The winter is great for snowfalls and all but you won’t be able to enjoy it if the flush of your toilet suddenly stops working. You will face this problem and the reason could very well be the weather instead of bad plumbing. Freezing pipes are a common issue that many homeowners sometimes face in cold countries.
With that being said, there are certain things which you can do to get rid of this situation. We will go with the evergreen “prevention is better than cure” methods of solving this situation in this article. We will tell you some easy, yet effective ways to come up with a solution to this problem.
The Preventive Measures
Through extensive research and survey, we were able to identify two major causes of freezing that your toilet pipes come across. One of them is involved directly with the toilet while the other one tends to the overall piping of the house. We will talk about both of them to keep your toilet pipes from freezing.
Tricking the Toilet Tank
Remove the top covering of your toilet tank and you will see some water that’s stored and ready for the next flush. You will have to work with the parts inside the tank. Don’t worry, that water is not filthy as it comes directly from the supply line.
Keep the Flaps Open
Bring a piece of cotton thread or string and attach one of its ends with the small clip on the flap inside the tank. Raise the flap a little bit so that water can go through the flap and then tie the other end of the thread to anything inside the tank.
When you flush, this flap is raised enough so that all the water stored on the tank can rush down and clean your toilet. Then, the tank is refilled by the water from the toilet pipe. Because we kept the flap open a little bit, water inside the toilet pipe will keep flowing at a slow rate and will prevent freezing.
Tending to the Main Water Pipes
If the water doesn’t reach the toilet pipe, then the above trick is of no use. That’s why to prevent the toilet pipe from freezing, we will have to keep the water flowing on the other main pipes.
We will share with you the most common and proven ways of keeping the water running inside the pipes even in the coldest of the days.
Stop the Airflow
Check for passages that let cold air in and out of your home. This may not seem like a deal-breaker, but it’s the case sometimes. If there’s something that can dramatically increase the freezing process other than the negative temperatures itself, it’s the cold airflow.
Water pipes are seen inside the basement of some houses. Make sure there are no windows open inside the basement of your house. After that, check for any small holes and close them with pieces of unused clothes or rags. If pipes are running in the attic, make sure you block off any holes that allow airflow.
Use the Warmer Air of Your House
Open the doors of the kitchen and the bathroom cabinet. This will allow the comparatively hotter air from inside the house to circulate the plumbing inside.
However, do this only after when you’ve sealed all the incoming air passages. If you feel that cold air is coming from the cabinet, then do a better sealing.
Use Pipe Insulations
Pipe insulations are soft pipe coverings made of sponge and foam. They are great for keeping preventing the water from freezing. They come in different diameters for fitting different pipe sizes. Not only that, but there is also a certain level of thickness that you can choose from regarding the cushioning of the sponge and foam.
Identify the pipes which are freezes at first. It is only because of them that the water can’t move forward. So, take in the measurements with a measuring tape and head over to the hardware store to buy adequate amounts of insulations.
These come in small sizes so you may need to buy a handful of these if you want to insulate a longer pipe.
If you happen to find yourself in a situation where spending a few bucks for pipe insulations is not to your likings, then you can wrap some clothes that you don’t use anymore around the pipes.
Try to make thick layers of wrapping like bandages. It will not be as effective as the pipe insulations but it’s surely worth a try, and it may prove to be useful.
Electrical Heating Tapes
Use electrical heating tapes for the main pipes only. We like to use these as a last resort for preventing the water main water pipes from freezing and ultimately, keep the toilet pipes from freezing.
Because they are the most expensive and getting a positive result from them is almost guaranteed. If all those other methods fail, this is your go-to.
Attach the thermostat on the body of the pipe that you wish to heat. Use electric tapes to keep it stuck on the pipe. Then, wrap the tape across the pipe making spirals.
Try not to keep a lot of distance between the spirals. Stick the end of the tape to the pipe with electric tape too. Then, connect the power cable with the electric outlet.
Most thermostats are set at 16degrees on these heating tapes. It may not seem hot enough but they are for the heating purpose of the water pipes. Make sure that you don’t overlap the tapes over one another.
Almost all of the heating tapes have a self-regulating heating feature. So, they can automatically adjust to the temperature.
Although the problem you are facing is from the toilet pipe, it is caused by the main water pipes most of the time. We recommend checking those pipes regularly for freeze related problems. Only if you don’t find any problem there, you should worry about the pipes inside the toilet tank.
However, if somehow only the toilet pipes are freezing, then following the trick we mentioned should be enough. If not, then it is high time you consulted a plumber. You may even need to spend some big bucks behind the toilet repair kit. But we hope that it doesn’t come down to that and you can keep your toilet from freezing with our guidelines.