What Should You Do When Your Sewer Pipes Are Frozen?
Sewer pipes are an essential part of any plumbing system, but when they freeze, they can cause a lot of problems. Frozen sewer lines can lead to a backup of wastewater, which can be a health hazard and cause damage to your property. This can be especially problematic during the winter months when the temperature drops significantly. In this article, we will discuss what you should do when your sewer pipes are frozen.
What are the causes of frozen sewer pipes?
Frozen sewer pipes can occur for a variety of reasons. One of the primary causes is the weather. When the temperature drops below freezing, the water in your pipes can freeze, causing blocked sewer pipes. This can be especially problematic if your sewer pipes are outside your home or in an unheated area.
Another cause of frozen sewer pipes is poor insulation. If your pipes are not adequately insulated, they are more susceptible to freezing. This is especially true if your pipes are clay, concrete, or cast iron. These materials are not as resistant to extreme cold as other materials, such as plastic or PVC pipes.
How to prevent sewer pipes to freeze?
Preventing frozen sewer pipes is much easier than dealing with the problem after it has occurred. Here are some things you can do to prevent your sewer pipes from freezing:
- Insulate your pipes: As mentioned earlier, insulation is critical in preventing frozen sewer pipes. Insulating your pipes can help keep them warm, even in extremely cold temperatures. You can purchase pipe insulation from a hardware store or have a professional plumber install it.
- Keep the water flowing: Running water through your sewer line can help prevent freezing. This is because moving water is less likely to freeze than still water. If you are expecting frigid temperatures, consider leaving a faucet dripping to keep the water moving.
- Seal any drafts: Drafts can let cold air into your home and cause your pipes to freeze. Seal any drafts around your pipes with caulking or weather stripping.
- Keep your home warm: Keeping your home warm can help prevent your pipes from freezing. Make sure your thermostat is set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even if you are not home.
What to do when you have frozen sewer pipes?
If your sewer pipes have already frozen, there are several things you can do to address the problem. Here are some steps to take when dealing with frozen sewer pipes:
- Identify the type of sewer pipe: The type of sewer pipe you have can impact how it is thawed. For example, plastic sewer pipes can be damaged by high heat, so a plumber may use a different method to thaw them then they would for a cast iron sewer pipe. Make sure to identify the type of sewer pipe you have before attempting any DIY thawing methods.
- Use hot water: If you are dealing with a small section of a frozen pipe, try using hot water to thaw it. Run hot water over the frozen section until the water starts flowing again. However, this method should not be used on plastic pipes.
- Do not use open flames: Using open flames to thaw frozen sewer pipes can be extremely dangerous. This can cause damage to your pipes and even start a fire. Never use a blowtorch or other open flame to thaw your pipes.
- Prevent future freezing: Once your pipes have been thawed, prevent them from freezing again. This includes insulating your pipes, keeping your home warm, and running water through your pipes to keep it flowing.
- Call a professional plumber: Dealing with frozen sewer pipes can be dangerous and difficult. It’s best to call a professional plumber who has experience dealing with this type of problem. They know how to thaw your pipes properly and can inspect them for damage such as how tree roots get into sewer pipes and how to clean a sewer line.
If you have a professional plumber come to thaw your frozen pipes, make sure to follow any instructions they give you. This may include leaving certain faucets on, avoiding using certain fixtures, or keeping the thermostat at a specific temperature. Following their directions will help ensure that your sewer system is functioning correctly and safely.
What to do if you suspect your pipes are frozen?
If you suspect your pipes are frozen, there are a few things you can do to try and determine the extent of the problem. Here are some steps to take if you suspect your sewer pipes are frozen:
- Check for odours: If your pipes are frozen, you may notice a strong odour outside of the house or in the basement. This odour is caused by wastewater that has backed up in the system due to the frozen pipe.
- Check all fixtures: Check your fixtures, including toilets, pipes leaking, sinks, and showers, to see if the water is flowing. If the water isn’t flowing, this could be a sign that your pipe is frozen.
- Check outside: Check around the exterior of your home for any signs of wastewater or standing water. This could indicate that your pipes are frozen and need to be thawed.
If you suspect that your pipes are frozen, it’s important to take action right away. The longer the pipes stay frozen, the more costly and difficult it will be to repair them. Make sure to call a professional plumber right away if you believe your sewer pipes are frozen.
When to call for professional help?
If you suspect that your sewer pipes are frozen, it’s important to call a professional immediately. A professional plumber has the experience and tools necessary to safely thaw your pipes and get your plumbing system flowing again. An expert can also provide advice on how to prevent future freezing, when is the time to replace it and make sure that any damage caused by the frozen pipe is taken care of.
If your frozen pipes are in an area where water is flowing or if the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to call a professional for help. These situations can be dangerous and require specialized equipment to thaw your pipes safely.
In the event of frozen sewer pipes, prompt action must be taken by contacting a qualified plumber without delay. Always consider safety first when dealing with frozen pipes, and never attempt to thaw them yourself.
So, if you ever find yourself in a situation where your sewer pipes are frozen, remember to contact Sydney Blocked Drains Service to get the job done right. We have the expertise and experience to help you with all your sewer pipe needs, no matter the type of sewer pipe or the situation. Contact us today for professional assistance and get your plumbing system flowing again.