Can My Septic System Freeze?
Although most septic systems are buried deep enough underground to avoid freezing, there are elements of a septic system that can freeze including:
- The septic tank
- Pipes from your house to the septic tank
- Pipes from your septic tank to the drainfield
- The drainfield
What Causes A Septic System to Freeze?
Your system can freeze when the septic line isn’t buried deep enough in the ground to avoid frost, or if compacted soil is covering the septic line.
Pipes leading from the house to your septic tank are most likely to freeze. This can be caused by water fixtures in your home like faucets and toilets that have a leak. The leak allows a slow continuous flow of water through pipes, which freeze and lead to a blocked pipe.
Infrequent use can also cause a septic system to freeze. When it is especially cold, be sure to use your system a few times a day, particularly with warmer water temperatures to keep the flow going (do not OVERUSE and place unnecessary stress on the system though).
How Do I Know If My Septic System is Frozen?
Your system could be frozen if you notice problems with your day-to-day plumbing like:
- Toilet not flushing
- Sinks, showers, and bathtubs not draining
How Do I Avoid a Frozen Septic System?
Try some of these tips to avoid a frozen system:
- Before the winter, insulate the area above your pipes, tank, and soil treatment system using mulch or other materials like hay or leaves.
- Stagger hot water use – plan to do a hot water laundry load, or take a warm shower each day.
- Don’t allow anything or anyone to walk or drive over your system as it could cause compacted snow and soil to push frost deeper into the ground at a faster rate.
- Insulate pipes
- If you have an outfall or discharge, remember to keep it unobstructed so that any effluent water created has a chance to get away properly.
What Should I Do If I Think My Septic System is Frozen?
We do not recommend using DIY methods to unfreeze your septic system. Your best bet is to contact a professional septic service like Miller Septic to take a look at the issue. Our specialist cameras allow us to inspect lines and discover the root of your problem. Then, we use professional equipment, like hydro jetters, to safely clear frozen lines.
About Miller Septic
Miller Septic is a local owned company that offers residential and commercial septic cleaning services. We have over 30 years of experience meeting the needs of Northeast Ohio residents and businesses. Our services include: pumping septic tanks, locating septic tanks, providing point of sale inspections, cleaning grease traps and catch basins, hauling municipal sludge, providing leach line rejuvenation, hydro excavation and more! We proudly serve Holmes County, Wayne County, Tuscarawas County, Coshocton County, Stark County, Ashland County and Carroll County. Contact us today to get your septic tank pumped. Follow Us on Facebook for regular updates.