Salt thaws frozen drain lines
Gregory Savas’s tip Thawing frozen drain lines is an elegant and foolproof solution to the problem, but I think my method is simpler and just as effective. I faced a similar situation years ago when I kept my car in a heated shop. The floor drain dumped into a dry well that was located just beyond the foundation. So when slush dripped off my car at night, the water would freeze in the drain line where the pipe exited the foundation. The result: slippery ponds of water in the shop.
After shoveling the water out of the shop a few times, I reasoned that salt brine not only will melt ice, but it’s also heavier than plain water. And because the drain sloped down to the frozen plug, maybe the brine would unclog my drain line. I dumped a half-cup of salt in the drain and headed for the house. Sure enough, the next morning the floor was dry. Now any time I see water on the floor, I simply dump some salt on or near the drain and forget about it.
James D. Nelson, Woodville, WI