Issues with freezing septic tanks
Why are plumbing problems caused during some winters and not during others?
This question can be a frustrating one to ponder. When It seems as if there have been no changes made to the way your home is operated, the winter may not even seem as harsh as others you have experienced, yet there it is, a septic system that is freezing and a huge mess!
Freezing Issues with Septic Systems
Septic systems, in reality, can freeze for a variety of reasons, for example:
1. Not Much Snow Cover
Snow is work as an insulator over a septic tank. If there is not much snow, frost and deep freezes can go much deeper into the ground; this can potentially cause your septic tank to freeze.
2. Compacted Landscape
You should keep the area above your septic tank clear of use When paths or driveways occur over a septic tank, cars, tractors, ATVs, animals, and even foot traffic can cause the area above the septic tank to become impacted; these allow for a deep freeze to move much deeper into the soil.
3. Lack of Plant Cover
If your septic system was replaced in the early fall or late summer seasons or it is new, proper vegetation may have not yet covered up the land prior to the cold and snow setting in. Vegetation helps to attract snow to an area; this provides more above the ground insulation.
4. Irregular Use
Do you have a septic tank that was designed for a large family and now there are a mere one or two in the home? Are you away from your home for months at a time, do you enjoy a lifestyle in the climate that is warmer over the cold winter months? If your system is not being used as it was intended to be used, it can start to stress and allow for freezing temperatures to start infiltrating the system.
5. Leaking Plumbing
You know that small trickles of water when your toilet has not been flushed, that you may or may not be able to hear? It is these small leaks in the pipes that can cause a thin film of water to form in the system. These trickles are highly susceptible to freezing; they can quickly build up over time causing your system to freeze completely.
6. Cold Air Entering the System
Do you remember the last time you had your septic tank looked at and inspected? If the utility hole covers and inspection pipes are not correctly reinstalled, or if risers are uncapped, they can allow cold air entry into the system, freezing will shortly ensue.
Although there are septic tanks which never have any issues, the only way to guarantee they are avoided in the future is to be consistently proactive.
Mulch is the perfect insulator, if late in the year you have added a new septic system or if you have changed your landscaping, you can help provide insulation for months to come with a solid cover of mulch.
In the fall, let the grass grow longer and better accumulate to act as an insulator. If temperatures are cold and quickly dip, allow water that is as warm as possible to flow through your pipes.
As soon as you know it exists, fix any leaks that you may have in your plumbing. Never allow a problem to be created by small trickles of water. Double check utility hole cover and risers when your septic tank is accessed, make sure they are tightly sealed.
If you believe your septic tank may be frozen, it is important to call a professional plumber, they must determine the root of the problem so it can be fixed and avoid further freezing issues during the rest of the winner, or as the temperatures drop the following winter again. We are happy to help answer any questions you may have.