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Thread: Toilet Drips and makes Ice Blockage in Main Drain

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Default Toilet Drips and makes Ice Blockage in Main Drain

    I believe the toilet is dripping into the main line and if it's out of use for a couple of days when it is cold outside it is forming an ice blockage in the main line.
    What steps can I take to stop this from happening?
    I'm wondering if it's being used as the expansion tank for the water heater. However, there is no backflow preventer into the municipal water system (not required here) so I'm wondering if the system would need the toilet for expansion.

    Over a few cold days it froze a 4" line completely solid (in the basement).
    Where do I start?

    Thank you,
    Bill
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Is the flush valve leaking and water is going over the overflow tube or is it leaking by the flapper? Shut the water off and see if the tank empties, if it's not going down the overflow.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    I'll check that out, thanks Jad.
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  4. #4
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molo View Post
    I believe the toilet is dripping into the main line and if it's out of use for a couple of days when it is cold outside it is forming an ice blockage in the main line.
    What steps can I take to stop this from happening?
    I'm wondering if it's being used as the expansion tank for the water heater. However, there is no backflow preventer into the municipal water system (not required here) so I'm wondering if the system would need the toilet for expansion.

    Over a few cold days it froze a 4" line completely solid (in the basement).
    Where do I start?

    Thank you,
    Bill
    Are you on septic or city sewer? Either way there should be enough heat in the line to prevent freezing. The only time I saw this happen is when the septic tank was pumped when the temperatures were below freezing.

    John
    Last edited by johnjh2o1; 03-05-2010 at 07:25 AM.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    This is septic, but I've heard of it on city when the line wasn't deep enough outside and ran under a driveway where the frost was driven down.
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  6. #6
    All thumbs Beads's Avatar
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    Why is your basement so cold, are some walls exposed? Are your floors insulated? You must have other pipes there too. What keeps them from freezing?

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    A leaking toilet can indeed cause a ice blockage to form in the main line.
    For that matter so can dripping faucets and bellies in the line...

    There are many drain lines that are not buried below the frost line that work great unless one of the above problems exist.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    The 4" line froze at a place where an elbow is right up against the rim joist and there is no insulation. I need to find the drip.
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

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