Frozen pipes can cause more than a mess

Plumbing issues are part of being a homeowner. Over time you are bound to experience issues with your drains, toilets, and showers. However, one potential plumbing issue that most Canadians don’t think about is the possibility of their pipes freezing during the winter.

The time of year when pipe freezing should be monitored varies based on where you live, but once the temperature outside goes below zero, your pipes could freeze. Pipes freeze for a number of different reasons; however, it commonly occurs when homeowners turn down their heat when they are away for winter trips or neglect to shut off the water leading to external faucets.

“Don’t turn down your heat too much and ensure that you have either a remote monitoring system that monitors the temperature in your home or you have a reliable person inspect your home regularly when you are away,”  “You could risk having your pipes frozen if the temperature inside your home drops or the furnace stops working when you are away.”

Ross goes on to add that “If you open a tap and no water comes out, don’t take any chances and call a plumber right away”

When water freezes it expands and this is a serious issue if it happens in your pipes. If a pipe bursts when you are at home, turn off your water at the main valve right away. Wait for a plumber to inspect the pipes to determine the damage, if any. If you do have water damage as a result of a burst pipe, call your insurance company. They will be able to assist you with your claim.

Tips for preventing pipes from freezing

If you want to protect your pipes and prevent the likelihood of them freezing during the winter, homeowners can take the follow steps:

·         Have your pipes inspected to ensure they are properly insulated

·         Have all seals checked. Seal leaks can lead to cold air getting in your pipes and freezing the water

·         As part of your fall chores, turn off outside taps and disconnect outdoor hoses

·         Install frost free faucets (Hose Bibbs) for supplying water to the front and back yards. If installed correctly they can prevent pipes from freezing and also prevent water damage.

·         Install water shut-off alarms that shut off the water supply if a leak is detected.


·         Drain all pipes if you are going to be away.