Prevent frozen pipes

All properties in Winnipeg are at risk for frozen pipes. Some things that can cause pipes to freeze include:

  • Weather conditions
  • Frost depth
  • Age and location of your properties
  • Insulation levels in your property
  • Ground depth of water pipes
  • Width of streets
  • Changes to landscaping or foundation of your home

You can reduce the risk of frozen pipes by following these steps:

Before winter

  • Insulate your pipes (foam pipe covers can be found at your local home improvement store).
  • Seal air leaks. Check for cracks and gaps around baseboards, windows, doors, and electrical outlets.
  • Insulate unheated areas including: garages, attics, basements, and crawl spaces.
  • Find your main water shut-off valve and know how to turn it off in case of an emergency.
  • Disconnect outdoor hoses.
  • Drain and shut off water supply leading to outdoor faucets (outdoor faucets are first to freeze).
  • Leave outdoor taps slightly open to allow any remaining water to expand when freezing.

During winter

  • Set the thermostat no lower than 12°C (55°F) at night and when you are away.
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water pipes nearby.
  • Open kitchen, bathroom, or laundry cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around plumbing.
  • If you are away for an extended period, verify your insurance policy to see how often someone should be checking your home.

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