How to Prevent Frozen Pipes


If you aren’t prepared, winter can bring forth a number of plumbing issues, like ice storms or sudden temperature drops that are common in the GTA. Plan a weekend before the cold months arrive to prepare your plumbing for winter, to avoid costly frozen pipes repair.

How to prepare your plumbing for winter:

  1. Drain Your Exterior Pipes of Excess Water

    It’s important to make sure that all exterior pipes are drained of excess water during the winter months. If you don’t do this, the result could be disastrous. If you forget to drain your pipes, when the temperature begins to drop the water will freeze and expand, potentially ruining your pipes, forcing you to replace them in the spring. If you want to be extra cautious, consider turning off the water flow to exterior faucets during the winter, even if you don’t plan on turning them on.

  2. Detach Any Exterior Hoses That May Freeze

    While you are preparing for winter, don’t forget to detach your exterior hose and store it somewhere safe, If you leave your hose outside during winter, they could freeze and be unusable in the spring.

  3. Ensure There is Proper Drainage

    When the snow starts to melt all of that water needs to go somewhere, preferably not into your home. While you can, make sure that areas, where water drains, is not obstructed. This can include eavestroughs, downspouts and storm drain. Clear these areas of any debris including, leaves, sticks and stones to allow for easy water flow when the snow melts and spring showers arrive.

How to prevent pipes from freezing during the cold season:

Turn Up The Thermostat

If you live in an old house built over an uninsulated crawl space, it is extremely important to keep the house warm. Increasing the air temperature in the house will project heat energy through the floor into the crawlspace. Insulate the space with foam insulation and block off foundation vents leading to crawl spaces for better effect.


Install Pipe Insulation

Assess your pipe insulation needs in the attic and crawl space and install insulation over poorly-protected pipes. You can cover large unprotected areas with foam board as a temporary or permanent solution. Make sure you wear protection gloves and mask when dealing with fiberglass insulation or simply hire professionals to do the job.

Install A Heating Cable

Heat trace cable is a device designed to keep cold pipes from freezing. It is usually wrapped around the pipe, or may simply run along it. It can be purchased in specific length with a pre-installed power plug, or may come in a roll. Simply install the heating cable on the pipe and connect it to power according to instructions.

Heat the Under Sink Area

It’s not unusual for pipes running to a kitchen sink to get frozen because of the cold wall it runs along. You can open the cabinet doors to project heat into the space or place an electric heater in front of the cabinets.

If you have any questions about how to prepare your plumbing for winter and prevent frozen pipes problems, feel free to contact us at 647-832-1738.