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Q: Do water and sewer lines really break?

A: Yes, water and sewer lines clog, leak and break every single day. While there are efforts to improve public infrastructure, private lines are subjected to the same harsh elements and are typically the responsibility of the homeowner.

Q: What causes water and sewer lines to fail?

A: The top causes of a line failure include:

  • Age: fittings can fail, pipes can corrode and your house can shift and settle. A small crack or pinhole develops and leads to a leak. Next thing you know, your utility line has failed.
  • Weather: each change of season brings with it a different utility line challenge and the potential for cracks and leaks due to freezing, seasonal thaw, rain, snow, etc.
  • Landscaping:  tree roots are not friends of your utility lines. When they grow around your lines, they will eventually cause cracks, leaks and clogs.


Q: Am I responsible for maintaining my water or sewer lines?

A: Homeowner responsibility can vary between municipalities. However, homeowner responsibility is generally from the property line to the city main line. Regardless of local differences, Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) will provide coverage for the portion of the service line for which you are responsible.

Q: Is my city or utility company responsible for maintenance of my lines?

A: Typically, no. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that they are responsible for the repair and/or replacement of their broken or leaking utility lines.

Q: Does my homeowner’s insurance cover this type of repair?

A: While most homeowner’s policies cover the damage to personal property created by failed utility lines, they do not cover the repair itself. We encourage you to call your insurance company to determine your actual coverage details. If you live in a condominium or duplex dwelling, contact your homeowner’s association to determine if you need this coverage prior to enrollment.


Q: What do I do if I need a repair?

A: Step 1: If you should suffer a home repair emergency after your start date that is covered by your plan, call us toll-free at 1-866-922-9004 and one of our claims representatives will get you started on your service call. (There are no forms or paperwork for you to complete.)
Step 2: Once you report a claim, a local, licensed and insured contractor assigned to the repair will call you within one hour to schedule an on-site visit. This typically occurs within 24 hours, including holidays and weekends. (On rare occasions, this could take as long as 48 hours.)

Q: What codes will SLWC adhere to – the current code or original code at the time of installation?

A: If the line is broken and leaking, SLWC will repair or replace the leaking portion of the line according to the current code. In Ontario, it is the Ontario Building Code


Q: Can I view the Terms and Conditions online?

A: All you have to do is enter your postal code where prompted on the SLWC homepage. You will then be able to view the products that are available in your area and the specific Terms and Conditions. (These will display as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file located next to the “Product Reviews” grey tab.) To view them, you will need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download here.


Q: Who is Service Line Warranties of Canada?

  • Service Line Warranties of Canada (“SLWC”) is a private company that provides optional water and/or wastewater warranty plans to homeowners.
  • SLWC is an accredited Better Business Bureau organization that has an A+ rating.
  • SLWC’s program was established through the City’s procurement process and approved by Hamilton City Council.

Q: Why has the City of Hamilton chosen to work with SLWC to offer warranty Plans?

  • To educate residential property owners about their responsibilities for the maintenance, repair and replacement of water and sewer service lines (portion from their homes to the property line) – at no cost to the City.
  • To make available to residents optional, affordable protection against unexpected costs of repairing or replacing non-functioning water and sewer lines, as well as broken interior plumbing and drainage systems.
  • The City can be assured that all repairs are performed to code and that all appropriate permitting is pulled. Additionally, SLWC only uses qualified local contractors so repair dollars stay within the community helping the local economy.
  • Reduced expense to property owners and the City because the Plans encourage residents to report water and sewer leaks in a timely manner. Timely water line repairs conserve water and reduce water loss for the City. Timely sewer line repairs minimize wastewater pollution helping the environment.
  • Other cost savings for the City expected with fewer calls and involvement of City personnel regarding infrastructure that is the responsibility of property owners.
  • SLWC does offer the City itself compensation for allowing the use of the City logo on the warranty offering letters that homeowners receive. The support of the City alerts residents of the legitimacy of the program resulting in more enrollments, which in turn allows SLWC to offer the warranties at lower prices to residents because of the increased participation. The revenue the City receives helps to keep Hamilton’s water and wastewater/storm rates among the lowest in Ontario.

Q: Are the Warranty Plans considered insurance?

A: The Plans are a warranty service plan offered by SLWC as an independent private provider. Although the Plans use terms like “deductible”, “coverage” and “exclusions” the Plans are not insurance, but a contract pledge to arrange a contractor to repair your service lines.

Q: Is this a City Program?

A: This is NOT a City program, but rather SLWC is a program partner. As such, SLWC is solely responsible for the administration and service of the warranty programs. The Program was developed through the City’s Procurement Process. Visit the SLWC website at www.slwofc.ca or call 1-855-326-4730 (toll free) to sign up or get more details about the program.

A homeowner, who chooses to enroll in this Program, should do so with the understanding that the City in no way warrants or is liable for the work or performance of SLWC. The City wishes to make residents aware of the availability of this product since water and sewer line repairs can be very expensive.

Q: Did the City provide mailing info to SLWC?

A: The City of Hamilton provides mailing information (resident names and addresses only) to a third party mailing house in order to facilitate the mailing of materials that promote its water/wastewater protection plan in accordance with its Water Account Privacy statement which can be found at:

www.horizonutilities.com/WaterPrivacy and a Non-Disclosure Agreement between the City and that mailing house. This information is used for mailing purposes only and is not provided directly to Service Line Warranties of Canada, the program administrator. Should you wish your information to be removed from this mailing list please contact the City at: 905-546-2489 (CITY) or at askCITY@hamilton.ca and we will ensure that it is removed from the next mailing.