Arctic chill freezes water pipes in Toronto homes

It's one of the worst things that could happen during the midst of an arctic chill like the one currently gripping the GTA.

Temperatures so cold it causes the water piping to freeze up, cutting off the supply to your taps, or worse, resulting in the pipes physically breaking.

It is an unfortunate but common scenario for Toronto city officials who are receiving multiple calls a day about frozen pipes.

A spokesperson for Toronto Water told NEWSTALK 1010 they have received 112 "no water" calls between Christmas Day and Thursday.

In the majority of those cases, the problem is determined to have come from frozen pipes within a home.

The City is responsible for piping from watermains to the property line, but piping within a property is the responsiblity of a homeowner.

Officials have released advice for people who may be confronted with frozen pipes.

They say the best way to deal with the problem is to turn on a tap in the basement, preferably the cold water faucet in the laundry room.

Apply heat to the suspected frozen pipe by warming the air around it or applying heat directly to the pipe. You can use an electric heating pad, hair dryer, space heater or warm towel or rag.

Do not leave electrical devices unattended, or use kerosene or propane heaters, charcoal stoves or any open flame to thaw a frozen pipe.

Depending on the outside temperature and the extent of freezing within the pipe, the thawing process could take between 1-6 hours.

Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.

If the above steps do not resolve the issue or if you are unable to thaw the pipes or locate the frozen area, you may wish to contact a licensed plumber for advice.

Between Christmas Day and Thursday, the city has dealt with 18 watermain breaks.

The City experiences an average of 1,456 watermain breaks a year. So far in 2017, there have been around 969 watermain breaks.

This week, no outside pipes (that council is responsible for) have been frozen, so no thawing of outside pipes has been required.