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Winter and Cold Temperature Warning

If waterlines freeze, they burst...

Did you know that your building is heated by water circulating through baseboard pipes. It is critical that these waterlines do not freeze. Electric zone valves on the pipes are controlled by your thermostat to lower or raise room temperature. If ice forms anywhere in the pipe, the waterline pressure increases and can cause the valve to fail and release an unlimited supply of water into the room.

A tremendous amount of damage can result before the water is able to be turned off. Often Units adjacent and below are affected.

The repairs costs affect all Owners; damage from a burst pipe can cost thousands of dollars to repair. If is usually insured through the Corporation Insurance, there still are financial consequences to all Owners as too many claims will make difficult and costly for the Corporation to renew its insurance.

Insurance premiums are rising with each claim and deductibles and can now easily reach more than $50,000, deductible which will need to be paid by the Condominium Corporation or, if it is determined that a resident is responsible for a frozen pipe, the deductible will be assessed directly to the Unit Owner.

Do your part to prevent frozen pipes. If your unit is too warm, contact your Property Manager through the online portal.

When temperatures are at or below 0C/32F:

  • Do not open a door or window to cool the suite. A window or patio door left open in cold weather is the usual cause of frozen waterlines. A space of just one inch can cause a pipe to freeze within minutes as cold air is heavier than warm air. Even if the window is five feet above the floor, the cold air will travel to the floor and freeze the waterline.

  • Window coverings and furniture should not cover or block the baseboard heating. This could prevent the warm air circulation reducing the room ambient temperature and could channel cold air down the wall causing the waterlines to freeze.

  • Learn how to shut the water off in case of an emergency. Shut off valves are located at the pipe’s entrance to and exit from your suite.

  • Do not prop open outside doors for easy access; pipes in the stairwells or foyer could freeze!

  • Do not set thermostat below 15C/60F degrees. The zone valve needs to cycle on and off regularly to allow water to flow through the pipe to prevent ice. Never turn the thermostat completely off, even in the summer.


Be sure to have insurance coverage for your personal belongings as well as for alternate accommodation in case you can’t live in your unit while it is being repaired or in the event you are assessed the deductible portion of a claim.  

Please consult your insurance agent for more information regarding your coverage!

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