Frozen Sink Drain Pipe

Filed in Plumbing by on December 19, 2013 0 Comments

I really don’t want to beat a dead horse here or anything, but I do want to get this small project on record. In future years, it’ll be good for me to look back and review all the projects I’ve completed. Things like that give me a real sense of accomplishment.

A few mornings ago, I woke up to the sound of dripping water in the upstairs bathroom. The faucet has always dripped, but I never actually heard the sound. The water droplets would hit the side of the sink and silently go down the drain. Well, as it turns out, when the temperature dropped to -18 a few nights ago, that water drip failed to roll all the way down the pipe. The faucet dripped, the water began flowing through and when it hit a certain point, it froze. Think of how an icicle is formed. It starts as water and then freezes when things get cold enough. We’ve got an icicle in the sink drain pipe.

Bathroom Sink Drain Pipe

You may be asking yourself, or even me, “Jay, why would a bathroom sink drain pipe freeze like that?” I’d reply something like this, “Well, when plumbing pipes are run through outside walls in a house that sits in a very cold climate, they really have no other choice but to freeze. I suppose if the sink didn’t have that drip, things would be fine. But since the drip is occurring, bad things are bound to happen. Also, since the pipes are running through spaces that aren’t insulated, the problem is compounded.”

Not insulated? What? Yes, take a look at this next picture. This is where the drain pipe exits the bathroom and heads outside toward the eave of the roof. If you look closely, through the sheetrock, you can see daylight above the pipe. To make the picture larger, simply click it.

Frozen Sink Drain Pipe

Laura and I have already put together a plan of action to take care of these freezing issues come Spring. It’s strange, but I’m not really all that upset about the insulation and plumbing situation in this house. As someone in my Jiu-Jitsu class so eloquently said last night, “When you have to make repairs like this, it gives you the feeling of really owning the house.” I replied that is was good because I’m learning a lot along the way. I’m also able to write about all these things and interact with people of like mind. In a way, it’s not too terrible.

Okay, off to Campbell’s Building Supply in Madison. I have to pick up a few items for a project I’ll tell you about later this evening.

Want to read more about frozen pipes? Check out these related articles:

Prevent Frozen Pipes in Cold Temperatures
Warmer Temperatures Can Burst Frozen Pipes
Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

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