Extreme cold can cause water pipes 2 freeze. If you are worried, leave the basement tap open very thin stream 2 keep water moving.
Toronto has spent most of the month of February under an extreme cold weather alert with overnight temperatures at or below -15 C — causing the city’s ageing water mains to burst on a nearly daily basis.
Although residents can’t do much on their own with regards to large watermain ruptures, there are steps homeowners can take to prevent water pipes from freezing over.
Prevent water pipes from freezing
When the temperature drops well below zero, the city recommends leaving a tap open to allow a trickle of water running. This can help vulnerable pipes from freezing.
Also, it is advised to keep your garage doors closed if there are water supply lines inside.
It is recommended to leave your kitchen, bathroom and laundry cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing.
Finally, if you’re away from your home for a long period of time in the winter, you should turn the water off at the main service valve in the basement and open the taps to drain the water from your plumbing lines.
What to do if pipes are frozen
Do not use a torch to thaw pipes as it is a fire hazard and locate your master water shut-off valve.
Water may leak if the pipe begins to thaw and shutting off the valve can limit the amount of flooding until the break is repaired.
It is recommended to turn on a tap in the basement, preferably a cold water faucet, and use a blow dryer pointed at the pipe for one or two hours.
You can then place a towel around the pipe to keep it warm.
If that does not work, you can make a city service request by dialing 3-1-1.
Steps to thaw frozen pipes: turn on cold water tap in basement. Use blow dryer to warm pipe for 1-2 hrs. Put warm towel around pipe.