City No Longer Using Electricity to Thaw Frozen Water Lines

January 16, 2020

With temperatures dropping, the potential for frozen water lines increases. While City Operations staff may be able to advise on ways to mitigate freezing or to thaw frozen lines, they will no longer be performing electrical thaws for residents.

Based on recommendations by City’s liability insurance provider, Municipal Insurance Association (MIA), Council directed Operations staff to no longer perform electrical thawing on frozen water lines and to develop a policy to reflect this change.

In the 2019 Risk Control Report, the MIA stated that using electricity to thaw frozen water lines can cause the loss of small electrical appliances and at worst, total devastation with the entire loss of homes. The report stated that stray currents will find the path of least resistance and that path can easily lead to fire and total property loss. Electrical thaws can also severely damage City infrastructure and residential water lines, leading to costly repairs.

To significantly reduce the possibility of a frozen water line, homeowners can leave a tap running cold water day and night (stream should be the size of a pencil or larger) or install a bleeder valve. Residents should also keep spaces where pipes may be exposed to drafts from outside air or colder temperatures warm using space heaters or heating tapes. Following these tips can help ensure your pipes are not affected by freezing during periods of extreme low temperatures.

For more ways to prevent frozen water lines, check out this link: https://kimberley.civicweb.net/document/16785 

 For further information, contact Operations at 250-427-9660 or email operations@kimberley.ca.