To drip or not to drip: Why city officials recommend you don't drip your pipes ahead of freeze

ByKaren Alvarez KTRK logo
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Why city officials recommend you don't drip your pipes ahead of freeze
With an incoming freeze, the question remains whether or not you should drip your pipes. Leaders say no, but plumbers say it's the best strategy.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In less than 24 hours, we'll begin to feel the effects of that hard freeze that we've been talking about for days.

With that, city officials are asking residents to be prepared but asking them not to drip their faucets. The reason behind that, according to a statement from Houston Public Works, is because their "water system is run through re-pump stations, not water towers. It could have a negative impact on our system's water pressure if we have a mass amount of people dripping their faucets."

Wayne Klotz with the Coastal Water Authority, an independent agency contracted with providing the city of Houston with water, agrees that dripping could lead to stressing the water system.

WATCH: Action 13: Winter Weather Preps

When freezing weather threatens in southeast Texas, there are a number of concerns for your home and family. See what specific steps you need to take ahead of a freeze to protect your pipes, plants, pets and property.

But we know homeowners want to protect their homes. Many plumbers Eyewitness News has talked with have recommended dripping to prevent pipes from bursting.

SEE ALSO: Check your lease before the freeze: What renters are responsible for during arctic blast?

Plumbers like Nathan Renfro, who've been in the business for several years, understand the city's recommendation but say there's simply a better option to safeguard your home.

"The best way is to shut off the water. Drain it, open all the fixtures, leave the attic door open, your cabin doors wherever there's a water connection, that way, the heat can get in there," Renfro said.

And when it comes to pipes, he says there are certain pipes that are more prone to bursting.

SEE ALSO: Houston plumbing experts answer how to handle the expected arctic cold front

"This stuff will flex, if it freezes, it has the ability to expand, and once it thaws out, it'll go back to its regular size," Renfro said.

But for those who don't have these kinds of pipes, don't stress, Renfro recommends using pipe insulation, blankets, or towels to cover the exposed pipe.

SEE ALSO: Can Texas' power grid handle this week's arctic blast? Energy experts weigh in