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Frozen Water Lines

Find out what to do if your water line freezes or bursts due to the weather.

If Your Water Line Freezes:

If the water line is plugged, trickling or no longer flowing here are suggestions:

  • Turn off main valve inside house.
  • Locate exposed water service and use a heat source such as a heat lamp or blow dryer.  Never attempt to thaw a pipe using an open flame such as a propane torch as this can not only damage the pipe but may start a fire on your property.
  • If there is no exposed service contact a plumber to investigate and resolve issue.
  • Once suspect blockage is resolved slowly turn on house valve and verify water is flowing at tap

If Your Water Line Bursts:

  • Turn off main valve inside house and contact a plumber
  • If the water service ruptures from the street to your home, contact the City at 604-591-4152 to request an emergency turn off
  • Contact a plumber to make necessary repairs
  • Once repairs are complete, contact the City to request a turn on.

How to Prevent Your Water Lines from Freezing:

  • Locate and insulate exposed water lines in areas such as basement, crawl spaces, attics, garages or outside services.
  • Insulating pipes may include pipe sleeves, UL-listed heat tape, heat cable or similar materials on exposed pipes. Contact plumber for further advise.
  • Identify location of main valve inside house and ensure it is operational in case water has to be turned off immediately.
  • If you leave your home for an extended period, such as travel, set thermostat to adequate temperature and have someone check on your home every few days for signs of water lines freezing.
  • Turn off all outside taps and drain lines to prevent them from freezing.
  • If your water service has a history of freezing, consider leaving a tap trickling/dripping to keep water moving which may prevent freezing. The trickle should be size of a pencil point. Note: if the building is metered the owner is responsible for cost of water use, however, this procedure may help prevent more costly repairs resulting from broken pipes. Repair costs associated with frozen pipes are the responsibility of the homeowner. If frozen underground lines outside the house are an annual problem, consider lowering them in the spring to a point below the frost line.
  • Consult a plumber for further assistance.