City reminds residents to protect against frozen pipes

Prepare a 72-hour emergency kit

Guelph, Ont., December 6, 2016—The City is once again ramping up its efforts to reduce the impacts from frozen pipes this winter. Weather triggers are being monitored and proactive communications are ready, should the City need to notify households affected by City-owned frozen pipes.

Cross section showing ownership of water pipes

Pipes on the private side are the responsibility of the home or business owner

“Last year, Council approved the frozen water pipe policy, which clarified the City’s, and homeowners’ or businesses’ responsibilities,” said Emily Stahl, acting manager of technical services with the City’s water services department. “Homeowners are responsible for the pipes inside their home and all the way to the property line. All of the calls we received about frozen pipes in 2016 were about problems with pipes in the home or on the private side of the home’s property.”

Preventing frozen pipes starts at home

Prevent frozen pipes by insulating them

Insulate your water pipes with proper materials and following directions for use

As a home or business owner, you can prevent frozen pipes on your property,  by following these simple practices:

  • Insulate water pipes, especially where they enter your home, where they run along outside walls, and in crawl spaces and attics; use approved materials and be sure to follow installation safety instructions
  • Open doors to basements, laundry rooms and pantries to keep water pipes warm
  • Shut off and drain pipes leading to outside faucets
  • Seal air leaks in your home and garage, especially in areas where water pipes are located
  • Leave bathroom and kitchen cupboard doors open if your pipes run along an outside wall; take care to remove household cleaners and other items that could harm children or pets

    Opening doors and cupboards can help prevent frozen pipes by allowing warm air to circulate around the pipe

    Open cupboard doors to keep pipes warm in cold areas; be sure to keep chemicals away from kids and pets

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water pipes in the garage
  • If you’re going away, talk to your insurance company about what you can do to protect your home from frozen pipes and leaks while you’re away
  • Be prepared for any emergency with a 72-hour emergency kit, visit

“This winter is expected to be cold; we should all be prepared to protect the pipes inside our homes from freezing,” noted Stahl.

For more tips and information about frozen pipes, and to review the City’s Frozen Water Pipe Policy, visit

For more information

Emily Stahl, Acting Manager, Technical Services
Water Services
519-822-1260 extension 3411