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Last Updated on August 16, 2022 by acechapman

More than 250,000 Americans experience frozen toilet pipes or burst pipes every year. It is estimated that between 11% and 20% of homeowners insurance claims are caused by water damage and freezing. Frozen pipes and related water damage can lead to insurance claims exceeding thousands of dollars.

It is important to keep your toilet pipes from freezing. It is really easy to do. You just need to pour the plumber’s antifreeze into your empty toilet tank, and then flush it down the drain.

Continue reading to learn more about the toilet winterizing method and two other methods.

How to keep your toilet pipes from freezing

Winterizing your toilets and pipes is different than winterizing other parts of your home. This is because toilets have a ballcock, which allows water to enter the tank. The ballcock is an effective way to prevent pipes from freezing.

A plumber’s antifreeze is the best way to prevent frozen toilet pipes. Anti-freeze can also be used to prevent the pipes and radiators from freezing. Your toilet anti-freeze will be different than the one you use in your car.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Plumber’s anti-freeze
  • Protective goggles

Below are steps to prevent your toilet pipes from freezing with a plumber’s antifreeze:

Drain the toilet

To winterize your toilet, you must drain all water from it. You can do this by simply holding the flush handle down, while the system is fully charged. The water will start to drain from the tank if you keep the handle down until it starts moving through the pipes.

This will remove the ballcock. Keep the handle down until the tank is empty. After the tank has drained, you can then release the handle and close the valve.

Put on protective goggles

Next, you will need to wear protective goggles. Your delicate eyes can be seriously damaged by anti-freeze. It is important to protect your eyes in case of any liquid spills from the tank.

Add Plumber’s Anti-Freeze

After the tank has been empty, and you have your eyes protected, it’s time to add the plumber’s anti-freeze. Also, you should make sure you choose a non-toxic antifreeze designed for plumbing systems. The anti-freeze should be poured into the tank and not the bowl. To flush the antifreeze into your bowl, hold the toilet handle down again.

Winterize the Draining System

After you have lowered the handle, the water should be drained from the lines. You should now winterize the drainage pipes. You will also need to winterize your trap.

By blocking the drain with the water, the trap stops sewer gases from entering your home. Each sink will have a trap under its drain. Place about 1/2 cup plumber’s antifreeze under each sink.

Make sure the water heater is turned on before you disconnect the compressor.

frozen toilet pipes

There are other ways to prevent frozen toilet pipes

These are also other ways to keep your toilet pipes frozen:

Insulate The Exposed Pipes

Insulating around exposed water pipes is another way to prevent frozen toilet pipes. This freezing prevention method is simple enough to do and very affordable.

Insulating pipes in unheated areas is a good idea. Exposed water pipes can be found in many places, including exterior walls, unheated garages, and floor cavities above unheated crawl space floors, as well as unheated attics.

There are many ways to insulate exposed pipes. One popular option is to add foam pipe sleeves to the pipe’s outside. This is a cost-effective and simple option. You should choose a pipe sleeve suitable for high temperatures.

Pipe wrap can be used to insulate exposed pipes. Flexible foam, foam and foil bubble film, rubber, as well as foam-and-foil pipe wrap, are all options. Start by attaching the insulation to one end of your pipe. Wrap the insulation around the pipe making sure no exposed areas. Then, secure the ends of the insulation strip with tape.

Install electrical heat cables

Installing heat cables can also prevent toilet pipes from freezing. These handy little gadgets plug into standard 120V outlets and heat pipes automatically if they fall below a specified temperature. You can unplug your electrical heat cable whenever you are done using it.

You can use the electric heat cables by following the instructions. The cables are easy to use and the instructions are clear.

To attach the heating cable to your pipe, you will also need electrical tape. You should ensure that the tape you use has a suitable heat rating. You should specify the required heat rating on any heating cable that you purchase.

frozen toilet pipes

Most Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens if Pipes Freezes?

Frozen pipes can cause serious damage to your property and pose a danger. Here are some things that can happen when pipes freeze

  • Frozen pipes can block water flow.
  • Frosted pipes expand because of the expansion of water when frozen. This causes the pipe to expand.
  • Frozen pipes can burst. This is because when water freezes, pressure builds between the blocked faucet and the pipe, which causes it to burst.

How can you tell if your pipes are frozen?

These are the signs to look for when your pipes freeze:

The correct temperature

Pipes can’t freeze if the temperature is not right. Therefore, take precautions to keep your pipes from freezing if the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Frost on the Pipe

You can see some pipes with your eyes, such as the ones under your sinks. If there is frost on the outside of the pipe it can be a sign that the pipe has frozen.

Strange Smells

A frozen pipe can also be identified by strange smells coming from the drain or faucet. This is because the frozen area will cause odors to flow up into your property and not down through the plumbing.

The Faucet Does Not Produce Water

A faucet that does not produce water may have frozen.

What do you do if you have frozen toilet pipes?

It is crucial to quickly thaw frozen toilet pipes to prevent any further damage. You can use space heaters and hairdryers to melt the frozen pipe if you feel confident doing it yourself.

Wrapping up

Nobody wants to have to deal with burst pipes or a flood because of frozen toilet pipes. Winterizing your plumbing system goes beyond making sure that the heat is consistent. Your local plumber can help you ensure that your pipes don’t freeze in winter, including your drains and toilet supply lines.

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