Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Does a Dripping Faucet Prevent Frozen Pipes? Expert Plumbing Tips for Winter Cold Snaps

As winter approaches, the experts here at Sanitary Plumbing often get cold weather questions like, “Does a dripping faucet prevent frozen pipes?” We’ll answer that question for you here, plus provide advice on protecting your pipes when the temperatures plummet in New York City. If you are a property owner or manager, you can’t afford to ignore these tips, lest you wind up with major plumbing repairs and water damage in your condo or co-op building.

Does a Dripping Faucet Prevent Frozen Pipes?

Not an old wives’ tale

First, let’s address the age-old debate about eliminating frozen and burst pipes by leaving the water running. Does a dripping faucet prevent frozen pipes? Yes, in most cases it does. This is a viable emergency measure for those deep freezes that hit once or twice every winter.

You can also keep pipes from freezing by letting a faucet drip in case of a long-term power outage when you don’t have any heat in your building. However, as you’ll read below, there are better ways to prevent frozen pipes. Leaving a faucet dripping can be effective when there are no other options, but it wastes water.

How to Recognize Pipes Vulnerable to Freezing

Signs to watch for

Before we discuss alternative measures to prevent freezing pipes, let’s review how to know which pipes are likely to have freezing problems. This is important when it comes to prevention because you want to prioritize these plumbing components before others.

Pipes that are likely to freeze first include:

  • Pipes on cold walls (windy, shadowy, etc.)
  • Pipes in areas with poor insulation, such as attics, crawlspaces, and thin walls
  • Pipes in cold rooms (unoccupied units, units under renovation, etc.)
  • Pipes that show signs of coldness, like exterior frost or condensation
  • Pipes that have frozen previously, including those with pinhole leaks

What Is the Best Way to Prevent Frozen Pipes?

Top pipe protection for low temperatures

If it makes you feel better, you can run a dripping faucet to prevent frozen pipes, but you’ll sleep more soundly if you use the best method of protecting your pipes: insulation. There are two kinds of insulation you want to consider here.

First, wrapping individual pipes in pipe insulation can be beneficial when the thermometer goes below freezing. There are many types of pipe insulation available today. You can find DIY versions that you simply cut to the lengths you need and then wrap around exposed pipes. These are ideal for use under sinks and in places easy to access.

There are other types of insulation meant for the boiler room and radiator steam pipes. There is also insulation that can be used around pipes behind your walls or under your floors. Both of these kinds of insulation should be applied by professionals, like the team at Sanitary Plumbing or our associates at Calray Boilers.

Second, insulating broad areas that house pipes may be best when you need more than just protection for your pipes. If an occupant is struggling to keep their interior warm enough, insulating a wall may be necessary to reduce utility bills as well as prevent frozen pipes.

Other tips to prevent frozen pipes

There are a few other things you can do to eliminate the risk of frozen pipes. If your pipes are old, especially if they are galvanized, they may have become significantly narrower over the years as sediment, mineral scale, and other elements have built up inside. This leaves little room for running water as it is, let alone water that expands as it freezes. We recommend replacing these pipes with new ones, which has the added bonus of improving water flow in taps and showers.

Additionally, make sure building occupants never turn their heat below 55 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter when they’re not at home, such as during extended vacations. Many people mistakenly do this to save on their heating bills, but it puts pipes at risk of freezing. A better solution is to use smart thermostats, which offer many benefits:

  • Ability to program heat to automatically increase or decrease according to home routines, like going to work or getting up in the morning
  • Remote control of the thermostat via mobile phone or tablet, ideal if a user wants to change their programmed settings spontaneously when their schedule changes away from home (staying late at work, coming home early from a trip, etc.)
  • Easy integration with thermostatic radiator valves for use with steam heat
  • Better individual control of interior temperatures for personal comfort
  • Less fuel waste and lower utility bills for occupants

Call Sanitary Plumbing to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

New York City’s plumbing experts

Now is the perfect time to take care of pipes that are vulnerable to freezing, before we hit those inevitable cold snaps around the holidays or in early 2023. Sanitary Plumbing welcomes the opportunity to take a look at your pipes and make recommendations for insulation or replacement, in the case of damaged or old pipes.

We can also help you when it comes to thermostatic radiator valves. Our partners at Bolt Electric can assist with the installation of programmable thermostats, so your system is all set to go when the snow flies.

Don’t wait until you have a disaster on your hands from frozen or burst pipes this winter! Call Sanitary Plumbing today at 212-734-5000 to schedule an appointment.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of Antler.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with Antler.nyc). We may collect and store the following personal information:

  • Name, email, address, telephone number, and (depending on the service used), move-in dates;
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Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

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We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

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The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

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The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Antler Pump & Motor Corporation, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

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The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Antler Pump & Motor Corporation. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

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The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

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Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

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This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since Antler.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.