If you live in Canada, then you know that winter brings plummeting temperatures. As fall sets in and the weather starts getting cold, homeowners start to winterize their houses.  

Freezing and bursting pipes are a common and expensive frustration to many people due to a unique property of waterit expands when it freezes. No matter the strength of the pipe or container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. 

Here are some steps that you can take to prevent your water pipes from freezing as well as protect your water systems.  

Insulate Your Pipes 

One of the best ways to prevent your pipes from freezing is to purchase specially designed pipe insulation. 

Pipe insulation is an inexpensive method and a small investment compared to the repair costs of a burst water pipe. When insulating your pipes, pay close attention to the ones in unheated, interior spaces of your home such as your attic, garage or basement. 

Keep the Heat On 

If you plan on leaving your home during the winter for a certain number of days, make sure you leave your heat on while you are away. 

Keeping your heat on in an empty house might not sound like a good idea due to slightly higher energy bills. But, if you leave your house without the heat on, it could mean disaster for your pipes if the temperature takes a sudden dip. 

You don’t have to keep your house as warm as usual; set the temperature no lower than 13 C or 55 F. 

Allow the Faucet to Drip 

Another way to keep your pipes from freezing is to leave a faucet running. You don’t have to turn on all the faucets in your home.  

Firstly, find out which faucets are fed by exposed piping. Once you’ve narrowed it down, leave those few faucets on, especially during the cold weather. 

Running water is less likely to freeze in comparison to standing water, which will freeze soon after the temperature drops below the freezing point.   

Running water also relieves the pressure in cold pipes and it will help keep your water pipes from bursting, even if the water present inside freezes. Leave both hot and cold-water lines slightly open so that the pressure doesn’t get build in either of them. 

Open Interior Doors 

Pipes are present in the bathroom and kitchen cabinets, even in the central space of your home. Keep these cabinets open so that the heat from the rest of the house prevents the water pipes from freezing.    

A lot of homes don’t have an even distribution of heat, which can create a big problem for water pipes.  

Make sure that there is an even circulation of heat in your home by opening some interior doors. It will allow the warm air to move from one room to another, which is a useful strategy for cold Canadian weather. 

Seal Cracks and Openings 

Inspect your home for any seals, cracks or openings before winter to stop the inflow of cold air. 

If possible, seal holes on both the interior and exterior side of your window, door, wall or floor. It will prohibit the flow of cold outdoor air to sneak in and keep your home warm and prevent your water pipes from freezing. 

Use Heating Tape 

Heating tape works like an electric blanket for water pipes, supplying heat directly to the pipe to keep it from freezing. This is quite helpful for pipes in unheated or exterior locations, such as cold attics or basements. 

There are two types of heating tape – one that turns on by itself when the heat is needed, and the second one turns on manually. 

Like any heating system, the electrical heating tape can be a bit dangerous. Make sure to read the manual carefully before applying it to your pipe system.  


Cayuga wants you to make sure you thoroughly inspect your home and follow these tips to protect your pipes from bursting without breaking your wallet. Keep your loved ones warm and comfortable this year with our helpful tips.