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Old 01-19-2016, 08:41 PM   #1
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Unhappy Frozen Sewer and Dump Valve

Ok...I am really frustrated.

We are staying in the Tennessee mountains and our sewer line froze with the gray water valve open. I have placed heat tape on the line. I have used Liquid Fire.

Any suggestions as to how to unfreeze in a below freezing temperature?
Thanks!
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:48 PM   #2
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Would putting the cap on the discharge pipe and hot water with salt work?The solution would fill the pipe at the grey valve and the heat and salt should free it up so that you can close it. then remove the cap. The salt will keep the water from freezing if this doesn't thaw it out.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:51 PM   #3
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The Discharge pipe is completely frozen. It cannot be manipulated. The question is HOW to thaw?
Thanks.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:54 PM   #4
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I end up in this situation too often.... I used the wife's hair dryer to thaw it out. Great excuse to sit out side with the dog and have a couple of beers. 10mins or so and even in 14F it will thaw out.

Hope it helps.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:05 PM   #5
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I have put a small space heater under the pluming area to thaw them out. About a half hour does the trick.

Cheers Richard
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:09 PM   #6
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Richard,
Do you mean you place the heater in a compartment or outside in the freezing cold on the ground?
Thanks!
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:47 PM   #7
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Heat from the outside - cover the area and somehow get heat in - hair-drier, space heater, etc.
De-icer and warmth from the inside - regular de-icer/wash will be better than salt (-20deg), and hot water from the inside.
Be happy you are in Tennessee. Here in Michigan you'd have to wait for April!

If you really have to move you could saw through and buy a new sewer line once you drive south to a warmer place. Good luck.
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:46 AM   #8
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If you are talking about the discharge line in/at you rig, I just heat water up on the stove and pour into the system from the inside. Only go outside briefly to check if it has opened things up.

If you are talking about the slinky, good luck defrosting that until you can get it into a warm location.

If you want to leave your gray water open in freezing weather while camping, I buy some cheap foam camp pads at Walmart, cut them into strips and wrap them around the sewer pipe and slinky all the way to the dump connection.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:15 AM   #9
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Blow dryer worked for us but took a while.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:20 AM   #10
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Get yourself a halogen shop light, 300 or 500 watts, shine it on the pipes. If the pipes are not black, lightly coat them with some spray lacquer first.


Brevi tempore!
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:12 AM   #11
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Yes I've put the space heater under the coach, used a sheet of cardboard opposite to contain the heat in the pluming area.
On the motorhomes there is no Belly pan so this may not work as well on a trailer.
Have a hot shower and pour kettle of very hot water down the toilet.
These are other tactics I've used in dealing with frozen plumbing valves.

Most of all realize I'm a Hawaii guy and have only been dealing with freezing temps for the last two winters and that in N Az. So not hard weather that many are used to dealing with.

Cheers Richard
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:29 PM   #12
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Be careful, many a fire has started when thawing frozen lines.

I would recommend either a hair dryer or a tea kettle full of boiling water, which then can be drizzled on the outside of the hose.

You can prevent this sort of thing in the future by having the grey water line slope downward to the drain so that there aren't any low areas where water accumulates.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:52 PM   #13
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Next Time camp in a warm climate...
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepsigns View Post
Ok...I am really frustrated.

We are staying in the Tennessee mountains and our sewer line froze with the gray water valve open. I have placed heat tape on the line. I have used Liquid Fire.

Any suggestions as to how to unfreeze in a below freezing temperature?
Thanks!
I just had a similar experience, but my tank heater and moving to warmer temps thawed things out and everything is now working properly. My valves were frozen closed, and I couldn't open them to dump.

Once you are thawed out, I would suggest watching your weather carefully and generally not leaving that valve open....particularly in cold weather.

Easy enough to pull it when you need to dump, then you also have some build up of grey water to rinse your hose when you need to empty the black water.

Good luck.


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