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Old 01-13-2009, 08:58 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 32,658,476 times
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This is our first winter in Illinois--we live in Naperville. Last night, we watched the news, wanting an update on the impending blizzard (that never happened). There was a story about letting your faucets drizzle to prevent frozen pipes. Is this a common occurrence? Should I be worried? This week is supposed to be pretty harsh.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:46 AM
 
27,629 posts, read 63,188,238 times
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Depends on several factors, mostly related to the type /quality of home construction. If your walls are well constructed with superior insulation that is a BIG factor. Most newer homes have hose spigots that are the "no freeze" style where the valve is well inside the insulated "blanket" of the house. Homes with poor insulation and the kind of spigots exposed to subzero temps are at high risk.

Some builders do stupid things, like have bathrooms with lots of pipes in the wall facing an exterior space -- even with good insulation these pipes are at risk -- especially if it is a guest bath that is infrequently used AND at the end of plumbing 'run' -- that water will cool and is much more likely to freeze than a well used bathroom where any water will circulate and warm up the pipes to well above freezing.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Chillicothe, IL
196 posts, read 928,520 times
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When it got really cold a few weeks ago our hot water pipe froze in one of our bathrooms. This time I'm leaving a heater on in the bathroom and let the water drip over night. That happened when the wind chill was like -20. Luckily it rarely gets that cold.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 26,080,195 times
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I always leave my faucet dripping a bit when the weather is this cold ... especially if you live alone and don't use a lot of water or flush the toilet very often etc.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:25 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
6,155 posts, read 16,971,350 times
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In a 50 yr old home in Bridgeview our pipes froze between the street and the house. We had to bring a plumber in to heat the pipes; while it did work...it was expensive and time consuming. I'd strongly suggest you leave a drip running. It benefits your water provider too because if the water main freezes because no water is running through it much of the town will lose water; getting your water main fixed is a big hassle.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 82,810,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrc60 View Post
In a 50 yr old home in Bridgeview our pipes froze between the street and the house. We had to bring a plumber in to heat the pipes; while it did work...it was expensive and time consuming. I'd strongly suggest you leave a drip running. It benefits your water provider too because if the water main freezes because no water is running through it much of the town will lose water; getting your water main fixed is a big hassle.
This usually only happens when it's been extremely cold for several days and there's no snow on the ground. We've had plenty of snow this year -- 3.5 feet already.

Of course, it could be worse. About 8 years ago we had a really cold winter but there was hardly any snow. Up north and out in rural areas, peoples' septic fields froze. That makes for a long winter.

Anyway, another way to prevent frozen pipes is, if your kitchen or bathroom sink is along an exterior wall, is to keep the cabinet doors open.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 21,129,613 times
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Let them "drizzle." You might regret it if you do not.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 65,498,441 times
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Never had a problem in any of the, lets see, 7 places Ive lived in IL. Its not a bad idea to let them dribble though, it wont hurt anything.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 21,129,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-o View Post
Never had a problem in any of the, lets see, 7 places Ive lived in IL. Its not a bad idea to let them dribble though, it wont hurt anything.

When you are dealing with older pipes and/or older water systems that is where you have the most problems with pipe freeze.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Chicago
2,633 posts, read 3,479,837 times
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My frame house was built in 1880, the plumbing is not a whole lot newer. Bathtub is on an exterior wall, never had a problem.
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