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Protect yourself from frozen pipes

Frost depth and cold temperatures can affect both City and private water pipes
frozen pipes AdobeStock_128291642
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The City is ramping up efforts to reduce the impacts from frozen water pipes this winter. Residents and businesses can visit here to get simple tips for protecting their pipes.

“We’re monitoring environmental triggers, including Environment Canada weather forecasts, which indicate a cold February much like we experienced in 2015,” explains Emily Stahl, manager of Technical Services, Water Services. “We’re already working with a number of homes and businesses where frozen City pipes have caused problems in the past to make sure their water keeps flowing.”

As part of the City’s frozen water pipe policy, customers who had frozen water pipes in the past, or who are part of Guelph’s Frozen Pipes Prevention program, will be contacted to start running water when environmental triggers reach a specified threshold. The City does not encourage homewoners to run water unless advised, and any customer who runs water before receiving direction from the City of Guelph will be responsible for all costs of the water used. Protecting your pipes through proper insulation and heating is the best way to prevent frozen pipes year after year.

Homeowners are responsible for the water pipes inside their home, all the way to the property line. As a home or business owner, you can help prevent frozen pipes by following these tips:

  • Insulate water pipes, especially where they enter your home, where they run along outside walls, and in crawl spaces and attics
  • Open doors to basements, laundry rooms and pantries to keep water pipes warm
  • Seal air leaks in your home and garage, especially in areas where water pipes are located
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water pipes in the garage
  • Leave bathroom and kitchen cupboard doors open if your pipes run along an outside wall (take care to remove household cleaners and other items that could harm children or pets)
  • Shut off and drain pipes leading to outside faucets (e.g. garden hose)
  • If you’re going away, talk to your landlord or insurance company about what you can do to protect your home from frozen pipes and leaks while you’re away
  • Be prepared for any emergency with a 72-hour emergency kit