Ways to Prevent Frozen Sewer Lines

February 25, 2019 9:05 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

During cold Colorado winters, there are a lot of bases to cover to ensure your property is prepared for snow and frost. One thing that many owners overlook during this time is protection to keep their property’s sewer lines from freezing when the temperatures drop.

A frozen sewer line, particularly the main line, can be disastrous for your home and plumbing. Use these tips to avoid plumbing disasters due to freezing temperatures this year.

The dangers

You may be thinking, “Water freezes all the time. Once the temperatures get a little warmer during the day, the little bit of ice will freeze and my pipes will be fine.” However, this is not how it truly works.

If water in your sewer line gets so cold that it freezes, it can create a large, icy blockage in the pipe that prevents water and waste from traveling through it properly. This can cause backups, often spewing wastewater into your home! If your main line freezes, this can be disastrous. All of your home’s wastewater lines will lead to that pipe, and if it’s frozen, waste could flow back through any number of your pipes. Blockages usually require drain cleaning in Colorado Springs, CO to remove.

Additionally, since water expands as it freezes, ice blockages can quickly cause cracks or breaks in the pipe that are unlikely to be discovered until winter is over. The pressure buildup is often too much for pipes to handle, and burst sewer lines can result in a biohazard wasteland in your yard.

Prevention tips

There are a few quick and practical tips you can use to prevent your sewer pipes from freezing during winter:

  • Check or install insulation: Outdoor pipes are the most likely to freeze since they are exposed to frigid outdoor temperatures. Sewer lines installed in cold areas of the home, such as uninsulated basements, are also at risk. This is why they require insulation. Adding heat tape and household insulation products can help protect sewer pipes. If you suspect your sewer pipes are poorly insulated, contact a professional for sewer line inspection in Colorado Springs, CO.
  • Raise the water heater temperature: Check that your home’s water heater is working and raise the temperature a few degrees. This helps offset the extreme cold occurring outside and keeps pipes from freezing.
  • Let faucets drip: When the temperatures dip really low, let some of your water fixtures drip water for a while. The continuous flow of water through your indoor plumbing and outdoor sewer lines can help prevent sitting water from freezing.

Also, if you’re installing new sewer lines, ensure that they are installed below the frost line and not near the surface of the ground. Burying sewer lines too high can expose them to lower temperatures, whereas they will be insulated and safer if buried lower.

My sewer line still froze—now what?

If your sewer line is frozen, contact Affordable Rooter for immediate assistance! In addition to other plumbing services, we offer sewer line inspections and drain cleaning in Colorado Springs, CO and can help identify and fix the frozen pipe problem in no time.

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