With below-freezing temps coming with winter weather, now is a good time to make sure you know what to do if there’s a water issue at your house or on your block.

Winter can stress pipes and water mains, leading to more leaks and breaks than we typically see during warmer weather. But broken or leaking pipes aren't the only reason you may lose water service in the winter.

Since pipes at homes can also freeze during extended cold stretches, customers often aren’t sure what to do after they turn on the tap and discover there’s no water.

If that happens to you, see which of these situations applies:

Main break, leaking service line, or frozen pipes?

  • You see a leak: Customers can protect their property and help emergency crews by contacting us at (215) 685-6300 if there is a leak in the street. If the pipes in your basement are leaking, call a licensed and registered plumber. A list of approved contractors is available by selecting "Plumber Master" on the L&I website drop-down menu. 
  • No water, no visible leak: If your property has no water but you cannot see a leak, first ask neighbors on your block if they have water at their sinks. If only your house lost water, the pipes may be frozen and you should see the tips for dealing with frozen pipes posted here.
  • Notice of Defect? If our investigators trace a leak to a broken service line or sewer lateral on your property, you will get a Notice of Defect. While you or your landlord must make repairs, there are options to consider before hiring a Master Plumber. Read about help you can get to make emergency repairs and options to guard yourself against bearing the full cost of a service line replacement on our Notice of Defect Fact Sheet
  • Many properties do not have water: call the hotline above to see if a water main break needs to be reported. Read about how we respond to main breaks here.
Check out this handy guide for more winter tips and avoid cold-weather plumbing damage:

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Customers can also see our posts on Facebook and Twitter for more recent information.

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