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Watch out for frozen water service connections and pipes

5 janvier 2018

During this episode of extremely cold weather, the Borough of Saint-Laurent would like to remind residents of a few recommendations aimed at preventing damage caused by freezing conditions. Contrary to secondary water systems that run beneath the street, domestic water service connections are not buried as deep in the ground, and water does not flow continuously. These smaller-diameter pipes (between ½ and ¾ inch) are therefore more vulnerable to freezing than public pipes.

Six steps to preventing water service connections from freezing

1. Locate the main water valve inside your home and make sure there is clear access.

2. Check to ensure that the ambient temperature near the valve is at least 10 degrees Celsius.

3. Insulate the pipes that are most susceptible to freezing, especially those that are near exterior walls and in the crawlspace, attic or garage by means, for example, of insulating foam tubes to cover the pipes (available at renovation or hardware stores).

4. Seal air leaks around your house and garage to prevent cold drafts.

5. Check for air leaks near windows, doors, electrical wiring and the dryer exhaust.

6. Remove garden hoses, cut off the water supply and drain the pipes before the first frost.

Three recommendations in very cold weather

1. Keep the kitchen cupboard and bathroom doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.

2. Have someone you trust check on your home regularly if you plan on being away.

3. Let the water trickle (after making sure that the drain is not obstructed) from your faucets continuously, to keep the water flowing in the pipes and avoid freezing.

Three steps for unfreezing your pipes

If you turn on the faucet and the water doesn't run out or you see only a trickle of water, your pipes are probably frozen. You must take action immediately to prevent the pipes from bursting, by following the steps below:

1. Turn on the faucets.

2. Find the frosted or frozen section of the pipe that is connected to the faucet. It will be covered with frost or ice and the pipe may be slightly curved or cracked.

3. Use a hair dryer or backup heating system to heat the frozen section of the pipe. You may also use electric heating tape.

Information: 311

If these methods don't prove successful or the freezing conditions are outside the building, there are services available to you. Call 311 for more information or consult the Borough's website page on this subject.