Freezing of lot lines or water meters

Wintery street in Helsinki

Freezing winter temperatures and frost pose a challenge to the water supply network, causing pipe leakages, but the cold may also affect the lot lines and water meters of properties. When water meters freeze, they break. If the water meters freeze, replacing them can take several days during busy times.

What to do

  1. 1

    Do not melt a frozen pipe or water meter yourself.

  2. 2

    If possible, close the water meter valves.

  3. 3

    Call HSY’s fault service number at 09 1561 3000.

  4. 4

    Call HSY’s fault service number at 09 1561 3000.

Prevent freezing with insulation

The properties themselves are liable for the costs caused by frozen water meters and lot lines, so sufficient precautions should be taken to avoid unnecessary costs and water supply cuts. Frozen pipes are often due to weak or non-existent insulation. You can prevent lot lines from freezing by insulating the pipes carefully; especially those located less than two meters underground. 

You can also prevent lot lines from freezing by slowly running tap water through them. Before allowing the water to run, however, you should ensure that the sewers are working well, as they can also freeze over in the winter. A frozen sewer becomes blocked, in which case running water will be discharged uncontrollably. This may cause serious moisture damage to your property.

​Water meters should also be protected against freezing and cold temperatures. The resident should ensure that the property’s water meter room is warm enough. It should also be ensured that the cold air cannot come in through the ventilation holes and doors of technical premises or the water meter room. Even minor freezing may break the meter’s glass cover and cause a sizeable water leakage.​​

A professional​​​melts a frozen water meter

Melting a frozen pipe should always be done by professionals. The only correct method is steam or water melting. The water meter is removed and the pipe is melted with a steam or water hose from the direction of the water meter. This way, the melted water spills out near the meter.

The melting process should be carried out in a deliberate and systematic manner: if you melt pipes by yourself, you may cause serious water damage.  If the pipe is melted from the wrong place, such as the middle of the pipe, the water melts and may break the pipe as it expands.

You can order melting work from private companies, but HSY must be contacted if lot lines need to be shut off. The replacement of a frozen water meter should always be ordered by calling the HSY water services fault service number, tel. 09 1561 3000.