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Emac 01-09-2014 01:16 AM

Toilet tank does not get water and shower does not drain
We bought the house about 2 months ago and we are still learning about septic tank and all that. 2 days ago we noticed that after we flushed one of the toilets the tank was not geting any water( but there is some water in the bowl). My hubby checked something at the botom of the tank where the pipes are and he said that everything seems ok. Today we noticed the shower in the same bAthroom was not draining at all. All the other toilets and showers seem ok, so far. The only diference is that the pipes for the toilet and shower with the problem, go through an outside wall that was exposed to cold weather and very cold winds and they are the closest ones to the septic tank. Do we have a frozen pipe or a cloged sewer drain?

bud16415 01-09-2014 05:12 AM

I take it that it was working fine and then with the cold weather both problems started. Around here we had temps around -10f for several days this week and I have never heard of as many frozen pipes as I did this week before. So there is a good chance that’s what you have. If the drain pipe has frozen chances are when it thaws it will be ok but they also can leak after. Pressure lines can burst when frozen and you may have to get in that wall to repair. The fact that two different problems happened for you at once seems to make me think it was cold related. You might want to think about what you can do to prevent it from happening again also.

Emac 01-09-2014 03:57 PM

You're right, everything was working until the cold started. It's weird thou that the shower has a draining problem, not runing the water, and the toilet has the problem with water not filling up the tank. Is it posible that they froze like that, the oposite, for one water coming in , for the other one water going out? My husband was thinking to put some hot water down the shower drain, also in the toilet bowl and tAnk. Would that work or make it worse?

bud16415 01-09-2014 04:55 PM

Hot water down the drain shouldn't hurt just a little. There is a trap down below the drain so the hot water would have to make its way down the pipe to the frozen spot and without any movement it might not go to far. Now if it was going down slowly and you added hot it should melt fairly fast. Putting hot in the toilet bowl won't do much. You can do that to get it to flush but that drain might be the same frozen drain as the shower. Are they expecting it to get above 32 f where you live soon. It will take some time even then to melt. If you can get at pipes a hair dryer might hurry things along.

nealtw 01-09-2014 05:47 PM

Frozen pipes and drains can burst anly leak when they thaw out so be sure you know where the main shut off valve is for the water. Add some more heat to the bathroom or the pipes below if you can. This can get messy in a hury. Good luck and welcome to the site.

Emac 01-09-2014 07:06 PM

They are both working fine now, without any help from us. The toilet started working with a flushing noise, then the tank and the bowl filled up with water. We had a little bit of water on the floor that was leaking from the pipe in the back, from a "valve" that my husband will change. About an hour later the shower started draining from the water. We did not see any water anywhere, we even listened to sound in the walls. It seems we are ok, thank God.
Thanks everybody for the advice.

Wuzzat? 01-09-2014 07:07 PM

I've heard of thawing copper pipes by running a heavy current through them, like from a welder. I don't know if this technique is an art or a science but it may be a good option if the pipes are mostly not accessible.

For our pipes in an exterior wall under cabinets I opened up the drywall and put insulation between the outside wall interior surface and the pipes.
Closing the drywall will shift the pipe temperature somewhat back into a colder direction.
On cold nights we open the cabinet doors.

bud16415 01-09-2014 07:23 PM

It will happen again if the temp drops again like earlier in the week. Wuz is correct about insulation and trying to get some heat to the pipes. I wasn't too keen on the welder idea but it could work if someone knew how to do it. We brought a crew in to freeze a 4 inch line under pressure in our shop that had no shutoff they froze the pipe with nitrogen and then removed a piece and welded in a tee and valves. When the two ice plugs melted water started flowing. So nothing is impossible.

Glad we could help a little but take the warning and do something as next time you might not be as lucky.

nealtw 01-09-2014 07:59 PM

If you can't do anything to prevent this inthe future when it gets really cold, adjust the toilet so a little water is running all the time. and let the shower dribble a little water. Running water does not freeze.

bud16415 01-10-2014 06:46 AM

Sometimes running water can freeze. Link below

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