You may be aware that frigid winter temperatures can cause all sorts of problems for homeowners. Not only can winter freeze plumbing, resulting in cracked or burst pipes, but it can also freeze your entire septic system. Your septic system includes pipes, a tank and a drain field, which all have the potential to freeze depending on how deep they go into the ground and the depth of frost. When a part of your septic system freezes, there’s the risk that wastewater could back up throughout your home’s plumbing. You could wind up with dirty water, sludge and waste coming up from the drains in your tubs, sinks and toilets.
Here’s what you need to know about a freezing septic system and how professional septic installers in Prior Lake, MN like Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services can help you out.
How septic system freezing happens
The average residential septic system has four main components that are most affected by freezing temperatures. The pipe that runs from your house to the septic tank, the septic tank itself, a pipe going from the tank to the drain field (the soil treatment system) and the drain field itself are all at risk. While snow is a decent insulator for soil, driving any vehicles or heavy equipment over where your septic system is buried can compact the snow. Compaction of the snow pushes frost deeper into the soil. Liquid expands as it freezes. So, if your septic tank is filled to capacity, the contents can freeze and push back into the pipes.
What to do if your septic system freezes
Unless you have the expertise and the right tools to fix a septic system problem, resist the urge to try and fix a frozen septic system yourself. Instead, call a professional immediately! Shut off your pump to prevent leaks.
Unfortunately, there are a number of mistakes homeowners make. Do not do the following: Do not add antifreeze, salt or other additives into the system; do not pump sewage out onto the ground; do not leave hot water running in an attempt to defrost frozen wastewater inside the system; and do not start a fire over or near the system to try and thaw it.
Call a professional to deal with a frozen septic system
Calling a professional plumber with septic system experience is your best bet to avoid costly septic repairs and replacements later in the winter. A pro will need to find out what caused the freeze in the first place, but first they will de-ice the frozen septic line and reopen your system. Next, they’ll perform an on-site evaluation of the septic tank system and the symptoms it presents. Once the cause of the freeze is determined, the expert will thaw the system’s pipes using high pressure water jets and steamers. A camera is then sent down the pipes to locate where the freezing is occurring and gauge whether repairs are needed.
Whether your septic system needs cleaning, regular maintenance or any other type of service, Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services can help you out. Call to speak with one of our experienced septic installers in Prior Lake, MN today!