Frozen Water Pipes - Kitchener Utilities
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Frozen Water Pipes

With frigid temperatures and deep frost, there is an increased risk of water pipes freezing and bursting inside properties.  To help prevent pipes from bursting, leave taps to drip slowly - preferably the cold water faucet in the laundry room, ensuring that the tub is free of debris - an increase the temperature inside the house overnight.

Helpful tips on how to reduce the risk of frozen water pipes

  • Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses
  • Shut off and drain all outdoor faucets
  • Insulate all exposed outside water pipes with specially designed foam pipe covers (available at building supply or home improvement stores)
  • Seal air leaks throughout your home and garage
  • Open kitchen, bathroom and laundry cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage

What to do if your water service line is already frozen

Kitchener Utilities is responsible to repair water mains.  Property owners are responsible for the water service from the property line into the home and all interior water pipes.  While Kitchener Utilities cannot assist with pipe damage inside private properties, if the exterior pipes running across private property are frozen, property owners can either call a plumbing service, or call Kitchener Utilities at 519-741-2529 to have water service restored.  Either option involves a cost; Kitchener Utilities rates range from $170 to $650. 

Inside your home, if a pipe bursts due to freezing, call a plumber.  Kitchener Utilities does not service interior water pipes.  A plumber can review options with you on how you can safely thaw your water pipes.

Frequently asked questions

Why do water lines freeze?

Most water services are deeply buried for protection against frost. Some water service lines, however, are at a shallow depth by today's standards. Extremely cold temperatures, or fluctuations between warm and cold temperatures, can sometimes push frost to a depth that will freeze water services.

Who is responsible for water service lines?

It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain and/or replace the portion of the water service located within the building and between the building and the property line. The City of Kitchener is responsible for the service located between the property line and the water main.

I am getting my water from a neighbour - how do I keep it from freezing?

Keep the water running in the laundry tub - make sure the laundry tub is free of anything that could block the drain.

I am getting my water from a neighbour - how will I be billed?

Both the customer with the frozen water line and the customer providing temporary watermain will be charged the minimum monthly fee for water, not for consumption.

I am getting my water from a neighbour - how long will I do this?

The by-pass will likely stay in place until the spring when the frost comes out of the ground.