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Old 01-12-2017, 12:11 AM   #46
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


Quote:
Originally Posted by jag218 View Post
We installed a 'T' in the attic portion of the vent pipe. The 'T' allows access for inspection and in my case to run a drain cleaning spring-wire snake up the vent.
Our vent had a lot a frost on the vent pipe walls, but the snake went to the top where it met resistance (combination snow-ice cap??). Using the snake like a drain cleaner I was able to bore through and open the vent.
It's cheap, easy and in our case worked.
I'm back (initial thread poster) - Four years later we're having issues again. Although I have to say it's been a good (relatively warm) four years without trouble!

I'm interested in the 'T' option mentioned above. As someone with limited plumbing/roofing/vent/etc. skills, I would imagine the 'T' would need to be capped to ensure sewer/vapor didn't vent into the attic, correct? Also, how does one ensure that sewer/vapor doesn't escape through the top and bottom of the 'T' where it connects to the existing pipe? Is there special tape that's placed at the connection?

Finally, for a 4" PVC pipe, would one purchase a 4" 'T' and a connection casing of some sort?

Thanks, again, posters. Your suggestions are appreciated!

Ratchye
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:44 AM   #47
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


Install a clean out wye. Install 180 from what's pictured. A short piece of pipe with a cap at the Y.
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Last edited by SeniorSitizen; 01-12-2017 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:19 AM   #48
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


Edit time kind of sucks, but traditional clean out Y's have a threaded Y with a screw plug. I just couldn't locate a picture of one very quickly and mine is buried in the yard.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:01 PM   #49
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


I see frozen vents here on the flat roofs here and it's not so cold. It's the moisture condensing and freezing over time. It starts to be noticeable around 15*f or so depending on the stack and winds.

I'd probably use pipe heat trace. I didn't read of the post, but I did see where you mentioned about a fire. They are used all the time here in under ground garages, with appropriate fuses. They do burn out, but I haven't seen one cause a fire. (they are all wrapped in fire retardant insulation just in case.) I'm not sure what went wrong with your neighbors.

The clean-out tee is probably a great alternative though.

Have you tried armaflex or similar on the pipe in the attic and above the roofline? (closed cell foam insulation, specially for pipe from hardware stores) gasses warmer, longer, preventing as much condensation.

Cheers!
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:11 AM   #50
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In this case I think a cleanouts tee may be better than an inverted cleanout wye because the angled portion may collect water and either spill some (smelly) water into your attic or even also freeze!
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:00 AM   #51
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


Good point BlackTiger.

With the T we still need a convenient access so I wonder if would it be a code violation to use a test plug with the wye.
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:26 PM   #52
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


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Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
Good point BlackTiger.

With the T we still need a convenient access so I wonder if would it be a code violation to use a test plug with the wye.
I don't see why a cleanout tee would be less convenient access than a cleanout wye. We might not be talking about the same thing. This is what I mean by a cleanout tee.

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Old 01-13-2017, 01:42 PM   #53
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


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Originally Posted by BlackTiger View Post
I don't see why a cleanout tee would be less convenient access than a cleanout wye. We might not be talking about the same thing. This is what I mean by a cleanout tee.

I was only considering the better angle to work with the wye has .

Also, does that T plug seal well enough? I don't believe the screw plug in the wye of my sewer line would.
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:45 PM   #54
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


It's still a santee so if you invert it, it'll still guide the snake. And if we're talking about 3+" vents here, it's not going to be any trouble to send the snake whichever direction you choose.

As for the plug, I silicone it for pressure testing. Best practice to silicon it each time but anecdotally I've seen cleanouts on the drain side hold water without silicone.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:22 PM   #55
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


Thanks. We're moving forward with the installation of a "T" cleanout. With temps reaching a balmy -15 this week, I'm happy to have a plan, and will report back on how well it is working.

We'll also be purchasing a few Frost Free Sewer Vents (https://frostfreesewervent.com/) and installing this summer when accessibility is less of an issue. Hopefully this two-pronged approach will eliminate future concerns.

Finally - I realize my initial post indicated our vent pipes were made of PVC. I should have edited it to say that they are made out of the black ABS material.

Thanks all for your continued interest in this topic.

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Old 01-17-2017, 05:21 PM   #56
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


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Originally Posted by Ratchye View Post
Yep - our pipe is 3". I hadn't thought about the spiderweb idea...hmmm....If anyone in colder climates has experienced these problems and has great ideas, please let me know!

Shouldn't your vent out the roof be 4 inch due to the colder temperatures of Alaska?


The real key to preventing excessive heat loss and freezing of the wet air inside your stack is better insulation. Insulating the exterior of these pipes, mainly as they progress through your frigid attic space, may prevent this excess heat loss. While there may currently be a thin layer of fibreglass or other pipe wrap material around these stacks, it may provide only minimal help. Covering the stacks with better-quality or thicker layers of insulation may be the only thing required to prevent freezing.
Adding more insulation around the bases, where the vents enter the attic, can also prevent quick cooling. If you succeed in this regard, the ice and blockage problems may disappear.

You might want to try this product to insulate your vent pipe http://www.armacell.us/products/aparmaflextubes/

Last edited by Ghostmaker; 01-17-2017 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:24 PM   #57
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


I installed a 24" vent stack kit from No Frost Venting last winter and it works great, easy to install .
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:53 PM   #58
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


Ratchye, how did the "Frost Free Sewer Vents" product work?
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:09 AM   #59
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


This is the first winter we have not had to deal with frozen vent stacks because we purchased one 36" X 48" ELASTOMERIC INSULATION SHEET 1" WALL, cut it in half, wrapped each vent stack on the outside of the house from roof to top of stack, used some heavy-duty gorilla type tape to temporarily secure, then placed two adjustable stainless steel clamps (14" was too long, but that's what we bought, so that's what we used) to tighten down and keep the elastomeric foam in place. Wow, spent about $60, took a chance it would work, and it did! No heat tape, no more sewer smell coming in the house. This was one of the coldest Michigan winters we have had, so for this to keep ice from building up during the entire winter, this is a no-fail fix, easy, affordable and safe (provided your roof pitch isn't dangerously sloped). We did this before the weather got bad, late autumn. May not look overly attractive, but we don't care about that!
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:20 AM   #60
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Re: Frozen Vent Pipe


This is the first winter we have not had to deal with frozen vent stacks because we purchased one 36" X 48" ELASTOMERIC INSULATION SHEET 1" WALL, cut it in half, wrapped each vent stack on the outside of the house from roof to top of stack, used some heavy-duty gorilla type tape to temporarily secure, then placed two adjustable stainless steel clamps (14" was too long, but that's what we bought, so that's what we used) to tighten down and keep the elastomeric foam in place. Wow, spent about $60, took a chance it would work, and it did! No heat tape, no more sewer smell coming in the house. This was one of the coldest Michigan winters we have had, so for this to keep ice from building up during the entire winter, this is a no-fail fix, easy, affordable and safe (provided your roof pitch isn't dangerously sloped). We did this before the weather got bad, late autumn. May not look overly attractive, but we don't care about that!
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