Avoiding Frozen Pipes this Cold Season – Are You at Risk?

Avoiding Frozen Pipes this Cold Season – Are You at Risk?

No doubt about it: it’s been a cold start to 2018. As North America faces its biggest deep freeze in years, many homeowners are worried about frozen pipes. And they should be – frozen pipes aren’t just inconvenient; a small crack in a pipe can cause gallons of water to flood into your home, resulting in property and structural damage as well as creating ideal conditions for mold growth.
Common Frozen Pipe Misconceptions
Here’s what most homeowners don’t realize: water is unlikely to freeze before it enters your home. The pipes running into your home from the property line are your responsibility (owned by you), rather than the municipality, who generally own the piping leading up to your property (Source). That means that if your pipes freeze within your property line, it’s your financial responsibility. That said, in colder climates, piping typically enters your home underneath the frost line.
Within your home, your pipes are most likely to freeze in areas around the home that are not properly insulated. Piping on exterior walls is particularly vulnerable, with outdoor faucets often being one of the first fixtures to freeze over.
Another common misconception is that pipes are significantly more likely to freeze in colder climates. Homes in warmer climates will have less insultation around pipes than their cold climate counterparts, making them more vulnerable to cold snaps – such as the deep freeze that hit south-eastern parts of the US in January of 2018.

Frozen Pipes and the Risk to Your Home

The early signs of a frozen pipe are:
1. Cold temperatures. Pipes don’t freeze when temperatures are mild. Winter months or unseasonal cold snaps are when a homeowner needs to pay attention.
2. When you turn on a faucet, there’s either no water, or the flow is much lower than usual (such as a trickle of water).
3. Odd odors coming from faucets or drains. This is often a telltale sign that there’s a blockage. (Source).
The best way to avoid frozen pipes is through proper insulation. Areas most prone to freezing such as near exterior walls, in crawl spaces as well as the attic and garage should be examined for potential vulnerabilities. It is wise to do this before the winter season sets in, as you prepare your home for the cold.
If your pipes are at risk, experts suggest keeping the faucets on with a small stream (pencil sized) of water going through the pipes. Further, keep the cabinet doors under your sink in the kitchen and bathrooms open to allow the warm air from your home circulate to the pipes.
If Your Pipes Are Frozen
If you have already experienced a frozen pipe, do not panic! A frozen pipe doesn’t necessarily lead to a burst one, and steps can be immediately taken to resolve or minimize the issue. When water freezes, it expands, and has the potential to rupture the pipe. Only once the pipe has been split does it have the potential to spew water everywhere at an alarming rate, causing considerable damage.
First, know how to locate your water main, and shut the water off. You will need to ensure the water is shut off in your home to ensure damage is minimized.
Once the frozen pipe has been located, it can be thawed. DIYers can use a hairdryer to gently and carefully thaw the pipe (never use a blow torch or any extreme heating source), although in these scenarios it is highly recommended that you contact a licenced plumber.
If your pipe has indeed burst, you will need to respond immediately to mitigate the damage to your home. The water must be shut off at the water main, and you will need the help of a professional plumber to begin the necessary repairs to your home.
How Smart Home Water Monitoring Helps
Intelligent, IoT water monitoring devices that include a remote and automatic shutoff valve at the water main give homeowners’ peace of mind when dealing with frozen pipes. When you are away from your home, water shutoff is as simple as pressing a button. Should a pipe burst when you are not at home and an alert is missed, built-in automatic water shutoff capabilities ensure that the water is turned off. Companies that offer a 24/7 monitoring service provide further protection, guaranteeing that the damage is mitigated as quickly as possible.
Some systems also monitor the temperature of water as it enters your home, providing low temperature alerts that notify you that there is a possible risk of freezing pipes. That said, since most homeowners are in danger of the pipes freezing after the water has entered the home, these alerts may not be enough. In all cases, the more attention you pay to the temperature of your pipes, the better, so you can avoid costly and inconvenient damage to your home, particularly during the coldest times of the year!
Eddy’s IQ solution is installed directly on your water main, giving you insights and complete control over your home’s water, including remote and automatic shutoff capabilities. This is a feature many home insurance companies appreciate, with many offering discounts of up to 15% on a home insurance policy for having the Eddy IQ installed.
About Eddy Solutions
Founded in 2014, Eddy is an industry leader in leak protection and water visibility solutions. Our suite of smart products offers a comprehensive water management system for homeowners that protects, controls, and conserves. Our products have saved thousands of customers millions of litres of water by continuously monitoring water usage in their home, and if something unusual is detected, alerting them to the issue. For more details, please contact us at 1 877 388 3339 or email

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Paul Pathak​


Paul Pathak is a partner of Chitiz Pathak LLP. Paul practices principally in the areas of corporate, securities, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and commercial law. He represents and provides sophisticated guidance to private and public corporate clients in a broad range of industries, including mining, technology, manufacturing, venture capital and merchant banking.

George Krieser​


George Krieser founded Total Credit Recovery Limited (“TCR”) in 1980 and is the President and Chief Executive Officer. TCR is the largest 100% Canadian-owned and operated collection agency, solely collecting Canadian debt. George previously served as a Director of Universal Energy. He also served as a member of the board of directors of Baycrest Foundation and as a member of the fundraising committee for UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Gary Goodman​
Gary Goodman is a Trustee and Chair of the Audit & Risk committee of Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust., a former Chairman of Huntingdon Capital Corp., trustee of Gazit America & Brightpath Early Learning, and is a member of the advisory boards of the Vision Funds. Gary was previously Executive Vice President of Reichmann International where he served as a senior financial executive and trusted advisor for over 30 years.

Chris Gower


Chris Gower started his career in construction on the tools – framing houses, where he grew a deep appreciation for the trades. Prior to his current role as Chief Operating Officer, Buildings at PCL Construction (“PCL”), Chris held positions including construction risk manager, senior project manager, district manager and regional vice president. Throughout his more than 25 years at PCL, he has delivered iconic construction projects across Canada, Australia and the United States.

June Thomson

EVP, Sales, Marketing
& Business Development

June joined the Eddy team coming from Enercare after 10+ years in various roles, most recently as Vice President of the North American Builder Division. June has been in the HVAC industry for over 41 years, holding several roles throughout her career from Technician to Provincial Offences Officer.

Saj Khan

COO & President

Sajid Khan helped launch Eddy Solutions and has been in the role of Chief Operating Officer since inception. With more than 20 years of leadership and operational experience in the home services sector, Saj has held roles such as COO of Eco Energy Service, Vice President of Operations at both National Home Services and Universal Energy.

Boris Baril


With more than 25 years of financial experience, Boris has held both public and private company CFO roles; supported two (TSX listed) initial public offerings (IPOs), debt and equity capital raises, and M&A transactions. Boris graduated from York University and is a CPA, CA.

Mark Silver

CEO & Chairman

Mark L. Silver is President of Optus Capital Corporation. Mr. Silver has made significant real estate investments in both development stage and income producing properties in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors over his 35 year business career. Over the last 22 years, these investments have been made through his company, Optus Capital Corporation. Mr. Silver was a founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Energy which was sold in 2009 to Just Energy Group Inc. He co-founded Direct Energy Marketing and grew the company to over $1.3 billion in revenues before selling to Centrica PLC (also known as British Gas) in 2000.