet Really Prevent Frozen Pipes?

Does One Dripping Faucet Really Prevent Frozen Pipes?

Is it true that a dripping faucet could help prevent frozen pipes? Many of us have heard that having one dripping faucet in your home will prevent the rest of them from freezing over. Is this just an old wives’ tale—or is there some truth to it? It turns out that this is one of those cases where a little science can help you figure out whether your faucets might freeze over and cause some damage to your pipes.

Why do pipes freeze?

When water freezes, it expands. This is why a bottle of water will shatter or misshapen if you leave it in the freezer too long. Water expands, even more, when it’s cold outside, and frozen pipes are no exception.

When the air temperature is below 40°F (4°C), which can happen even in Florida winters, you can get frost inside your pipes—which means ice. The colder the temperature gets, the faster this happens: as temperatures drop below 32°F (0°C), for example, frost will form within about 8 hours; at 12°F (-11°C), frost forms in about 3 hours; at 25 °F (-4 °C) frost forms after 1 hour; and at 20 °F (-6 °C) ice starts to form within 15 minutes!

What to do if your pipes freeze?

In the event that your pipes freeze and you need to thaw them, here are a couple of options.

  • Use a hair dryer or heat lamp. This is what we recommend for small areas—if you have an ice-dammed pipe and need to thaw it, you can use either method depending on whether the area is plastic or metal. 
  • For plastic pipes, particularly those in an unfinished basement or garage, try using a hair dryer to heat the area where water has frozen in your line. If there’s no outlet nearby (or if it’s getting too hot), consider using a portable heater—a heat lamp works well here! Make sure not to put any flame near flammable materials like carpeting; instead, place some foil underneath whatever object is closest so that no flames will come into contact with anything else inside your home.

A dripping faucet can prevent frozen pipes in certain situations.

While a dripping faucet can prevent frozen pipes in certain situations, it’s not the best solution for avoiding frozen pipes overall.

First, a dripping faucet isn’t a permanent solution—it’s only temporary. The moment you stop the drip, your water lines will freeze again. This can be dangerous if you’re relying on this method to keep your pipes from freezing during an extended power outage or in another situation where no one will be able to monitor the water levels in your home.

Second, a dripping faucet is not a substitute for insulation. While it may help protect against some types of damage caused by extreme cold (like burst pipes), it won’t prevent all issues related to freezing temperatures. This tactic may not even slow down their effects enough to give you time to act before things get too far gone! Additionally, insulation isn’t enough on its own: You also need heating inside your home to prevent pipes from bursting and ensure that all rooms are warm enough during those long winter nights ahead!

If you have any questions about frozen pipes or how to prevent them, we’d love to help! Our experts are here 24/7 to assist you with any concerns. Call us today at (613) 328-6600.

5 Signs of a Leaking Pipe in Your Home

5 Signs of a Leaking Pipe in Your Home

A leaking pipe is a serious problem because it will cause damage to your home, and you will also waste a lot of money. To prevent this from happening, you need to know the warning signs, and the following guide will help you detect a leaky pipe in your home:

1. Unusually high water bills

If your water bills start skyrocketing unexpectedly, it may be a sign of a leaking pipe so keep an eye on this aspect because it can start small, and your bill may increase a little bit each month. Or, you may receive a larger than expected bill one month, and regardless of the situation, you need to get your pipe fixed; otherwise, you will end up draining your bank account, and your home will become damaged.

2. Musty smells

In some cases, you will be able to smell the problem before you see it and mould and mildew can be inside your walls, vents or even under your floor. Musty-smelling rooms are a sign of a problem, and the cause is likely a leaky pipe because when water sits in one place, it will stagnate and produce a terrible odour.

3. Mould and mildew

If you start to see mould and mildew outside your tub area, you may have a leaky pipe, so you need to look into this problem. Moulding walls and baseboards are not normal, nor are moulding ceilings or floors in your bathroom or kitchen, which is a sure sign of a leaking pipe.

4. Stained walls, ceilings and floors

Stains on these surfaces will indicate that something is going on behind the surface, and this is true even if the stains are small or barely noticeable. Any spots or the outline of a watermark must be addressed, regardless of how subtle they may be, because if your leaking pipe is not fixed, you can suffer significant damage. A sagging ceiling, bendable walls and sinking floorboards are just a few examples of problems you may experience, all of which you need to avoid.

5. Wet spots

This can result from a leaking pipe in your home or outside, so you need to investigate the problem. If you notice puddles around the outer walls when there has been no rain or see wet spots inside your house, you have a problem, and your leaking pipe will have to be fixed. Where there is water, mildew and mould will follow, and structural damage can also occur, so you need to address this problem right away. 

Contacting a reputable plumber is a must when dealing with a leaking pipe, and the experts at TAP Tech can help! Whether you need an emergency plumber, drain, or sewer cleaning, we do it all, and you can place your trust in our team. Our plumbing techs are knowledgeable, experienced and reliable so if you are in Kingston, Ontario, contact us today!