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Frozen drain lines from house

My drain line froze up because of my heater going off during the day temps -30 below 0 what can I do to get them unthawed?

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  • Nomi Thompson
    Nomi Thompson Jan 08, 2009

    This site is awesome thank you so much all of you for your help on my problems, being a single mom it is tough especially when it comes to knowing certain things like plumbing, and heating. Thank you again for your advice...:)

  • Nomi Thompson
    Nomi Thompson Jan 18, 2009

    Thank you everyone who answered me, We did the toilet dance the other night !!!!! Thank you, the drain is thawed. My house is back to normal. I will be putting some heat tape under the house on the pipe so it will not happen again.... Thank you again....

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If it is your drain line frozen there must be a clog in the line somewhere because drain lines should never hold water. If it is a trap or goose neck under your house or trailer, you can carefully thaw them with a propane torch very slowly, or a Heat Gun very slowly, or even a Blow Dryer. After the trap or gooseneck is thawed out, run some hot water until your drain works as it used to. Then you can put Heat Tape on the trap so it does not happen again. Use the proper heat tape rated for metal or PVC plasic pipe according to instructions. Disconnect the electrical supply for the Heat Tape in the Spring as weather permits.....Joe

Posted on Jan 08, 2009

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Hi 151570,

This is messy so if your not into getting dirty stop reading and look for a qualified contractor under the referal section at Fixya.com.

I'm guessing from you description that you have water coming back in your floor drain or lower level tub. You need to go out to the septic tank and pull the lid off. I know its all frozen but it has to come off. Use a pile of charcoal in the area of the lid.

Once the lid is off, look where the pipe from the house comes into the tank. It will be the pipe in the direction of the house.

Hook up a garden hose to the bottom of your water heater. Take the other end of the hose and send it up the pipe from the tank toward the house. You will probably need a couple lengths of hose to do this. Work the hose up the line until you feel the ice. Slowly work the hose until the line is open.

If you are living in the house so that laundry, dishes and showers are being used, the problem is probably from a drippy faucet. The slow build up in the line from a dripping faucet can happen overnight. A furnace will usually take a couple of weeks AND if there is warm water running down the line it will keep it clear.

Good Luck and please rate this response, Phil

Posted on Jan 08, 2009

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For this problem I use a drill powered water pump with a short hose on the intake and brass hose adapters on the outflow to get it down to 5/16" plastic tubing ( I use maple sugaring line). I then fill a 5 gal pail with HOT water and pump it down the frozen line. Push the 5/16" tubing as you pump and it eats away at the ice. This works great on frozen spring lines as well.

Posted on Jan 08, 2009

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Its 25 outside and the water to the tub just started to come on so i shut the water off do i have a bad devirter or is it frozen the devirter is new

Posted on Jan 17, 2009

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I must assume the electricity is off and you have an electric hot water heater. This is bad in times with no electricity. You should buy/rent a generator to get hot water and force hot water down your drains. It would be a good idea to first pump out the drains that are the lowest in the house to avoid backflow from the forced hot H2O. It would be a good idea to pump outhe drain line at a low point in the house by siphoning with a garden hose first if you can. If you don't know how to siphon, you sould first fill the hose with water from a spigot and keep the water in the hose until it is immersed in the drainline..You should also check to see if you have an exosed outdoor drain line or place where there is very little soil and you can wrap it up with an electric planket(plugged in of course) and wait a few hours and problem solved.

Posted on Jan 08, 2009

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