Tips for Protecting Your Septic System from Freezing Temperatures

December 1, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

While septic systems are built to hold up strong against corrosion, weight in the tank and all sorts of waste materials passing through, it’s important to be on alert in times of extreme weather. This is particularly critical in freezing temperatures, because the cold can cause septic system components to freeze up.

Of all the components, the pipes leading from the tank to the house are the most vulnerable to freeze damage. Leaky water fixtures such as toilets and faucets contribute to a constant low flow of water that can freeze and eventually block pipes altogether. The tank, the pipes leading into the drain field and the drain field area itself are also highly susceptible to freezing.

Obviously, you want to avoid expensive septic tank repairs in Erie County, NY. Read on for tips for protecting your septic system during freezing temperatures this winter.

Prevent frost

Preventing frost is the key to preventing septic system freeze. The best thing you can do to protect both pipes and the septic tank from freezing is to insulate the area. A layer of mulch and natural snow cover does a great job of keeping frost from reaching buried septic tank and pipes. For snow cover to work as insulation, though, it should not be compacted down, and especially not crunched down and solidified into a thick sheet of ice. Snow that’s been compacted down by foot or vehicle traffic can actually cause frost to form, which increases the chances of freezing.

If snow cover is inconsistent or inefficient, use mulch to insulate instead. Mulch can be applied to the top area covering the septic tank and drain field. This material is especially useful if these areas are not covered in grass, other vegetation or snow.

Fix leaks and drain problems

Check the water fixtures inside and outside of your house regularly throughout the year for leak issues. However, it’s crucial to inspect for leaks during the winter months to avoid frozen pipes and other issues related to septic system freeze. Don’t ignore leaky faucets or toilets or other drainage problems. Try fixing them before the coldest part of winter sets in, or schedule a professional septic tank and system service inspection before winter arrives. Doing so helps you avoid repair expenses and conserve water.

Actions to take in the event of a system freeze

Should your septic system freeze this winter, you need to call a septic professional or plumber to check things out and fix the problem. Not being able to make the repair immediately could make your septic tank a holding tank until it thaws. It’s a short-term solution while you wait for the right time to make repairs. If your system freezes, do not dump antifreeze, additives or salts down drains, do not leave hot water running in an attempt to thaw frozen pipes and do not start a fire on the ground above the tank to warm it.

For reliable septic tank repairs in Erie County, NY this winter and throughout the year, call the professionals at Macken Services, Inc.

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