With winter just weeks away, now is the time for homeowners to prepare their septic seasons for the winter and adjust their practices so they can avoid a potential septic emergency when the weather gets freezing.
Here’s a quick look at some of the main causes of frozen septic tank emergencies in Prior Lake, MN and what you should do to avoid or address them.
Proper pipe burial
The only thing that should be found inside any of the pipes that transfer raw sewage and effluent between the various parts of your septic system should be air. Unfortunately, you’re more likely to experience a pipe blockage if there’s any kind of bowing or low spot in the pie, or if the piping has not been properly buried below the frost line.
However, in many areas it is not possible to get the lines buried below frost levels—they need to still be somewhat shallow to be accessible for service and treatment.
Therefore, the pipe burial process during installation must involve the use of bedding. This will not only help you to avoid low spots in the pipe installation, it will also create better insulation. When blockages do occur in the pipes you will likely be left with little other choice than to jet the pipes. However, jetting is not a long-term solution—to ovoid further problems with blockages caused by bows or bends in the pipe, you’ll need to reinstall the piping and focus on better placement and bedding, as soon as the weather allows you to take this job on.
Any system that has pump tanks and pressure distribution should have a supply line laid at the proper grade and should use the proper bedding to ensure effluent drains back to the pump tank, which will then keep the pipe empty in between uses.
Freezing caused by leaks or water trickles
Another common cause of freezing in septic pipes is water that slowly trickles from the home into the piping. This can be caused by leaking fixtures, in which case the simple solution is to fix those fixtures. However, the water can also come from condensation from high-efficiency furnaces that get routed into the sewer pipe. One of these furnaces can produce a few gallons of condensation in a given day, but it won’t be significant enough to flow through the piping unless it gets collected first in a reservoir and gets sent out through the piping periodically.
These are just a couple examples of the most common causes of frozen pipes in septic systems. However, it’s also important to continue to follow general safety guidelines with your septic system, including avoiding putting anything into the system that doesn’t belong there, taking care of the drainfield to avoid compaction and to avoid overburdening the system whenever possible.
For more information about some of the best tips for maintaining your septic system, contact us about septic cleaning and maintenance services in Prior Lake, MN.