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April 16,2022

Can a Septic Tank Freeze?

Even though your septic tank is buried underground, winter weather can be tough on the tank.

If the temperatures dip low enough and you havent put in place preventative measures to protect your septic tank from freezing temperatures, it can become frozen and cause a number of problems in your home.

An uninsulated septic tank is more susceptible to freezing because its not protected from cold temperatures. A septic tank that is not buried deep enough in the ground is also prone to freezing when temperatures dip low enough.

An effective method to insulate your septic tank is placing a layer of mulch (8-12 inches) over the tank. If theres snow cover on your septic tank, do not shovel it because it can provide good insulation over your septic tank.

The other things that cause your septic tank to freeze include:

  • Infrequent use
  • Compacted snow covering your septic tank
  • An improper septic line pitching
  • Plumbing leaks

How Do I Know If My Septic Tank Is Frozen?

Your septic tank could be frozen if you notice the following warning signs:

  • Effluent back up into your house
  • Your toilets are slow and sluggish to drain
  • Your sinks, bathtubs, showers, or washing machine wont drain

If the temperatures have dropped to extreme levels and youve noticed the following warning signs, its best to call an experienced plumber to inspect your septic system and help you restore your septic system to its good working order.

Heres What You Shouldnt Do When Youre Dealing with A Frozen Septic Tank

  • Do not add antifreeze to your septic tank, as it can negatively affect the natural bacteria in the tank, thereby interfering with the breakdown of solid waste.
  • Do not pour hot water down the pipes in an attempt to thaw a frozen septic tank. This could cause sudden temperature fluctuation and increase the pressure inside the pipes, resulting in burst pipes.
  • Do not try to thaw the tank by lighting a fire on top of the tank

How to Prevent a Septic Tank from Freezing

Apart from ensuring your septic tank is well insulated, you can prevent your septic tank from freezing by having a consistent flow of water into the tank. This helps to keep the contents inside the tank warm, thereby preventing freezing.

If youre going on vacation, keep your home heated at least 56 F to 58 F to prevent your septic tank from freezing. It may also be a good idea to pump out your septic tank if you plan on going for a long vacation.

Need Help with Thawing a Frozen Septic Tank? Mr. Rooter Plumbing Is One Phone Call Away

If youre located in Pittsburgh and need help with thawing a frozen tank, you can rely on Mr. Rooter Plumbing to help you restore your septic tank to its perfect working order.

Our skillful plumbers have the know-how, experience, and skills to thaw your frozen tank and re-open the system.

We also provide a wide range of plumbing services, including drain cleaning, sewer line repair, plumbing diagnosis & inspection, plumbing system maintenance, and more.

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