Tips to Avoid Frozen Water Pipes

Tips to Avoid Frozen Water Pipes

  • If your water pipes are attached to an un-insulated outside wall or are located in a crawlspace, remove the clamp from the pipes, gently pull the pipes away from the wall and wrap with insulation.
  • Insulate all exposed outside water pipes with specially-designed foam pipe covers.  These are available at building supply or home improvement stores.
  • Always ensure that there is an adequate source of heat near vulnerable pipes.  Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen, bathroom and laundry cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • Leaving during the winter?  Keep your thermostat set at 15 degrees or higher, and have someone check on your home every other day.
  • If the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a stream of water to flow so there is some movement in water pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing.

How much is a stream?

A stream is 1/16 inch – or a little smaller than the width of a pencil. This short video demonstrates a stream of water that would help prevent freezing.


Already Frozen?

  • If you suspect your pipes are frozen and are unable to thaw them, contact a licensed plumber to confirm the water is not just frozen within the home.
  • If not internally frozen, have the plumber check your outside tap to confirm that it can be used for a connection (the tap must be secure, have no backflow prevention valve, and the internal valve must be operational).
  • After contacting a plumber and working through the first two steps, you could contact a neighbour to confirm that they are willing to act as donor house and provide you with a temporary connection.  This will mean they are willing to allow a hose to be run from their outside tap to your outside tap.  They will need to keep the tap running continuously.  Billing will be adjusted. Confirm that their outside tap can be used for a connection (the tap must be secure, have no backflow prevention valve, and the internal valve must be operational).  You and your neighbour will need to be at home when the connection is made by Water Services to confirm water is flowing.
  • Contact our office at 705-445-1581 or email and advise that you have a neighbour willing to act as a donor and provide us with their name and phone number.
  • Arrangements will be made with Water Services for a temporary connection to be made.
  • Once connected it is very important that you run a tap continuously to avoid refreezing.  A billing adjustment will be made.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch. This is a fire hazard.
  • Always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.
  • Never use a combustible fueled appliance indoors to produce heat. Carbon monoxide poisoning could occur.
  • If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact us at 705-445-1581.