House trap freezes

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Theodore

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My neighbor's main house trap in the basement is against an exterior wall, cast in a concrete bench about 1ft above the basement floor. Problem is, the house is on a steep hillside and the basement facade in question is exposed (from top to bottom) to the open, so when it gets really REALLY cold and there's no water flow for 12+/- hours (i.e. overnight), the trap freezes. In the past, he's tried to keep some water running to keep it from freezing. Or he gets out a heat gun and thaws it in the morning. I see no alternative other than some targeted demolition to break out the trap, replace it (because it will break during concrete demo) and keep it exposed to the basement air instead of encased in concrete, so it won't freeze. Of course, this runs the risk of chasing the pipe as you break the concrete and more pipe breaks along the way. The house is from the 1940s and the pipe is 6" diameter cast iron.
Any other suggestions?

Thanks
Theodore
 

Jeff H Young

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I suppose one thing Id recomend is verifying that a house trap is required by code on this particular job it might be legal to eliminate it
 

Jeff H Young

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Depends where in NY as NYC still requires a trap and outside the city line a trap is not required.
Or even if its in New York at all not that uncommon to find out later the job isnt in the same city or state as their tag lists. trap is buried in concrete
 

Theodore

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Why not buy heat tape or a space heater or insulate the trap?
Trap and pipe to/from is currently encased in concrete bench against exterior wall (about 8" thick at its shallowest facade), so that won't work (without removing concrete encasement). Location is outside of NYC, septic tank system, so not prudent to permanently remove trap. I appreciate all the suggestions, though.
 

Jeff H Young

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Trap and pipe to/from is currently encased in concrete bench against exterior wall (about 8" thick at its shallowest facade), so that won't work (without removing concrete encasement). Location is outside of NYC, septic tank system, so not prudent to permanently remove trap. I appreciate all the suggestions, though.
What is the current purpose of your house trap other than it was once installed? If your code dosent require one (again I dont know whether all places "outside of NYC " have no reason to have one or not? but Id like to hear how its not prudent to remove?
 
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