Inevitable, I suppose…

But dammit anyway. I’ve been congratulating myself that the water hasn’t even (apparently) tried to freeze during our extended cold wave. Then the sink drain stopped working.

The end of the grey-water pipe is completely frozen, which means the pipe is completely full of water, which means…the damned thing might not empty till spring. Fortunately there’s a plan B: The trap is easily removed so the sink can drain into a bucket, and there’s plenty of room on the shelf below with a little rearranging. But still. Dammit.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to Inevitable, I suppose…

  1. Joe Plumber says:

    Pour boiling hot water down the pipe (not the sink – the drain pipe, after you disconnect the trap).

    Catch the overflow/backflow in a basin or such.

    Repeat until drain clear (Took me maybe fifteen seconds – less than one basin, but that was inside Mom’s house, using a hose from the hot water heater, shoved down the drain as far as we could get it – YMMV)

    Should get you flowing again for a while, anyway.

    Perhaps you could siphon the filthy, disgusting, fetid, unsanitary water back out after it cools, before it freezes, then hit it with another shot of hot water, if the first try doesn’t get it.

    Next year, insulate the drain pipe? or wrap it with that electrical heat tape to thaw it? or a big pillar candle inside a box around the pipe to warm it up?

  2. Joel says:

    Of course what perplexes me is why it froze in the first place. No water should have stayed in the pipe long enough to freeze. The trap was clean, which tells me a bunch of hair and kitcheny stuff went down the pipe and maybe not all the way out. If ice is forming around some partial plug, that’s a design problem.

  3. Bill says:

    In the same way that an icicle forms on the edge of the roof,I think that the pipe may have been freezing a little at a time gradually closing the ID until it could get blocked.The trick is,to not let the ice film get started.Every day(or night or couple of hours-whatever it takes in that
    freezing environment)slowly pour some very hot water down the drain in an effort to thaw the build-up.You’ll have to experiment with how much/how often to do it,but once a day in the evening,works for me.

  4. coloradohermit says:

    Hope you get if figured out and get your preps up. One of the forums I visit says bitter cold weather coming, like we havent been having bitter cold already.

To the stake with the heretic!