Bathrooms

When to drip faucets – and the biggest mistakes to avoid

This is the temperature when your faucets become a 'real threat' – and the biggest mistake to avoid during the dripping process

When to drip faucets in a bathroom
(Image credit: Future / Damien Russell)

Knowing exactly when to drip faucets is far from common knowledge. However, as temperatures continue to fringe on freezing on both sides of the Atlantic, it's a question that needs answering. 

Can you get away with waiting another week – or are your taps under threat right now? Here, those in the know share exactly when to drip faucets – and the most common dripping mistake you should avoid in the process. These bathroom ideas might just save your taps this season.  

When to drip faucets – your questions, answered

White sinks in a white bathroom

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti)

'Frozen pipes become a real threat at 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.6 Celcius) or lower,' explains Jake Romano, a plumber at an Ottawa Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Company (opens in new tab). In these temperatures, Jake explains that you should drip your faucet if it is connected to a pipe. 

'When the temperature falls below freezing, and a water supply is exposed to these freezing temperatures, the water can freeze in the pipe. When this happens, the water in the pipe expands. Without anywhere to go, your pipe can expand and break,' he shares.

Similarly, Enoch Heise, from one of the highest-rated plumbing companies in the Dallas Metroplex, Legacy Plumbing (opens in new tab), reiterates Jake's warning. 

Bathroom mirror ideas with round mirror and red wall

(Image credit: Future)

He adds that he also recommends dripping your faucets at this time of the year – especially when they are located on the exterior walls of the home. 'It is also a good idea to open the cabinet doors to help circulate warm air near the pipes,' Enoch adds. 

What is the most common faucet dripping mistake?  

Cole & Son Leopard walk wallpaper in bathroom

(Image credit: Future / Davide Lovatti )

You may now know when to drip faucets, but the tricky part is still to come. Enoch warns that many people often forget to drip both the hot and cold water through the faucet – leaving your pipes unprotected at the end of the process. 

'This can be trickier with single-handle faucets like many kitchen sink faucets. It is critical, though. If water isn't flowing through either the hot or the cold, then you won't have any freeze protection for those pipes,' he says. 

After designing a bathroom, the plumber adds that you should also remember to 'make sure that any toilets on the outside wall are flushed on a frequent basis' for the same reason.

These large and small bathroom ideas will ensure your home flows throughout the winter season. For now, we're keeping a watchful eye on the thermometer.

Megan Slack
News Editor

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.