As anyone from Winnipeg knows, our winters are some of the coldest in Canada, with the highest number of days per year that are below freezing. The coldest temperature recorded in Winnipeg was –47.8°C in 1879, which we’re sure makes homeowners wonder– can my plumbing handle these freezing temperatures?
For a homeowner, having plumbing issues in the winter is costly and inconvenient, as you want your home to be your warm escape from the winter wonderland outside. A common winter problem in Winnipeg is frozen pipes: the water inside the pipes is in danger of freezing and expanding, causing a rupture.
The key to preventing your pipes from freezing is to keep them warm. Here are some tips:
- Make sure that your home is properly insulated and pay special attention to the areas in the home where your pipes are located. A warm house means warm pipes.
- Locate and seal cracks or opening in your home’s walls, basement, attic, and crawl spaces.
- Weather strip and caulk around your home’s crawl space doors and basement windows.
- Essentially, have a walkthrough of your home to make sure no cold air can enter.
How do I tell if my pipes are frozen?
- This will come as no surprise, but if there’s no water flow from your faucet, your pipes may be frozen. If you turn on your faucet and little to no water comes out in the winter, freezing could be the cause.
- Frosty pipes – if you have an exposed pipe and see a layer of frost on the surface of the pipe, you’ve almost certainly got more freezing within the pipe.
- Unusual smells – if you notice a smell coming from your drain or faucet, your pipe might be blocked by ice, which causes the smell to enter your home since its usual escape route is blocked.
What should I do if I suspect my pipes are frozen?
Start by trying to thaw your pipes! Here’s what you can try:
- Running warm water through the pipe helps melt the ice away.
- Place a space heater near the pipe, or wrap it with a heating pad/blanket.
If you are unable to thaw the ice, or to access the frozen pipe, call an expert from We Love Plumbing to take care of it. It’s better to have it looked after than to deal with serious plumbing issues, especially during cold winter days.