The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


January 13, 2014

Letting winter faucets trickle was just a drop in the bucket



At that point, I remembered the frigid days on Emerson Avenue and realized that I had blown it.


Unlike my grandfather, who used a propane torch to thaw frosted pipes, leaving hints of charred joists and wall studs along the way, I refrained from applying heat with today’s safer, recommended method, a hair dryer, and decided to wait it out and keep my fingers crossed that the problem would solve itself. Thoughts of hearing water dripping inside the walls was too much to bear.


Hours later, I was sitting at the computer Googling “frozen pipes” and decided to go upstairs and turn on the faucet, just for the heck of it.

To my surprise, out came the cold water. I shut it off for a minute, and put my ear against the wall, and checked out the basement for any dripping water.

Very fortunate to find not a drop, I returned to the suspect faucet, and turned it on, and let it run for the rest of the frigid night with a steady trickle. Grandpa would have been proud.

I could hear him grumbling, “Jimbo, I thought I taught you better!”

We live in an incredibly high-tech world, in which with a few keystrokes at Google, one can find out most everything about dealing with frozen pipes.

But some oldies are still goodies: If you let your faucet drip, it might cost you a few bucks, but you probably won’t need a plumber or Google.

Jim Raykie is the executive editor of The Herald and writes this column on Mondays.

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