Protecting your pipes: Difference between drip & stream for freezing temps – WJXT News4JAX

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Aaron Farrar, News4Jax reporter
Erik Avanier, Reporter
Aaron Farrar, News4Jax reporter
Erik Avanier, Reporter
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With temperatures expected to drop to below freezing at times over the next several days, there are a few ways to protect pipes from bursting inside your house.
One recommendation is to have a steady stream of water flowing from a faucet. Not too much water, but also not a drip.
The water coming out should be hot.
Jason Carriero, who is a manager for Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric, has 15 years of experience as a plumber.
“Think about when you put ice trays into a freezer,” he said. “It is not moving. It is freezing. If water is steadily moving, it is going to be harder for it to freeze.”
There is a big difference between a drip and a stream. The water needs to consistently move through the pipes.
“With a stream, it is circulating through the cold and through the hot,” Carriero said. “You want the water to move. You do not want it dripping. You want it circulating.”
Another suggestion is to have the water running in a fixture that is the farthest away from the water meter outside. That will keep the water flowing through the entire house.
This fixture could be a kitchen or bathroom sink or even a tub. It just depends on the house.
Once freezing warnings and advisories are lifted, Carriero says you can stop running the water.
Open up the cabinets under a sink just enough to allow the heat inside your house to reach the pipes. That keeps the pipes at room temperature or even warmer.
Employees at the Proctor Ace Hardware store on University Blvd said more people were coming in to purchase items to stay warm.
“So many people have come in here and bought all of it,” said employee Valarie Watson.
Blankets and plant covers were sold out, as was water pipe insulation. Many people had to get creative — and that’s when our attention shifted toward swimming pool noodles.
“We’ve actually started selling pool noodles for people to start covering up their pipes,” Watson said.
“Just to cover the pipes, where it’s tubing, blankets and towels work as well, some old sheets,” said customer David Shank.
Outdoor fire pits were also in high demand. Chris Talbert said he and his wife don’t have a large home to entertain guests, but they’re still expecting family and friends to visit this holiday weekend. So they purchased a large outdoor fire pit.
“We bought the fire pit so everybody can hang out and try to stay warm,” Talbert said.
Store employees said portable space heaters have been selling like crazy, and fortunately, there were some still available. In addition to space heaters, items for fireplaces were also in high demand based on what was barely left on shelves.
Firewood was, too.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Danny Dubois just moved to Jacksonville from New Hampshire. He arrived at Ace just after a new shipment of firewood was dropped off.
“This is a pretty cold spell, even for Florida. I have a fireplace in my new home, so I said, ‘Hey, why not use it,’” Dubois said.
So many people have come into the store to buy items to keep warm that employees said it was difficult to find time for a break.
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