As Winnipeggers, we’re all too familiar with the extreme cold. But did you know that with the extreme cold also comes the risk of unprotected water pipes freezing?

Home owners are urged to make sure water pipes are insulated, this includes pipes in garages and crawlspaces such as attics.

Always keep cabinet doors open to allow heat to get to the pipes if they aren’t insulated. The temperature where pipes are to at should be at least 12°C.

If you don’t have water at your tap during extreme cold weather, then contact 311. Someone will come out to inspect the issue. If the freezing is inside your house after the main shut-off valve, then you are responsible for thawing internal plumbing. If it’s on the City’s portion, then City crews will thaw it at no cost.

If you’re thawing your own pipes, make sure to be safe when doing so. Never use electric devices such as hair dryers, portable heaters, or blow torches to thaw frozen pipes.

The best and safest way to thaw a frozen pipe is to wrap warm, not hot or boiling, towels around it. You want to make sure to apply slow, even heat.