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Do you know freezing temperatures have potential threats to your home plumbing system?
Well, I think you understand that “Drain Lines” carries the spillage from our home plumbing to the discharge point and hence clean the system. It also works as a vent to allow air to enter the draining system. And, as a homeowner, you can’t overlook to have such a facility running smoothly.
Remember, as the water freezes, it will expand and burst pipes quite easily. And, worse still, if you don’t notice as soon as a drain line is frozen, it can block the whole drainage system and push waste spill into the yard.
So, today we’re going to explore a few thawing approaches to keep your drain lines up and running and help you avoid awful situations. Don’t think, however, that these techniques guarantee you can carry out any thawing attempt yourself. Indeed, there is some risk involved. So, unless you are confident, we suggest calling experts to address any serious issues.
How to Thaw Frozen Drain Pipes?
Well, there are several methods to try. But, the first step begins with planning and locating the frozen pipe as early as possible.
If the part of your frozen drain pipe is visible like those Stand PVC pipes, Fixture drains (shower/sink drain), P – Traps Extension, or Toilet Traps, we can simply use a hair dryer to move back and forth along the frozen pipe until it clears the ice blockage.
For a frozen septic drain line first, we need to find the line trap, lift it and snake a garden hose from the septic tank end with support from a hot water source (often a utility room) to run warm water into the system and slowly thaw blocking freeze-ups.
Why Drain Lines Freezes?
Many reasons can lead to a frozen drain line. Let’s see the most likely causes here:
- Lack of Proper Pipe Insulation.
- Pipes Exposed to Extreme Cold.
- Poorly Pitched Septic Line.
- Infrequent or No Use of the Plumbing System for a while.
- Septic Line Installed Above or Too Close to the Local Frosting Level.
- Thermostat set at a Lower Setting leading to insufficient heat inside a building etc.
How to Thaw Reachable Drain Pipes? (& Pipes in a Mobile Home)
First, let’s have a go at how we can melt ice builds up inside drain pipes that are somewhat accessible to us like those we mentioned above.
Melting Ice with Near Boiled Salt Water
When you realize ice blocking is not too far onto the pipe, just pour a kettle of near-boiled saltwater down the drain (i.e., kitchen sink PVC Pipe/ toilet flush). You can do this a few times as long as the water isn’t clogging. Soon the saltwater will melt those ice and allow the water to get through the drain again.
Warm Up the Pipe Blowing an Electric Hair Dryer
If you know that only a small length of the drain pipe is frozen, the ice will melt, warming up the frozen area with a hair dryer. Place the hair dryer in a mild setting, keep a safe distance and heat the pipe down the frozen areas, and repeat the process until you see water drains through the pipes.
Set the Heat Up in The Property
Another attempt in thawing drain pipes is to increase the overall home insulation and set the thermostat slightly higher than the room temperature (better at 79 degrees Fahrenheit). Although this technique can’t thoroughly defrost all the pipes, it’ll be particularly useful for enclosed wall drain lines (Works for PVC Pipes as well) in the thawing phase.
Using Chemical Drain Opener to Thaw Drain Pipes
Pouring a few drops of chemical Drain Opener into the frozen drain can save you a ton of works. It is a kind of drain opener that can thaw any internal plumbing lines and works best with blocking that is frozen in liquid. Even with water present in the line, it can work. Depending on the length of a frozen line, solids will be sliding down the sloped length of the pipe within a few hours.
Some Chemical Drain Opener to Thaw Drain Pipes
|Best for Garbage Disposal||Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Opener|
|Best Overall||Drano Max Gel|
|Best for Septic Systems||Rid-X Septic Tank Treatment |
Bio-Clean Drain Septic Bacteria
|Best for Shower||Pequa Drain Opener|
|Best for Grease & Hair||Liquid Clog Remover By Green Gobbler|
|Best Beads||Pure Lye Drain Cleaner|
How to Thaw Underground Sewage System?
Due to the warming effect of routine use, sewer lines are unlikely to freeze in usual circumstances. Moreover, most septic systems are installed below the frosting level.
However, if the frizzing weather extended for a prolonged period, and the drain catches up some standing water (due to pump failing or Infrequent Use), ice may form inside the system.
Now, thawing a frozen sewer line isn’t fun. Indeed, you could end up permanently damaging the septic structure. So, be sure to maintain caution and don’t try putting stupid experiment if you are not familiar with DIY. As the situation demands, calling an expert would be a smarter solution. However, being knowledgeable is always easier than being a fool. So, don’t miss reading the rest here.
Steps in Thawing Sewage Line
Step 1: Finding the Line Trap (of the Septic System)and Open the Access Cover
We must first make sure that we do not use a toilet or a sink during the process. Then, we have to find the line trap of the septic line where it enters the holding tank. Next, we need to wipe out any snow aggregates and lift the concrete cap with a crowbar.
Step 2: Finding a Hot Water Source
Now, we must find a hot water source to connect a garden hose. For a PVC drain, we should restrict the water temperature at 110 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent any heat damage/ plastic condensation.
Step 3: Locating the Septic Pipe and Gather the Garden Hose
Then you’d see a “T”- baffle coming out of the house and enters the sewage(holding) tank. The nozzle must fit the hose diameter to avoid twist within the drain pipe. It also means thawed waste can’t backfire.
Step 4: Turn on the Water Source and Advance Hose
Next, we’d connect the hose with the water source (give it a firm hose fitting, so you don’t overflow the floor) and insert the other end (the nozzle part) into the line. Then we will be feeding the hose in until the nozzle hits ice blockage. Now, we will turn on the water supply.
Step 5: Remove the Hose Before Turing off the Water Supply
As the ice starts to melt, we will be pulling the hose further until all the ice is melted. Once we feel the line has been cleared, we’d be pulling back the hose carefully. To avoid backflow, we won’t switch off water flow until the hose is completely removed.
Any part of your home plumbing could freeze in winter, but getting a clogged drain system would give you a nightmare. So, having basic knowledge of thawing drain pipes is crucial. Yet, being proactive means even a superior position. And, there are things you can do to prevent frozen pipes ahead of winter. So, you shouldn’t miss the other article on this blog.
Finally, we hope that winter will be trouble-free for you, and we are glad to have your feedback on the comment section below.
- How To Winterize A House
- How to winterize a car
- How to keep a house warm without insulation
- How to thaw frozen water pipes
- How to keep pipes from freezing without heat
- How to keep pipes from freezing in crawl space
- How to keep pipes from freezing in a vacant house
- How to Prepare Your Home’s Concrete Surfaces for Winter
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