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Frozen Water Service? What to Do

An extended period of extremely cold weather can lead to an increase in frozen water services. Loyalist Township residents are reminded that all underground municipal water and sewer services on private property to the lot line are the responsibility of the property owner.  

If your water service has frozen:

Contact a Plumber

Contact a licensed plumber with thawing equipment immediately. The private water service (the pipe that brings water from the municipal water main to the home) is the home owner or landlord’s responsibility.

When to Call Loyalist Township

If the plumber onsite is unable to thaw your water service with their thawing equipment, you can contact the Township to determine the next course of action. Call 613-386-7351 ext. 116, Engineering Clerk.

Additional Tips

While you are without tap water: in addition to obtaining bottled drinking water, consider bringing in buckets of water from neighbours to use for flushing. If there is snow on the ground, bring in buckets of snow to melt at room temperature. While this water is not safe for drinking or bathing, it can be used for flushing toilets.

Once your water service is thawed, keep a constant quarter inch stream of water flowing from a cold water tap until the end of winter season.

Preventative Tips

Did you know? As the weather gets milder, frost can potentially be driven deeper, putting your pipes at increased risk of freezing!

Consider these tips to prevent problems with frozen internal plumbing and avoid costly issues with your privately-owned water service:

- Leave a thin (one quarter inch) stream of water flowing from a cold water tap to make sure water runs through uninsulated/unheated pipes at risk of freezing. While our customers' water conservation efforts are important and appreciated, this is a last-resort suggestion that can help a building owner avoid costly issues with their privately-owned water service.
- If you suspect that your pipes are frozen, don't delay - call a licensed plumber right away.
- Locate your master shut-off valve at the water meter. Ensure it is accessible and operating. This way you’ll know how to quickly turn off the water if a pipe bursts.
- Ensure outdoor hoses are disconnected so that water can drain from the pipe.
- Exposed plumbing pipes in exterior walls of your home, unheated basements and crawlspaces could be at risk. Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas like crawl spaces and basements. Avoid direct pipe contact with exterior walls.
- Seal cracks (for example, around windows) that let air in, which could potentially blow on exposed pipes. Ensure doors and windows are fully closed.
- When in doubt about internal plumbing issues, consult with a licensed plumber.
 

Check Your Plumbing

To check your pipes: touch exposed cold water pipes, for example in your basement or under the kitchen sink. If a spot feels unusually cold (or colder than in other spots) take measures to provide heat. However, don't delay in calling a plumber, as the problem can get worse.

Measures you can take include insulating pipes and external walls or opening cupboard doors to improve warm air flow. If you have a frozen internal plumbing pipe, try using a hair dryer to thaw it. (Safety first: never leave a heating device unattended and be careful not to weaken plumbing joints.)

Be Prepared

Emergency Management Ontario suggests that each household has at the ready, four litres of fresh water, per person, per day for drinking and bathing.
Know the number to call: report utility emergencies to us by calling 613-386-7351 ext. 116 during regular office hours or 613-541-3202 for after hours services.

Customers are reminded to call a licensed plumber to deal with internal plumbing issues.