How to Drip Faucets in Winter: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Drip Faucets in Winter

Dripping faucets in winter can help prevent frozen pipes and water damage to your home. However, many homeowners are unsure of how to properly drip faucets during the colder months. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to drip faucets in winter to protect your plumbing system.

Step 1: Choose the Right Faucet

It’s important to choose the right faucet for dripping in winter. Exterior faucets or those located in unheated areas of your home are more vulnerable to freezing. You should choose an interior faucet that is on an exterior wall and is close to the water source.

Step 2: Determine the Flow Rate

The flow rate of the water dripping from the faucet should be low enough to prevent waste of water, but high enough to keep the pipes from freezing. A small, steady stream of water, about the width of a pencil, is usually sufficient. You can adjust the flow rate by adjusting the faucet handle or using a flow restrictor.

Step 3: Open the Faucet

Fully open the faucet and then turn it back about a quarter turn to achieve a slow, steady drip. This will allow water to flow through the pipes, reducing the pressure and preventing them from freezing. Make sure the drip is steady and not erratic.

Step 4: Check the Drip

Check the drip regularly to make sure it is still flowing. If the water flow stops, you may need to increase the flow rate or adjust the faucet to get the water flowing again.

Step 5: Monitor Your Water Usage

While dripping a faucet can help prevent frozen pipes, it can also increase your water usage and lead to higher water bills. Make sure to monitor your water usage and adjust the flow rate as necessary to minimize waste.

Step 6: Turn Off Faucets in the Morning

When the temperature rises during the day, turn off the faucets that you have been dripping. This will help conserve water and prevent waste.


Dripping faucets in winter is a simple and effective way to prevent frozen pipes and water damage to your home. By following these steps, you can easily drip your faucets and protect your plumbing system. Remember to choose the right faucet, determine the flow rate, open the faucet, check the drip regularly, monitor your water usage, and turn off faucets in the morning. With these simple steps, you can protect your home from the potential damage caused by frozen pipes during the winter months.