HOW TO EFFECTIVELY UNCLOG A FROZEN DRAIN
Every season comes with it’s own specific issues. Winter comes with quite a lot of inconveniences. Some of those include excessive cold and snow, snow shoveling, scraping of car windows from ice, wearing of many layers of clothing to stay warm, preheating your car and one that can be quite frustrating to think about: unclogging of frozen pipes.
One of the numerous ways winter affects your house is by freezing your shower drains or other water pipes. The freezing of a shower drain is not easily noticed until you are standing ankle deep in water in the shower. A frozen water line can also result in a busted water pipe and the resulting damages.
Before we give you the tips on how to unclog your shower drain here are some DON’Ts that you should avoid.
- Do not use corrosive drain cleaners. They might cause a chemical reaction with the pipes or ice and produce poisonous gases or substances that may result in burns or even blindness if they mistakenly shoot up from the pipes.
- Never take a open flame near a frozen pipe, a number of houses have been lost to that effect. Candle flames or blow torches should never be exposed near the pipes.
Here are some tips on how to unclog your shower drain or other frozen plumbing pipes when they freeze:
First attempt to melt frozen shower drains without delay.
Once you notice your pipes are frozen, it is ideal to thaw it as soon as possible because the longer it remains unattended to, the more ice forms in the pipe and the more difficult it becomes to melt. If the pipes are left frozen, the ice expands as water continues to flow into the pipe. As the water continue to reach the ice blockage, it freezes and expands.
When water freezes, it expands. As it expands, the pipe expands automatically and the higher the risk of bursting the pipe. As you might know, a burst pipe can lead to and damage your property, cause major inconveniences, cause costly repairs everything from digging up floors to accessing hidden pipes in the ceiling, floors and walls.
Here is what you will need to thaw the frozen pipe:
- 1 cup of salt
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 2-3 gallons of water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- a medium sized pot
Step 1: Unclogging the drain
Pour the baking soda in the drain. After a minute, pour the vinegar down the drain and wait for several minutes. You will notice a mixture of bubbles and fizz coming from the pipe as a result of the chemical reaction taking place in the pipe. Once the frozen clog is cleared, the pipe will be cleaned by the mixture and the grime will be flushed down the drain. Proceed to step 2 while the mixture is still in the drain.
Step 2: Mix the salt with water and boil
Mix the salt with 3 cups of water and boil in a medium sized pot. Pour the mixture slowly into the drains to help the baking soda and vinegar mixture percolate through the frozen buildup in the pipe. The salt is a very effective ingredient that makes melting ice easy.
Step 3: Run the remaining water into the drain
Boil the remaining water and run it into the drain once the clog is clear. Pour the hot water slowly into the drains to ensure the pipe is draining well and completely thawed.
To prevent future occurrence, allow the hot tap to drip lightly as soon as you notice the temperature falling below freezing.
If after trying the above steps and you couldn’t unclog your frozen drain and are located in the Atlanta Georgia area, please call us. If you are not located in the greater Atlanta and surrounding county areas we would not be able to offer assistance and we suggest calling a local licensed plumber to your area. Our chat box representatives do NOT have any information on how to unclog a frozen drain. They only schedule appointments. We are experts in all plumbing issues.