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Old 12-10-2013, 09:58 AM   #1
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Frozen sewer vent, can I safely...


I live in MN, it's cold. My sewer vent freezes up every 2-3 days. Can I safely redirect my electric dryer vent to my cleanout to help thaw it out from the inside? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 12-10-2013, 10:16 AM   #2
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Does it freeze up, or does get covered up with snow?
Is this a roof vent or AEV?
Trying to picture how a vent that should have nothing but sewer gas in it is going to freeze.
Got a picture?

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Old 12-10-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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I wouldnt reccomend it myself,it could bring nasty ol methane fumes into house which is not a good thing.
The fumes getting sucked back into your dryer and coming into an ignition source could also be a really bad thing.
Is your stack plastic or cast iron,do you have access to it through the attic?
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Does it freeze up, or does get covered up with snow?
Is this a roof vent or AEV?
Trying to picture how a vent that should have nothing but sewer gas in it is going to freeze.
Got a picture?
The sewer stack ends up with about 2" of pillowy frost on it, completely sealed, but easily knocked off. Then you have to plunge the hole and remove the frost on the edges, it only seems to be at the very top couple of inches.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:37 AM   #5
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I wouldnt reccomend it myself,it could bring nasty ol methane fumes into house which is not a good thing.
The fumes getting sucked back into your dryer and coming into an ignition source could also be a really bad thing.
Is your stack plastic or cast iron,do you have access to it through the attic?
Well, I figured it would be better than climbing the roof and traversing across it (sloped with about 3" of snow on it). I figured the dryer exhaust would be enough to push the warmed gases up through the stack and help thaw it out without too much backdraft. The sewer pipe is PVC, unfortunately our attic isn't very accesible, the previous owner built a chute in the attic entrance and had 2 feet of blown insulation put in.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:37 PM   #6
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What size is the vent pipe below and through the roof?Around here being your basically southern neighbors next to iowa anyway we are required to increase to 4" atleast 12" below the roofline to help prevent this from happening,it can still happen if the stack gets buried though.
Have you tried leaving the hot water running through the sinks to see if you can get a little heat into the stacks?
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:52 PM   #7
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What size is the vent pipe below and through the roof?Around here being your basically southern neighbors next to iowa anyway we are required to increase to 4" atleast 12" below the roofline to help prevent this from happening,it can still happen if the stack gets buried though.
Have you tried leaving the hot water running through the sinks to see if you can get a little heat into the stacks?
Would wrapping some heat tape around 2 foot of the PVC below the roof help the OP any.
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:03 PM   #8
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Would wrapping some heat tape around 2 foot of the PVC below the roof help the OP any.
I'm not sure what the pipe diameter is below the roof, I can't get into my attic as the PO basically formed a chute and blew 2 feet of insulation in there.

I thought about the heat tape too, I heard there is some you can get by the foot somewhere. I also read elsewhere that someone put some low wattage heat tape into the vent 6-8 inches and let it kinda dangle there. But it seems everywhere you look, folks say it's a fire hazard, maybe the low wattage stuff is safe for PVC...

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