Effects of freezing on traps and toilet?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by krosspen, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. krosspen

    krosspen New Member

    I want to not heat my cabin for weeks in the winter. This year for the first time I have plumbing. I have a valve in the well that allows all the water to drain back to the well when I shut the water off....and to be sure, I blow pressured air via a faucet. Even the pressure tank seems to empty... I hope.

    What about my drains....the toilet, the traps? If the water in those freeze, do the traps and toilet break? ...or does the water just expand to a higher level when freezing, with no damage occurring?

    I mistakenly bought RV Antifreeze.... I see now it is for supply lines, not waste lines. I imagine it would be effective in traps too, but wonder about effect on the septic system.

    Hence my question about what will happen if I don't heat the cabin and there is water in the traps. I even thought of draining the traps and toilet somehow, but then I would have sewer gas building up in cabin, no?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Water in a toilet will probably crack the toilet when it freezes. The RV antifreeze should work. Put some in each trap in the house. They do make a version for traps, and the quantity needed should not harm a septic system.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It is listed for water lines because it is NOT toxic, but other than that you can use it anywhere you need antifreeze. You CANNOT tell water how to freeze, so it will usually expand in ALL directions. IF it can breakout by cracking something it will, otherwise it WILL expand longitudinally.
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