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Has My Frozen Service Thawed?

It may take some time for a frozen water service to thaw. Frost retreats slowly, usually from the top down, so frozen pipes may not thaw until well after spring has arrived. In 2015, some frozen pipes didn’t thaw until midway through April.

First, turn off your temporary connection on the outside of your house by closing the valve. Do not disconnect the temporary line. Go inside of your house and check the faucet that you were continually running, if it is still running at a pencil-sized stream your service has most likely thawed. Confirm this by going to the water meter. If the flow indicator is spinning (small white or red triangle on the meter face), then your service has thawed. You may now call the City (519-661-4739) for further instruction and to arrange to have the temporary line removed.

If the faucet you had continuously running is no longer running your service may still be frozen. Go to the water meter and see if the main water shut off is open or closed (the main shut off is typically located between the water meter and floor where the water service enters your house). If it is open, your service is still frozen, if it is closed proceed with opening it. If it is difficult to open the City recommends you stop as it is possible to cause it to leak or break.

Watch for leaks

Frozen pipes may burst or crack leading to leaks once the pipes thaw and water starts flowing again. For information about potential damages or claims related frozen and/or thawing pipes please contact your insurance provider. Every insurance plan is different so your agent is the best person to provide you with advice on what to do to ensure you’ll be covered should any damage occur as a result of frozen pipes.

Once your pipes have thawed, check for leaks in your pipes and from the water meter. If the water meter is leaking, notify the City by calling 519-661-4739. City staff may need to replace the water meter.

You can check for small hidden leaks by pausing all water use in your home and watching the low flow indicator (small white or red triangle on the face of the water meter) on the water meter. If this triangle is spinning, there is water consumption occurring. The most common culprit is a leaking toilet tank.