Prevent Frozen Pipes

In the winter months and cold temperatures, water service lines can freeze if frost makes its way into walls and non-heated spaces within buildings. It is also possible for water lines inside the home to freeze due to cold temperatures, extreme wind chill and drafts.   

Tips to prevent frozen pipes in the winter: 

  • Keep your home heated at normal levels to avoid cold spots. Leave your heat on while on winter holidays as well. 
  • Wrap any water lines near outer walls or doors with insulation. You can wrap your exterior water lines with heat tape to help prevent pipes from freezing outside. 
  • Frequently run water from the taps that are along pipes that are at risk. This creates a regular flow that can help prevent freezing.  
  • Don’t forget to check your outside hose faucets to ensure they are closed off. If they freeze, they can burst and may cause water to drain into your home.  
  • If you have a hot water tank that is in a non-heated part of the building, consider adding additional heat.   
  • If you’re planning to be away, ask someone to check on your home and turn the taps on during cold weather, so it is less likely that they'll freeze.  
  • Don't forget about outdoor water features and ensure that all water features have been winterized to mitigate freezing.  

Follow these steps to confirm a frozen pipe: 

  • You can try to determine the problem by turning on all faucets in the house and flushing each toilet. If there is only a trickle or no water is flowing from the fixtures and there is no known water main break in your area, it could be a frozen service line. 
  • Check to see if there are signs of frost on fixtures, or if a pipe is frosted over. If you have any exposed piping in your home, such as those underneath sinks or in an unfinished basement, check for frost on those pipes or fixtures.  

What do I do if I have a frozen pipe? 

If you find a frozen pipe in your home, thaw as soon as possible. If you believe your pipes have frozen, turn off water at the main shut-off valve. 

  • Never attempt to thaw your line with an open flame. A hair dryer, space heater, or even a heat lamp can be used to warm a narrow pipe with caution.  
  • Do not attempt in confined spaces where you do not have proper clearance. 
  • If you are unable to thaw your water lines, contact a plumbing or heating company for assistance. 
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may also freeze. 
  • If the entire building is not receiving water, the water service may be frozen and the issue may be in the street or somewhere on the property. The City should be contacted to help troubleshoot a possible frozen service. 

To report issues regarding water services, residents can phone Public Operations at 780-459-1557 during the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. If the matter is urgent and occurs after hours, residents can call the City's Fire Hall dispatch number at 780-458-2020 to speak with an operator. 

Related Pages

Last edited: January 30, 2024