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How to avoid frozen pipes

The island of Montreal is in the middle of its coldest winter in the last 20 years. The ground has frozen much deeper than usual. This has caused many household pipes to freeze across the island, including in Côte Saint-Luc.

The city's Public Affairs and Communications Department has supplied us with some valuable information.

If you turn on one or more faucets and there’s no water, the cause is likely a frozen pipe in the water supply line that runs from the edge of your property, under your lawn, and into your home. You’ll need an experienced plumber to thaw the pipe. But it could take several days to book an appointment as they are very busy this winter.

In more than 90 percent of cases, the frozen blockage is on the pipe leading to the home. Very rarely it may be on the city’s side. This is much less likely because city pipes are wider and deeper than the ones leading to your home. However, if after thawing your water supply line you still have no water, then the city will attempt to thaw its side.

The best solution, however, is prevention. You can minimize the chance of frozen pipes by following these tips.

  1. If your water supply lines are in the garage, keep garage doors closed.
  2. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  3. Leave a cold water tap running at a steady stream of about 6 mm or ¼ inch (approximate thickness of a drinking straw).
  4. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.
  5. Leave the heat on in the home, even while out of town. Set to a temperature no lower than 13 C or 55 F.

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