Winter is Here: What you can do to Protect your Pipes from Freezing

Jan 12, 2016

 The City of Greater Sudbury is encouraging residents to take a few steps to keep their pipes protected in cold temperatures.

•    Ensure everyone in your home knows where the main water shut-off valve is located inside your home so water can be turned off in an emergency. 
•    Mark your valve with an identification tag to make it easy for others in your home to locate it. Typically the valve is located where the water line enters your home, and this could be in the basement, crawlspace or utility closet.
•    If you have unheated rooms, check for pipes, such as in crawlspaces, and areas in your basement.
•    Protect exposed pipes by wrapping them with heat tape, pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. These can all be found at your local hardware store.
•    Drain all outdoor garden hoses and roll them up inside to prevent cracking.
•    If you have an indoor valve for outside faucets, shut it off and drain water from pipes leading to the faucet. Also, turn off your irrigation system.
•    If you are going away on vacation for an extended period of time, leave your thermostat at 13 degrees Celsius to prevent freezing. 
•    If you are away, have someone check your home regularly.
•    Alternatively, you can consider hiring a plumber to drain your system and turn your water off. That way, if your furnace stops working, there will be no water in your pipes to freeze.

For those residents who have consistently experienced freezing over several winters, consider allowing a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. The cost of the extra water is typically lower than the cost of repairing a broken or frozen pipe.

If your pipes do freeze, turn off your water immediately. Do not attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off.  Call 3-1-1 to report the incident. If you are calling after hours, your message will be forwarded to the appropriate supervisor on call. Please note that during cold weather, crews may be required to service many locations. It may be several days before crews can visit your property.

For more information about frozen water services, or tips to help prevent freezing pipes please visit