Freezing Weather and Water Pipes

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Old 01-19-05, 07:42 AM
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Question Freezing Weather and Water Pipes

We have moved from a tropical country to the mid-south. It doesn't get super-freezing cold very often. Consequently, home owners don't typically wrap or insulate their water pipes. Most homeowners, when the overnight low is predicted to plunge down into the lower 20's, let their inside faucets "drip" to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting (or "bustin') as they say around here. Letting the faucets drip helps to keep a little water circulating in the pipes so it won't freeze, I suppose.

The question that no one seems to have answer to, is should all the faucets, both hot and cold, throughout the house, be allowed to drip? Or just one cold water faucet? For the past two nights the low temperature was 16 degrees. I let all my faucets run a trickle about the size of a pencil lead. Might have been unnecessary as well as a waste of water. And how about the faucets on the outside? I disconnected the garden hoses. Some say that helps to prevent pipes from freezing and bustin'. Thanks for any information.
 
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Old 01-19-05, 08:25 AM
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Outside faucets in cold climates should be the "frost-free" type. These have the turn off outside however the washer that shuts off the water supply is inside of the foundation. Not at the handle. They must also be installed correctly. That means tipped down from the house to the open end as these drain off the water back to the shut-off washer. Problem is that people leave hoses connected and this defeats the draining. Thus they freeze, usually in the wall they are coming through. When they thaw out most people don't even realize they are broken until they see or hear the water or get that huge water bill.
I have a crawl space. I close all the vents in the winter. When it is going to be a cold night (20,s) I open all the doors on cabinets that have water piping in them. I do not run any water. I may regret that someday but so far, so good and it has gone down to 16 a couple times in the last week.
 
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