Frozen Water Service

Fluctuations between warm and cold temperatures or shallow service on the resident’s private plumbing side, can sometimes push frost to a depth that will freeze water services and can cause household pipes to freeze.

If pipes are frozen, homes or businesses would notice a decrease in water pressure or would not have any water at all. It is also possible for the water meter to freeze, which can damage the meter. If a frozen water service is suspected, it is best to call a licensed plumber.

Remember: from the curb box to your home, you are responsible for plumbing, repairs and replacements. Please call a licensed plumber for any internal household plumbing issues.


If the plumber determines that the pipes are frozen from the City's watermain, outside on municipal property, contact Service Vaughan at 905-832-2281. City staff will proceed to thaw the service. If the water meter is frozen and damaged, a new meter will need to be purchased from the City and installed by a licensed plumber.


For more information please view the Frozen Water Service brochure (PDF).


Preventing frozen water service

Private water service pipes run between your home and the City’s curb box. The City is responsible for the curb box, the water main, and the pipe between the curb box and the water main. Regardless of where pipes are frozen, repairs can be costly to both the homeowner and the City.


Help prevent frozen pipes this winter. Take the below steps to prepare your home for below zero temperatures:

  • Turn off outdoor taps – the shut-off valve is typically in the basement of your home. Once this is done, keep outdoor taps in the open position so any water remaining in the pipe in the spring can expand without causing the pipe to burst.
  • Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses and faucets. Winterize sprinkler systems, pools and spas as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Ensure areas that contain indoor water pipes are kept above 8 C, especially near the water meter.
  • Insulate pipes that are near an outside wall, in crawl spaces or attics.
  • Seal any air leaks that allow cold air inside.
  • Keep the garage door closed as much as possible if you have water supply lines in your garage.
  • Watch for frost or condensation on your pipes or a drop in your water pressure throughout the winter.


During winter months

During the cold season, remember to shut off the main water supply to your home any time you're planning to be away for more than 24 hours. Yes, that includes weekend vacations/getaways. It's the best way to avoid serious water damage in the event of a plumbing failure.


Three signs of frozen pipes:

1. Strange smells coming from the faucet or drain.

2. No or very little water coming out of the pipes.

3. Frost on pipes.


The best prevention against frozen pipes is to keep them warm enough to stay above the freezing point.


Prepare your home for winter - tips to prevent frozen pipes (pdf)