Residents advised to take measures to protect internal plumbing from freezing

Released: December 28, 2017 at 10:09 a.m.
To date, 115 reports of no water due to frozen internal plumbing received by 311

Winnipeg, MB - With the recent colder temperatures, the City is recommending that property owners weatherproof their basements or crawlspaces to prevent their internal plumbing from freezing.

Internal plumbing that isn’t protected can freeze every winter. Every year, 311 receives a number of reports from properties with no water due to frozen internal plumbing. So far this winter, there have been 115 reports of no water due to frozen internal plumbing.

The public is encouraged to take the following preventative measures to keep their plumbing from freezing:

  • Insulate areas of your home containing water pipes, including crawl spaces, garages and attics.
  • Insulate water pipes (both hot and cold) near the exterior walls, especially those facing north.
  • Weather-seal your windows.
  • Check for air leaks around electrical outlets, dryer vents and pipes. Seal these leaks with caulking or insulation to keep cold air away from your pipes.
  • Heat areas of your home containing water pipes.
  • Keep the garage door closed if there are water pipes inside.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near outside walls.

Owners of single-family properties are responsible for their private water service pipe and all internal plumbing. Internal plumbing refers to any pipes, including fittings, valves and fixtures, which carry water from the point where the private water service pipe enters a building to the taps.

For assistance with thawing frozen internal plumbing, property owners should contact a plumber or follow these do-it-yourself tips.

More information is available at City of Winnipeg - Frozen Water Pipes.

Underground Frozen Water Pipes

To date, four (4) reports of underground frozen water pipes have been received this season which is consistent with a normal Winnipeg winter. Residents should not run their water as a preventive measure unless contacted by the City of Winnipeg and advised to do so.

The Water and Waste Department is monitoring frost depth and prepared to notify properties should ground conditions indicate an increased risk of underground frozen water pipes.

A report on the impact of cold weather on water pipes is available at City of Winnipeg - Cold Weather Impact, including last winter’s statistics.

The report will be updated weekly until further notice.

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