How Many Faucets Should I Let Drip To Prevent Freezing?

In the winter, our faucets can quickly freeze, which can be troublesome to many households. How many faucets should I let drip to prevent freezing? In this article, we will guide you on this topic and give some helpful advice. Continue reading to know more!

Should I Allow My Faucets to Drip?

Yes, you should allow your faucets to drip in freezing temperatures to prevent your pipes from freezing and potentially bursting. Dripping faucets provide a slow flow of water, which helps prevent water from stagnating in the pipes and freezing. By keeping the water moving, it reduces the risk of pressure buildup and pipe damage. It’s especially important to drip faucets if you live in an area with freezing temperatures, have vulnerable pipes in unheated areas, or during prolonged periods of cold weather.

faucet freezing
faucet freezing

When do I need to drip?

Here are some scenarios where letting the faucet run is best to prevent pipes from freezing.

Before The Freezing Temperatures

To what degree should you set your faucets to drip? When the temperature drops to 32 degrees or lower in the next several hours, leave two to three taps in various parts of your home leaking steadily.

Before turning in for the nighttime, check the forecast to determine whether you should leave the faucets dripping. The tap needs to be turned on very little. Keep the dripping extremely minimal so that it cannot be heard.

During Snowfall

It’s crucial to let the taps drip whenever the temperatures are below freezing, over 32 degrees, or when it’s snowing. The faucets that should be left running are near exterior walls and in unheated sections of your home.

Most households typically do not have heated areas, including the bathrooms, kitchen, garage, and attic. To avoid freezing the pipes or, worse yet, busting, you should have your faucets leaking in each of these locations.

In Your Absence

Consider taking the required safeguards to protect your home’s plumbing while you’re absent. You must ask yourself, “How many faucets should I leave dripping when traveling?”

The cooling water tap most distant from the location where water is provided to your home should be the only one left dripping. You may protect the plumbing throughout the home from the cold by letting the tap that is the farthest away drip.

Make sure to adjust the thermostat that regulates your heating systems to an appropriate temperature and leave the faucet leaking. To protect the drainage systems inside your home, it should activate the heater whenever the temperature drops beneath 54 degrees.

Why Do I Need To Let My Faucets Drip At All Times?

We must do some house tasks during wintertime to keep our house in shape. One of the difficulties is the chance that your pipes can freeze, which might harm your house.

Pipes that are frozen might burst, creating a very nasty and costly issue. Letting your faucet drip is one way to avoid frozen pipes.

how many faucets to let drip
how many faucets to let drip

How Many Faucets Should I Let Drip To Prevent Freezing?

You do not need to let all your faucets drip; depending on your house, the number of dripping faucets can differ. Any faucet attached to a line that properly exits a tank of hot water is most likely secure.

These pipes will not experience the extreme cold that other tubes do because they are not constantly exposed to colder conditions.

However, the taps attached to any pipes that pass through the home’s outer walls and are consequently vulnerable to the brisk air outdoors should be left dripping.

A pipe may have numerous faucets branching out of it; in such instances, the faucet far from the water supply would drip.

How many drips Should I Use To Keep My Faucet From Freezing? 

You don’t have to leave a faucet running or dripping continuously. Only a small amount is enough to secure your faucets and save you money effectively. Use only five to ten drips a minute to prevent wasting water or the risk of flooding your house. 

Even when your faucet leaks by itself and leaks more quickly than this, you should get your tap checked and fixed in the long term. 

What Is The Cost Of Letting A Faucet Drip? 

Since water usage varies from place to place, it is challenging to predict an exact amount, but we may make an educated guess. You should anticipate $20 per year for a leaking pipe.

Naturally, this number will be increased in places with high water costs and lower in those with reduced rates. The cost will be roughly $5 for a faucet during the coldest winter.

Even though your expenses have gone up, they are nothing compared to the repair costs that a broken pipe might generate.

Should I Only Dribble From The Cold Water Faucet? 

In the coldest weather, hot water pipes are prone to freezing because they can cool off quickly.

The hot water pipe should also be turned on when they are outside-facing and pass through all the outer walls of the home.

what temp to leave faucets dripping?

When it comes to leaving faucets dripping to prevent freezing, it is generally recommended to do so when the outdoor temperature drops below 32°F (0°C).

Additional Advice To Avoid Pipes Freezing And Bursting In Cold Weather

Certainly! In addition to allowing faucets to drip, here are some additional tips to help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting during cold weather:

  1. Insulate exposed pipes: Insulate pipes located in unheated areas, such as crawl spaces, attics, or exterior walls. This helps retain heat and provides a protective barrier against freezing temperatures. Use pipe insulation sleeves or heat tape to wrap the pipes.
  2. Seal air leaks: Identify and seal any gaps or cracks in your home’s exterior that allow cold air to enter and reach the pipes. Use caulk or insulation to seal these air leaks and improve the overall insulation of your home.
  3. Open cabinet doors: Keep cabinet doors open below sinks, especially those located on exterior walls. This allows warm air from your home to circulate around the pipes and helps prevent them from freezing.
  4. Maintain indoor temperature: Maintain a consistent indoor temperature, especially during freezing weather. Avoid setting your thermostat too low, and keep the heating system running to ensure that the pipes are adequately heated.
  5. Disconnect outdoor hoses: Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses before winter. Shut off the water supply to outdoor faucets, and consider using faucet covers or insulation sleeves to protect them from freezing.
  6. Let warm air reach pipes: Ensure that areas with pipes, such as basements, are properly heated. Keep doors open to allow warm air to flow into these spaces and reach the pipes.
  7. Monitor weather forecasts: Stay informed about upcoming weather conditions, particularly freezing temperatures. Take necessary precautions when severe cold weather is predicted, such as increasing the frequency of faucet dripping or implementing additional preventive measures.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to avoiding frozen and burst pipes. Taking these precautions can help protect your plumbing system during cold weather conditions. If you have any specific concerns or questions, it’s always recommended to consult a professional plumber for personalized advice.


How many faucets should I let drip to prevent freezing? After this post, you can easily answer that question and gain some useful knowledge to maintain your household.

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Edvian Berrios is a homeowner who has become a plumbing expert through self-study and practical experience. Despite not being a professional plumber, Berrios's deep understanding of fixtures and do-it-yourself techniques has enabled him to successfully handle even the most challenging plumbing problems in his own homes.