Ice in bathroom sink P-trap

I have a bathroom sink that's against an outside wall. The vent for the sink drain goes straight through the wall and then up outside the house to the eaves. When it gets cold (single digits), the water in the P-trap freezes into a solid plug and stops the sink from draining. I've put as much insulation in as I can, but it still freezes when it gets bitterly cold. Any ideas how I might be able to resolve this without re-routing the vent line or boxing it in? I've thought about placing a small hot pad around it or hanging a light bulb near by, but this is a guest bathroom and it's a pedestal sink, so anything that I put around the P-trap itself would be visible.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
M,
They make heat tape to prevent freezing pipes. Buy some, wrap it around the trap, and plug it in on cold nights. Changing from a metal trap to a less heat conductive trap made from PVC might also work. I'm not sure that heat tape is safe with PVC pipe.
Dave M.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MPost wrote:

Leave the door under the sink open on cold nights.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joseph Meehan wrote:

On a pedestal sink Joseph?
That's about as helpful as my suggesting to him that he leaves a small stream of hot water running all night. <G>
Jeff
Speaking of freezing things:
http://home.comcast.net/~jwisnia18/temp/snow_text.html
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Wisnia wrote:

I guess "I've put as much insulation in as I can" confused me. In any case, I sure would want my guest bath to be a little warmer than that. It sure would keep the guest on their toes. :-)

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

First step is to decide what is more important. Do you want it to look pretty or do you want it to work? Wrap it with heating tape and plug it in.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
have you tried letting the water drip through the coldest nights?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MPost wrote:

Assuming that the majority of the cold air isn't coming down the vent and that you have already isolated the metal vent pipe from the metal P-trap, try this....
http://www.plumbersurplus.com/ProductDetail.aspx?Prod 187&Cat=0&MfrB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't see the problem. Ice from a sink ptrap makes yummy drinks. You should consider yourself lucky!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have a very similar problem today; I thought I was doing the right thing using the slow drip method to not have pipes freeze, but I now have a leak from the end of the P trap. I'm wondering if I should try to put hot water in the sink and if breaking up that ice will ease the pressure on where the trap meets the next pipe.
Is it typical for water to stay standing in the P trap? I would guess so, lots of rookie questions I have here.
Don't mean to hijack this thread, just joining in on the fun <g>. jtr
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, it's normal for water to stay in the P trap. That's what it's for. If this is an ongoing problem, one half-assed solution is to keep a gallon of RV antifreeze nearby, and pour about 8 oz down the drain on cold nights, after you're done with everything else.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would suggest salt poured down the drain. Been there, done it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Salt might be okay with plastic pipes. I would avoid it's use with metal pipes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.