I have a problem in the winter with a freezing washer drain. Can anybody help me on this one? A few years ago I had built onto my house which included a laundry room. They blowed insulation into the attic. Evidently the contractors did not put any insulation on the pipes or drain themselves to my washer. They are in an outside wall of my house. I have heat in my laundry room. I live in southern Illinois and when it gets down in the single didget numbers in the winter my drain freezes. Sometimes I have to wait two or three days before I can use it or sometimes I forget and the drain is froze and I wash and have water all over the place. Please help with suggestions. My husband was going to put some straw on the outside of the house where the pipes are but I don’t know that that will help.

If you know just about where it’s freezing, maybe you could drill tiny holes, from inside or outside, and squirt in however much of the expanding foam (from the spray type cans) that it’ll need.

I don’t think putting expanding foam into your walls is very wise – that stuff can push windows apart, it says so on the labels. If it can push windows apart, it can do the same to walls…and pipes!

However, the idea of straw is a good one. Years ago, before insulation was common, it was a well accepted custom in northern rural areas to stack bales of straw around the house, as far up as they felt needed. There is, however, one drawback. The bales are very attractive to mice and once next to the house, they will find any holes, since the inside of the house is even more attractive to them than the bales. So you will need to be aware the mouse population could expand – a cat or traps may be necessary.

But straw bales are very effective insulation and this is a very quick fix, and will probably last the winter. Just remember to schedule that insulation job as soon as you can. BTW, blown-in insulation may not be compatible with piping which might sweat in some weather. Ask the contractor.

In addition to the type of expanding foam that warns about pushing windows apart, there is a type that is DESIGNED for window and door installation. It is less aggressive in expanding, and should be perfectly safe for inside walls as well. I think this is the best solution, but it will depend on how cold it gets on the outside of the walls and how much heat you are willing to keep on the inside.

One other idea would be to keep a small fan running in the laundry room to make sure that the warm air in the room is able to find its way to the wall where the pipes are. It¹s likely that those pipes are behind your washing machine, and the warm air might not be able to circulate. You may also have some cold air leaks near that area (Is there a window above?). Sealing those leaks could help.

Mine was doing the same thing. mine is in the un- insulated porch. this year i put in insulation, so hope it helps. but i used to just put a small heater out byside the washer when it froze and it would thaw within an hour. then i was good to go. i make sure i do a load of laundry every day when it gets real cold,that way it didn’t freeze. they have that pipe tape stuff as well, you might be able to use that.

I delt with this same exact problem for 12 years… I came up with the idea to pour a small amount of RV antifreeze into the drain pipe after I was done with laundry for the day. It keeps the trap from freezing. Straw bails outside up against the house will also help keep the waterline from freezing.

Thanks for all the input about my freezing pipes. I think we will put the straw up. I’ve just been thinking about pulling the washer out , cutting some of the sheet rock out and insulting the pipes myself. I thought maybe there might be some kind of a heating rod or something like that I could put down in the drain. I know when I was younger my mom put a heating thing in her car in the oil. I don’t know why the contractors didn’t put insulation around them. Its a really small room and like I said we have heat in there. Its electric baseboard though maybe the fan would be a good idea. We’ve also thought about antifreeze.