If I had left my (inside bath room sink) dripping could it had prevented my (outside hose bib) 20 ft away & on same side of house from freezing up & busting.

I know freezing water expands and increases pressure that causes copper pipes to burst. But will inside faucets left dripping stop outside hose bibs from pressuring up and bursting with temps at 10 degrees.

  • think about it ... how can a dripping faucet possibly reduce pressure in any noticeable way?
    – jsotola
    Jan 2, 2022 at 2:34

2 Answers 2



The pipes you are trying to protect need their own faucets to be dripping.

Another section of pipe and faucet dripping will not protect another section.

The dripping faucet lets warmer(than freezing) water to flow though the pipe. The dripping should be closer to a very small flow, than a drip.

Electric heat tapes are good for outside faucets, if you do not have a inside shutoff valve for that faucet, and leave that faucet open.

  • Isn't it common advice for sub-cold temperature and vacationing in the winter - keep a faucet in the house open with dripping water? The reason I believe is that as long as the trickle is large enough to maintain the flow that prevents the ice to form. The question is how large is large enough for a complicated piping system.
    – r13
    Jan 2, 2022 at 3:36
  • @r13 It is mainly done for pipes in external walls where outside cold can reach and insulated(drywall) from inside heat. A good reason when designing plumbing system, to not have any pipes in outside walls.
    – crip659
    Jan 2, 2022 at 21:52
  • Thanks for the explanation, got the point.
    – r13
    Jan 2, 2022 at 22:08

There are insulated faucet covers, such as this, that work in all but the coldest climates -- if there is sufficient heat leakage along the pipe and through the wall.

They're effective in my northern location, and more convenient than turning the inside shut-off and draining the standing water.

N.B. Leaving water trickling is not always effective, and outside, would leave a dangerous build-up of ice next to the house!

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