Victoria plumbers inundated with calls over frozen pipes

Advice from a plumber: disconnect hoses from outdoor faucets, make sure the water to these faucets is turned off

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For some homeowners, having a plumber on their doorstep on Christmas Eve was better than bringing Santa down the chimney.


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Plumbing companies were inundated with calls for help regarding frozen pipes, backyard irrigation pipes, and even some water pipes during the cold snap.

“We had 60 calls over the Christmas weekend. It was crazy, ”said Wade Roberts of Wade Roberts Plumbing.

“On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we had an on-call technician and another helped the on-call technician. They worked a bit together to help get things done, but it’s impossible to keep up with that kind of call volume. It’s wild.

It’s a bit of a sacrifice to be on call and away from family while on vacation, Roberts said.

“But the payoff is big in the reaction you get from customers when you show up and solve their problem on a night like Christmas Eve,” he said.


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“One of the techs who was on this whole Christmas was also on call last Christmas and he wanted to be back because of the reaction and the gratitude.

“One of the hot water tanks he made last Christmas Eve, he put a big bow on it for customers and was wearing a Santa hat and they were just thrilled. It can be rewarding, It’s certain.

To keep the plumber away from your door, Roberts strongly advises people to disconnect the hoses from their outdoor faucets and make sure any outdoor faucets are turned off.

Hoses should also be disconnected from frost-proof outdoor taps, he said.

Isolation valves for backyard or irrigation pipes should be closed inside the house.

British Columbia’s plumbing code says a main water line should be 18 inches underground in our climate, Roberts said, but in some cases in older homes, or if someone has installed its own irrigation pipe underground, it may be shallower and freeze.


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“We have seen this several times during this frost,” he said.

“Usually inside a house you can locate these frozen pipes and thaw them out. But if it is from the basement that enters the house, it is quite complicated to thaw them and circulate them again.

Inside the house, run a faucet at a very slow rate, especially if it has frozen in the past.

Also open the closet doors, Roberts said. “Maybe this space in the closet can be warmed by the air in the room.”

With the continued cold and more snow on the way, Canada Post encourages customers to clear snow and ice from their aisles, stairs and driveways to ensure safe access to the front door for their letter carriers.

The City of Victoria reminds residents and businesses that they are required to clear snow and de-icing sidewalks in front of their properties by 10 a.m. each day under streets and traffic regulations. There is a $ 125 fine for non-compliance.


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Saanich also reminds landowners that they are responsible for clearing sidewalks in front of their properties.

Both municipalities are urging people to watch their neighbors to see if they need help with the ice and snow.

Langford, meanwhile, said mud and snow tires are mandatory on Bear Mountain and any vehicle left in traffic lanes will be towed at the owner’s expense.

The city also asks residents to park all vehicles in the garage or in the driveway to allow good snow removal. If vehicles prevent snow removal, your street may not be cleared of snow, the city said.

On Tuesday, BC Transit suffered a number of snow-related detours and service disruptions and advised customers to sign up for its online alert system at

Spokeswoman Tessa Humphries suggested allowing enough time for transit travel. “We do our best to get our runners to their destination safely and thank customers for their patience. “

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