I have several rental properties in suburb of Dallas. As you know that these week we will be experiencing extreme cold weather down to single digit, which is very uncommon for Texas.

Aside from the regular preventive measures that I used to give to tenants, ie., wrapping up outdoor faucets, dripping kitchen faucets, turning on ice-maker, setting thermostat to at least 70F, keeping cabinet doors open, etc., I am also thinking of asking them to turn on dishwasher before they go to sleep, setting it to 4-hour-delay start. I hope this will induce more water flow during midnight.

Do you think that this is a good idea? Does this step pose unnecessary risk to the life of the appliance? Any input would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

  • Do the dishwashers have a delay timer?
    – Solar Mike
    Feb 14 at 8:54
  • Yes, standard dishwashers usually do have one.
    – A.Magnus
    Feb 14 at 17:23

Turning the dishwasher on it shouldn't make a difference as long as they leave their kitchen tap run a little stream of water. This should keep the main service from freezing. Inside the house as long as you have a heater (which you said setting the thermostat to 70F) which is what I keep my house around at all winter. They will not freeze inside the house.

It has been -40 here for a couple weeks now. As long as you have a slow stream of water the lines should not freeze. I do live in Canada and most of our water and services lines are 8 feet or deeper outside however. I cannot attest to how or where your water and sewer services are ran inside or outside of your home and how much insulation is in your houses.

We have had to run garden hoses across lawns in the middle of winter to supply houses with water when their main services get frozen. As long as the water flows it should not freeze. DO NOT turn it off however.

Depending on the depth of your sewer lines and where they run you could possibly freeze them up. (Like I said ours are usually deep in the ground when they leave the basement of the house). A larger stream of water would prevent this but would use more water.


It will do no harm and I've heard a slow dripping faucet will indeed help keep pipes from freezing.

BTW, I live in Minnesota and know a little something about cold weather:

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It sounds like you have a good handle on things.

  • 1
    Your water pipes should already be well away from the cold. Your drainpipe, however is far less likely to be treated so nicely & probably runs down the outside of the building. Therefore, dripping or very slow-running tap == frozen drain == wet floor. Seen it done, not pretty, & I'm only in London where we see below zero for maybe only a week or two of the year.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 14 at 10:56
  • There are quite a few Minnesotan's living here in Alaska, they come here for warmer weather.
    – Alaska Man
    Feb 14 at 18:40

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