The question of how to defrost a frozen sewer pipe in your own home arises with the advent of cold weather. This problem is common, which indicates the inability or ignorance of most people how to properly lay the sewage system underground. When the problem of stagnant water arose, it is necessary to understand how to melt the accumulated ice in the sewer pipe.
Causes of ice jams
Before talking about ways to heat the sewer in a private house, it is necessary to understand the reasons for its appearance. There may be several of them:
- One of the common causes of freezing of the drainage system in winter is improper laying of the pipeline above the freezing level of the soil.
- Lack of or poor-quality thermal insulation leads to freezing of pipes.
- An old, contaminated system is prone to frequent blockages, and as a result, freezing of water inside.
- Incorrectly created bias. When a sewer system is created, it is necessary to lay the water supply with a slope towards the septic tank or cesspool. If the slope was not carried out or it is small, then the drains will drain slowly and stagnate in the pipeline.
That is why it is worth approaching the laying of the sewage system responsibly, and doing everything exactly according to the indicated schemes for laying the system.
There are several ways to defrost the pipes of the sewage system. The choice of heating work depends on:
- pipe material (metal or plastic);
- location of the ice plug;
- congestion size.
Based on these criteria, tools will be selected, further ways to fix the problem at home will be decided.
Removing ice plugs in a metal sewer
Now few people create a sewage system from metal pipes, but for houses built 10–20 years ago this is very important. The metal system is good in that the heating of such sewer pipes can be carried out with a conventional burner or a special apparatus for defrosting liquids.
Before starting work, it is necessary to determine the location of the blockage. For this, a number of activities are carried out:
- A thin metal hose or wire is threaded through the inspection window and pushed into the sewer route.
- As soon as the wire rests against a solid object, this is an ice jam.
- To verify the accuracy of the place, similar activities are carried out from the side of the septic tank.
- The same object that was used to reconnoiter the place of stagnation is used to plot the distance along the line of the sewer map. At the stop on the surface of the pipe, a mark is made of the place where the ice plug is located.
If there is a manhole near the freezing area of the metal sewer pipe, this will greatly simplify the work.
Getting to the pipe underground through the frozen soil is difficult. You will have to free part of the system from the ground in the place where the ice plug is located. To do this, you need to dig a trench or pit to the pipe itself. After contact with the metal surface has been established, you can begin to free the system from frozen water.
Simple remedies for dealing with ice jams
If the pipes are frozen inside and lie deep underground, this means that you will have to act both from the outside and from the inside of the pipeline. The methods may be as follows.
The most effective and easiest way is to heat the sewer with a blowtorch or gas burner. This is done simply:
- The burner is ignited, creating an open fire.
- They send her to a frozen area.
During defrosting work, it is necessary to open a tap with water so that the warmed liquid can safely flow out through the pipeline. In this case, the gas boiler or column is turned off.
When water freezes in a sewer pipe made of cast iron, you can use a welding machine. The work is carried out in several stages:
- The location of the blockage is determined.
- The insulator is removed from the pipeline, the surface is cleaned and degreased.
- Electrical wires connected to the secondary winding of the welding machine are laid on the metal surface.
- The minimum current level is set on the device and connected to the network.
- After heating, the thawed liquid will drain through the system.
This method has a side effect: the pipeline quickly rusts after such actions.
Important! Connect and disconnect cables only after the welding machine has been switched off. Otherwise, you risk electrical burns to your hands and eyes.
Salt dissolves water and pollution well, so many residents of private homes often use concentrated brine to clear ice blockages. Ordinary table salt is diluted in warm water and poured into the system. The solution will quickly cope with a small congestion, but with large areas of freezing of the liquid inside, you will have to wait. The freezing point of salt water is lower than normal water. Therefore, do not worry that it will freeze and add more difficulties to the previous problem.
If the problem of freezing the sewer system lies inside the building and the pipes are easily accessible, you can try to defrost them with boiling water and rags. This will require a lot of old material, it is desirable that it absorbs water well. Rags are wrapped around a section of a frozen pipe, onto which hot water is poured. The material will absorb boiling water and heat the ice plug in the pipe. It is also necessary to put a container for water that will not be absorbed.
Features of defrosting plastic pipes
Methods that are suitable for metal sewers are not suitable for plastic ones. You can not put current through polyethylene, or heat them with a burner. For plastic sewerage, the hot water method is excellent.
Every home has a water hose. You can also use a smaller metal-plastic pipe, but its use is only advisable in a small area. A regular plastic hose will not work in this case either. It is necessary to take a rigid, but flexible enough hose that can be pushed along the entire length of the pipeline. Further, the procedure will be as follows:
- Open shut-off valve.
- One end of the hose is screwed to a hot water tap, the other end is inserted into the waste system.
- Warm water will flow out through the gaps left between the hose and the pipe, so you should take care of the place or container into which it will flow.
- Under the pressure of hot water, the ice quickly melts and breaks through the congestion.
- After the complete elimination of the ice blockage, the shut-off valves are tightly closed to prevent the system from freezing again.
This method is effective for small plugs in a straight section of the pipeline.
To defrost plastic pipes, you can use another method — using a heating element. The following actions are carried out:
- The device is mounted on a rigid platform in such a way that its end protrudes above the front, and the rest is on the mount.
- According to the dimensions of the pipe and the length of the sewer, we prepare an electrical cable of the appropriate size.
- The cable is connected to the heating element, and the terminals are carefully insulated.
- In front of the assembled structure, a smaller metal pipe is installed than the waste pipe. She will play the role of a pusher.
- The entire structure is placed in a pipe, preferably from the side of the septic tank.
- After installing the heating system near the cork, the device is connected to electricity.
- As the ice melts, the heating element moves deeper until the plug is completely removed.
When moving the heating element must be disconnected from electricity. If an ice blockage occurs near a suitable toilet system, you can try to heat the water inside the compact with a conventional boiler.
Finally, you can use another method for a plastic waste system based on the simplest laws of physics. If there is a coil of twin-wire wire and skillful hands in the house. Then this method of melting ice in a pipe is for you.
Water is a good electrical conductor. If you apply a small current to it, it will heat up. To do this, you need to disconnect the two electrodes. You can do this in the following way:
- In a rigid two-core wire, use a knife to separate the cores so that one is shorter than the other.
- Remove a few centimeters of insulation from each of them.
- Gently bend and wrap it around the part that remains isolated.
- Wind the freed sections in turn on the wire. The distance between them should be small, but they should not touch.
After the wire is ready, one end is lowered into the sewer system. It should be noted that there is always a little water in front of the ice plug. The cleaned end of the wire gets into it, the other is inserted into the outlet. In this way, current flows, heats up the water, which in turn melts the ice. By moving the wire as the cork melts, you can completely get rid of it.
You can check the operation of the device using a regular can of water. Dip one end into it, connect the other to the outlet, small bubbles will appear in the water, a slight characteristic buzz will be heard.
As the ice melts, water will accumulate. It must be pumped out so that a new cork does not appear while you defrost the deeper layers of the congestion.
You should not take on this method of defrosting if you are poorly versed in electricity.
How to avoid problems
As you can see, there are many ways to fix ice block problems, but it is best to avoid such problems. To do this, it is necessary to take a number of preventive measures:
- The pipeline of the sewage system is laid below the freezing level of the soil.
- If the soil freezes to a great depth, take care of the insulation of the pipes. To do this, you can use various insulating heaters, assemble the sewer with pipes with factory insulation, and lay the heating cable in the gutter.
- If the house is not intended for permanent residence, before leaving for the winter, you should dump all the water from the system. Then problems with stagnation and freezing of water will not arise.
To avoid problems with the freezing of the sewer, it is necessary to correctly equip the system. If such a problem arose, use our tips for defrosting pipes, taking into account their working material. These methods will help you deal with the problem yourself.