Thawing frozen traps

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Cass, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    Does anyone have way to thaw out frozen tub traps short of cutting out the ceiling and introducing warm air or pouring boiling water into the tub?
  2. TedL

    TedL New Member

    Sep 17, 2006
    NY Capital District
    Not recommending, just throwing out ideas.....
    An exothermic drain cleaner (Drano) would introduce heat.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    It would have to be a liquid drain cleaner. The crystal ones would harden and create a second problem. The small hose from a wall paper steamer would create enough heat to thaw it by shoving it down the overflow pipe.
  5. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    Morton Salt

    Just take some powered morton salt and pour it slowly

    down that trap.......

    pour a good load down the drain and wou will win...
  6. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Jun 12, 2006
    I would mix up a brew of boiling water and salt--any kind of salt. You can even use some from that bag of road salt sitting on the front porch. That way, you would be putting the salt down a little further than if you just laid it on top. Of course, an acid drain cleaner may work even faster as someone suggested.
  7. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Start as though you are going to root out the trap. Take the overflow cover off and run a tube down with hot water flowing through it. As it hits the ice and melts it, keep pushing it down. When it stops coming back up the tub drain, you are done.
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    Come on Bob, we can't have a solution that simple!
  9. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    I'm really surprised that Bob didn't come up with the most obvious solution... take the magnetron out of an old microwave that we all have stored in the garage, hook it up to the proper sized metal flex tubing (sized for the proper wavelength of course) and direct it down the drain into the trap where it will permeate the ice layer and melt it quicker than you can warm your coffee.

    Caution: Do not try this trick if you plan to have more children.

  10. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Aug 7, 2005
    For a special job years ago we borrowed a steam cleaner from the local
    Dodge dealer and reduced the discharge to a small hose and thawed several floor drains. Find a small type steam machine.
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