Frozen bath tub drain


Old 12-13-05, 07:00 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Goodwood, Ontario
Posts: 140
Frozen bath tub drain

I also posted this problem in the toilets, tubs and showers forum. Just in case somebody here doesn't read that one:

Yesterday morning (Monday) I went to take a shower and got only a trickle of hot water from the spigot. It has been very cold here with a strong north wind. The tub is on a north wall in a leaky century home.

I also found that the tub drain wasn't moving. A plumber I called speculated that there's a leak in the wall and cold air hit the pipe at the trap, freezing it. But he's too busy to come over. (Other plumbers aren't even answering their phones. )

I used a hair dryer to thaw the water supply lines. No big deal. But the drain is still blocked. Here's what I've done:

1. Used a wet-dry Shop Vac to remove the standing water
2. Tried plunger
3. Tried snake -- never have gotten the hang of using them
4. Tried blowing in hot air by holding the hair dryer to the drain
4. Tried blowing in air from my Shop-Vac
5. Poured in some hot water
6. Poured in some hot water mixed with safety salt
7. Kept a space heater going at max in the bath area all night in hopes of warming it sufficiently

The intersection of the drain line and the overflow is clear. When I blow air into one, it comes out the other. After water backs up in the drain, water poured in thru the overflow raises the water level in the drain. So the blockage is further along.

I cut two holes in the ceiling below to access the drain line. But that seems to be a false ceiling. Several inches above it, there seems to be an old subfloor made of very thick hard wood.

Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 12-13-05, 08:44 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Goodwood, Ontario
Posts: 140
Drain's now running. Used a space heater to really warm up the area and also poured in some hot water mixed with safety salt. Don't know which did the trick.

As a preventive, I plan to keep a jug of -40 windowshield wash in the bathroom and will pour a cup into the drain after using the tub.

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