Preventing Frozen & Broken Pipes

With sub-freezing temperatures setting in soon, Maysville Utility Department urges its customers to leave water dripping in faucets to prevent pipes from freezing.

It is particularly important to let faucets drip if you have pipes that run through exterior walls. This practice is also recommended by insurance companies and plumbers. Because ice expands, water freezing in pipes can cause them to break. You won’t know until the ice thaws and the break causes flooding.

Farm Bureau Insurance recommends dripping faucets when the temperature drop approaches 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Maysville Utility advises dripping the faucet farthest from where water lines enter the building at the water meter. This is often a second-floor bathroom.

A slow drip should be maintained until the outdoor temperature is consistently above freezing.

A slow drip like this adds just cents to your water bill.  According to State Farm Insurance, a 1/8-inch crack can spray more than 250 gallons of water in a day. Letting water drip is much cheaper than the cost to replace ruined carpets, floors, furniture, and irreplaceable personal belongings.

If kitchen and/or bathroom sinks are on an outside wall, it is also recommended that cabinet doors beneath them be left open.

Additional recommendations:

  • Install additional insulation in attics, basements, and crawl spaces to help maintain temperatures in those areas,
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are pipes there,
  • Keep the thermostat set at daytime temperature throughout the night,
  • Keep thermostat at no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit if you go away.