There is no good time to deal with septic tank problems, but winter septic tank disasters can be catastrophic. The very worst thing that could happen – septic tank freezing – is the granddaddy of all septic problems. So how do you keep 800 gallons of septic yuck from freezing?
Winter septic tank care
To avoid a winter septic tank freeze, the first step is regular septic tank maintenance. Don’t skip this step and don’t put it off. Having the tank pumped before winter sets in can give you extra room in the tank. Having a little extra space can be very helpful because water expands when it freezes. If your septic tank freezes but the liquid inside has enough space to expand, you may be able to preserve the tank. Otherwise, the pressure of frozen liquid inside the tank could split the tank wide open.
Before the snow falls, inspect the tank lid for cracks or leaks. No uninvited water should be allowed into the tank. The tank’s drainage systems should also be inspected for clogs, debris and other problems that can interfere with proper drainage. Eliminate water leaks inside your home, too. Remember – no extra water in the tank!
Keep the water flowing. Moving water doesn’t freeze, so move water through the system on a daily basis. For most active households, this isn’t a problem. Showers, laundry, dishwashing and regular plumbing use should provide enough action to prevent liquid in the tank from freezing. Having said that, don’t allow a faucet to run continuously, and don’t overload your tank. Too much water in the tank can cause its own set of problems! If you’re worried about your pipes freezing, insulate them and keep the heat in your house above 60° F at all times.
If you don’t plan to occupy a home in the winter – vacation property, for example – winterize your home and plumbing before the cold sets in. Have the septic tank pumped, then drain and winterize your pipes. When you open the property again in the spring, have the septic system checked again for any signs of winter damage.
If you would like more information about our winter septic tank services, please give us a call at Clear Drain Cleaning at (330) 343-7146 to schedule an appointment.