- Dig a trench that’s 4 × 26 × 3 ft (1.22 × 7.92 × 0.91 m). Use either a shovel or an excavator to make a hole in the spot where you want your tank. Keep digging until the hole is 4 feet (1.2 m) wide, 26 feet (7.9 m) long, and 3 feet (0.91 m) deep.
How do I keep my septic tank from freezing?
Don’t let your septic system freeze
- Place a layer of mulch 8 to 12 inches thick over the pipes, tank, and soil treatment system to provide extra insulation.
- Use water—the warmer the better—if you’re worried your system is starting to freeze.
- Going away for an extended period?
Do septic tank blankets work?
When to Use Frost Blankets Your septic tank will be sufficiently insulated. An added feature of frost blankets is that they are waterproof and snowproof. They can hold snow, which will create an added layer of insulation over the tank. No matter what conditions are above ground, your septic tank is covered!
How much heat does a septic tank produce?
The good news is in cold climates, since tanks are buried, septic tank effluent on average is approximately 10 to 20 degrees F warmer than the ambient ground temperature.
Does a septic tank create heat?
He says septic sludge is mostly home to anaerobic bacteria (those that don’t require oxygen), which don’ t generate much heat – unlike aerobic (oxygen-breathing) bacteria in compost piles. A bigger source of septic-tank heat, he suggested, is the water sent down our drains.
Can you pump out a septic tank in winter?
Winter is really the only season we don’t recommend pumping septic systems. Unfortunately, frozen ground, heavy snow, and slippery ice can make it extremely difficult for even our skilled technicians to properly dig up and securely cover the septic tank.
How do you winterize a septic system?
Winterize the pipes Shut off the water main and open all faucets to let them drain. Flush the toilets a few times until the water no longer fills the tank and bowl. Drain all appliances, including your water heater. Completely empty your septic system’s pressure tank.
Can septic tanks freeze up?
Water holds a great deal of heat, and with daily use, septic tanks rarely freeze, even in the coldest weather. If you have a septic system that is used infrequently during the winter, place a layer of insulating material at least a foot deep over the tank and extend the layer at least 5 feet past the edges of the tank.
Should I cover my septic tank in the winter?
“If you have a septic system that is used infrequently during the winter, protect the system from freezing by placing a layer of mulch at least a foot deep over the tank and extend it at least 5 feet past the edges of the tank.
Do septic tanks melt snow?
Depending on the depth of your septic tank and if there has been hot water released into it from your home (baths, washing machine, or the dishwasher) – it is most likely just heat. The settling chamber will be full of warm water which causes the ground above your tank to melt the snow.
Why is temperature of waste water important?
Basically, increase in the temperature of the wastewater caused a change in the species of fish that exist in the water body, solubility of oxygen in water (decrease in the saturation concentration Cs), acceleration of the process of the oxygen adsorption, the activity rate of bacteria and the rate of gases which are
What is wastewater temperature?
Wastewater temperatures normally range between 10 and 20OC. In general, the temperature of the wastewater will be higher than that of the water supply. This is because of the addition of warm water from households and heating within the plumbing system of the structure.
Septic Heater Install
Over the years, I’ve worked on addressing a couple of the root issues (the furnace, insulation, and so on), but our system continues to freeze when the correct conditions are met. I just constructed and installed a unique high-capacity furnace condensate pump, which I hope may be of assistance. In recent years, I have become rather adept in thawing the system (see my post on thawing a frozen septic line for more information). While staying at the cabin for the winter would be wonderful, not having to worry about the toilet backing up or the drains not functioning would be even better.
It sounded fantastic.
I happened to be at my cabin at the time, attempting for the third time that winter to thaw out my frozen septic system.
Before I installed the Septic Heater A200 unit, the septic tank was completely frozen solid.
- So, as soon as I received the device, I installed it and turned it on.
- My previously frozen holding tank was almost completely thawed the next day, even while the unit was still operating!
- After operating the machine in manual mode for a day, the septic tank’s contents had thawed to a significant extent.
- I highly recommend it.
OVERVIEW | Septic Heater Install
To place an order for a Septic Heater Model A200 (the only model that the firm presently sells), visit their website or call 1-888-417-3784 to speak with someone at The Septic Heater Company.
The item is sent in a robust cardboard box with foam inserts to ensure it arrives in good condition. Remove the wrapping tape from the unit and begin unpacking it.
The A200 is capable of operating in either a manual or an automated mode. The automated mode is controlled by a thermostat, which ensures that the temperature of the sensor never falls below 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Preparing for installation over the selected inspection pipe includes determining the correct length for the thermostat sensor. The sensor is attached to the bottom of the unit’s base at its most sensitive point (yellow tape, as seen in above image). Unroll the sensor and, once the right hang distance has been determined, tie any extra sensor wire in place with a cable tie.
Subtract 4 inches from this distance, then use this figure to determine the length of the sensor wires. Obtaining a good hold on the sensor and winding up the extra sensor wire A cable tie is used to keep the wire in place.
The A200 device is equipped with a base that is designed to fit over a standard 4′′ DWV (thin wall) PVC tube. This 4′′ pipe is used by the majority of inspection caps. If your system makes use of a different size or kind of pipe, you will need to utilize an adaptor to secure the heater to the pipe. When you’re ready, insert the sensor into the inspection pipe and secure the device in position. The unit should be able to glide over the existing pipe and rest at the base of the existing pipe. The item may be mounted without the need of screws or any other hardware at all.
The device, on the other hand, appears to be stable and has not toppled even after several weeks of usage in windy circumstances.
Connect the unit’s power supply once it has been installed. Only utilize extension cords that are suitably sized and rated for outside usage (i.e., 15 amps or above). Depending on the length required, a high duty extension cable of 12 gauge is typically used in this situation. If possible, locate a power outlet that will restrict the length of your extension cord’s run and avoid routing it through areas with high foot or other traffic flow. If your septic system is equipped with a lift pump, it is likely that your system will have a proper outside outlet for the pump.
Once your device has been successfully connected to electricity, turn it on by pressing the power button on the right-hand side of the unit.
You should be able to hear the fan of the unit turning on and feel a tiny suction under the device’s intake.
The smoke bomb that comes with the A200 Device may be used to verify that the unit is effectively blowing warm air through your septic and drain pipes. The machine works by pumping heated air into the septic system and then back into your home’s waste plumbing system to complete the cycle. Following that, the warm air flow is directed upward through your drain plumbing vents, which escape your home through your roof. The water traps installed in your drain plumbing prevent this warm air from being drawn back into your home and instead route it upward, via your drain venting, and out of your home and into the atmosphere.
- It is critical that you pass the test.
- If there is no smoke coming from the roof drain vent circuits, you may have a blockage (frozen or otherwise) inside your septic system or waste line that has to be addressed before the A200 unit can be used.
- If smoke does seep into your living area, it is likely that you have a faulty drain water trap in your home (usually the trap has simply dried out and needs to be filled with water).
- In order to prevent sewage gasses from traveling backward into your home, drain water traps operate by retaining a reservoir of water that is “caught” in a u-shaped depression in the drain pipe.
Understanding the significance of functional drain traps in relation to the use of the A200 Septic Heater, you should periodically add water to every drain that has a trap (which should be all of them) to “refresh” the water level and prevent the A200 unit from blowing warm sewer air into your home during the winter.
Since returning home, I’ve been using the unit for many weeks without incident and have not had any problems with the drain traps drying out.
Manual mode operates at a constant temperature of 140 degrees.
Water traps may dry up more fast if the unit is operated in manual mode, as opposed to when the machine is operated in automated mode, in my opinion.
The bottom thing is to ensure that your water traps are operational and fully stocked. Filling water traps in the laundry, infrequently used bathrooms, and other low-use areas of the home should be done on a regular basis in any home, but especially before utilizing this device.
Following the installation of the unit, you may want to consider adding insulation to the access lid of your septic system as well as the ground around any troublesome portions of your system. Septic line runs, holding tanks, drain fields, and other system components will benefit from the addition of insulation to assist maintain heat within the system’s components. I placed 2′′ firm foam board insulation over the sewage line runs and under the cover of the septic tank, which is where the A200 heater was to be mounted.
Many people make use of straw or hay, mulch, thermal heating blankets, or other similar materials.
To make use of your system, you must first turn it off. Then disconnect the system for 60 seconds to allow it to cool. Then reconnect the system and choose “Automatic” as the operating mode. The automated mode will cycle the system on and off frequently to keep the temperature at or above 38°. When moving from the manual mode (which was first used for smoke testing) to the automated mode, it is recommended that you power cycle the unit first, because doing so will wipe the device’s memory. Using this method, I was able to avoid the issues that I had experienced while moving the device from manual to automated mode without powering down the A200.
- A steady stream of 140° warm air blowing into the system would undoubtedly assist in defrosting frozen sewage lines and tanks, despite the fact that the machine was not intended expressly for this purpose.
- I put up the unit, wrapped it in insulation, and left it running in manual mode for a day and a half.
- When I returned from my vacation, I left the unit running in automatic mode for the following two weeks while I was away from the cabin.
- However, I did observe that the water level in my lift tank was far higher than normal (the lift tank level alarm went off).
- I attempted to manually operate the lift pump, and while I could hear it working, it was unable to empty the partially frozen contents of the lift pump chambers.
- I achieved this by operating the A200 in manual mode overnight, and the next morning, the lift tank had thawed to a significant extent.
- However, when used in manual mode, it may be a very powerful instrument.
- According to your issue area, you should try to locate your unit above the region in question if at all possible.
Although more remote portions of your septic system may still become iced over (like my lift tank did), you may use your A200 in manual mode to deliver more heat to the system and melt frozen areas as necessary.
Septic Heater – Prevent Septic System Freezing
I wanted to send you a little testimonial now that I have been using the septic heater for two seasons – this will be our third season – and have had positive experiences with it. I own a little cabin in central Vermont that is directly on the lake, and the septic tank is located on one side of the cabin that faces the lake and receives a bitterly cold wind. After three seasons of freezing, despite the fact that it was protected by snow and had been well-insulated, my plumber and I were forced to spend hours outside in sub-zero temperatures ripping off the sewer cover and spending days thawing it out with hot water and a heater.
We endured maybe the coldest winter without snow in the first season, then a ludicrous amount of cold and snow in the second season, and we managed to get through it all just fine!
It is also quite simple to work with – I could easily install it myself if I had to.
Also, because this equipment is so critical, if you ever have spare parts or are considering discontinuing production, please let me know as I would be interested in purchasing a spare and spare components!
To view the brochure in its entirety, please click on the photos.
Open the A300 Septic Heater Manual in a new window. Winterization of sewage systems is made possible by the use of the Septic Heater. It attaches securely to the existing access pipe (4-inch diameter) “SDR35) is installed atop a septic tank, a lift station, or a drop box in the drainfield and is responsible for introducing warm air into the system. The air is naturally vented out of the home through the dirt stack (main vent) that already exists. Installing the Septic Heater is a simple process.
It should be worn in the early winter and removed in the spring.
What is the purpose of a septic heater?
This is the safest and most reliable method.
- In addition, some types of heaters, such as stock tank heaters, are not intended for use with septic systems. They have a tendency to short out and can be deadly. Heater manufacturers do not promote and do not allow the use of their products in septic tanks. A septic system can benefit from the addition of straw or hay provided the material is applied early and in sufficient thickness. But it is time-consuming, attracts mice, creates a mess in the springtime, and has a low success rate
- Thus, it is not recommended. Steaming or jetting your pipes after a freeze-up is time-consuming and can cause damage to your plumbing. Pumping out your tank every few weeks while your line is frozen is both expensive and difficult due to the restricted amount of water available (you’ll need to know where the nearest Laundromat is)
- A freeze-up that goes unchecked will result in raw sewage backing up into your house or cabin. The expense of repairing drywall and flooring can go into the hundreds of dollars.
Installation CabinDIY.com provided step-by-step installation instructions and images for this project. Installation is straightforward and may be completed by either a homeowner or a professional on site. Installed on an existing 4″ riser/access pipe extending from the tank or drop box of a septic system, the septic heater heats the water in the system. Because our pipe is a standard size, adapters can be purchased to allow the Septic Heater to be mounted on any system regardless of the manufacturer.
It is necessary to install a Septic Heater above a drop box or cleanout in gravity systems (with no pumps) or above the lift station in mound systems if the drainfield is frozen.
The Septic Heater must be installed in such a way that the air has a way to escape.
The Septic Heater would not be installed in a mound system (after the pump) since the air cannot vent through the pump in this configuration. Place it instead over the lift station so that air may escape through the primary ventilation system of the home.
- Overheating is prevented by the use of safety mechanisms. The presence of lights installed on the Septic Heater indicates that it is in perfect working order.
- In order to prevent gases from entering the home or cabin, the Septic Heater must be put on a fully functioning septic system
- All traps must have water in them
- And all vents must have water in them. Using the Septic Heater to defrost frozen septic systems is not recommended. A frozen tank, on the other hand, will ultimately defrost. If a pipe is fully clogged with ice, it must be thawed by a qualified technician. In order to avoid future freeze-ups, a Septic Heater should be installed
The Septic Heater Company (SHC) warrants its goods against flaws in workmanship, materials and design as well as in the labeling and packing of the product. Aside from this, no other warranty, explicit or implied, written or oral, is applicable. Guaranteed for three years (36 months) from the day the product is initially placed in service, this guarantee is transferable to the original purchaser. Product Registration Cards must be completed and returned to SHC after the installation has been finished.
For damage to or inadequate performance of the product arising from accident, carelessness, modification, illegal repair, inappropriate application or installation of the product, or corrosion, SHC is not accountable.
The cost of removal and reinstallation of the product, as well as the cost of shipping the item for repair or inspection, should be borne by the customer.
Call 1-800-41SEPTICor1-800-417-3784 for more information.
Q:In the past, we have been able to utilize our camp during the winter months without incident, but this year we experienced some early, extreme cold and little snow cover. As a result, our septic tank froze, resulting in a major backup that was a complete disaster! Is it true that systems that aren’t used as much are more prone to freezing? Some of our neighbors have suggested that we cover the tanks and drainfield with mounds of straw or hay; would this help to keep the system from becoming iced over?
- A: Because there isn’t enough sewage and/or wastewater entering the system on a regular basis to keep the system warm and flowing, a variable septic usage pattern in the winter will increase the likelihood that the system may freeze.
- This is especially critical during the winter months when there is limited snow cover.
- There are various more preventive actions that may be taken as well: Repair or replace any leaking plumbing fixtures or appliances.
- Similarly, make certain that high-efficiency furnaces drain into a sump well or straight into the outdoors rather than into the septic system.
- Pipes that are sagging should be repaired.
- If you have any doubts about whether your pipes are gravity-challenged, see a septic specialist.
- This is a good practice to follow throughout the year, but it is especially important in the winter when compacted snow can cause a frozen drainfield.
- The system is simple to install and attaches into either the drop box or the tank of a standard gravity septic system, depending on your preference.
- There are two options: a timer-controlled heater for $995 or a fully automated heater for $1,395 depending on your needs.
You should use extra water if you are at your cabin during extreme cold periods and you fear that your system is going to freeze. The warmer the water, the better. For example, you could do a load of laundry every day, run the dishwasher, or take a hot bath every day.
Automatic Septic System Heater
Heater for Septic Tanks on Autopilot Because to the lack of snow cover in the northern states and Canadian provinces during the previous few of winters, a large number of septic systems have become clogged. Inventors in Minnesota claim that their innovative septic heater will instantly remedy the problem. Chris Norgaard had the inspiration for the project after his own sewage tank froze two winters ago. The device is made out of a 38-inch-long, 4-inch-diameter poly tube that contains a fan and heater, as well as a 3-inch-diameter stainless steel pipe that runs through it.
- It forces warm air into the system from above.
- The heater is controlled by a waterproof sensor that is suspended a couple of feet down into the pipe.
- Temperatures in the drop box and tank are used to determine whether or not to activate the heater, which is started when the temperature dips below 35 degrees.
- As soon as the temperature exceeds 45 degrees, the heater automatically shuts down.
- The installation process, according to Norgaard, takes only a few minutes.
- It is somewhat more trustworthy than laying hay or straw over the septic system, and it also requires significantly less effort.
- It can, however, be very expensive to hire someone to come out and pump out your septic tank or to jet or steam clean your plumbing lines.
- Furthermore, you get piece of mind knowing that you may travel throughout the winter months without fearing that your septic tank will be frozen when you return.” Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Septic Heater Co., 12141 Gates Ave., Northfield, Minn.
- To read the complete issue, please click here.
Septic Tank Heater: Features, Types, Installation & Caution
It is possible that your septic system will require a heater in addition to keeping your house warm throughout the winter. When doing such chores, the septic tank heater is critical because it retains or maintains the temperature essential for bacteria to work properly. A frozen septic system will be of no use since it will prevent wastewater treatment from taking place. Improved operability and functionality are brought about by ongoing innovation. This is what a septic tank heater is capable of providing.
Throughout this post, we’ll go into great detail on the operation of this device, including how it’s installed, how much power it consumes, and if it’s intended solely for septic tank installation. Join us for a discussion on these and other topics.
Why You Need A Septic Heater
It is a proven truth that cold weather has a negative impact on septic systems. The digestive bacteria found in your septic tank are the most adversely affected by a reduction in temperature since a drop in temperature impacts waste breakdown. As a result of the growing crisis, your septic system becomes inherently unstable. There is currently no way to prevent its use because everyone will need to use the restrooms, wash laundry, and so on at various times during the day. With a septic tank heater, it is never necessary to reach this point.
How A Septic Heater Works
A septic heater is an important piece of equipment for preventing a septic system from freezing. This scenario is frequent throughout the winter months and has produced issues for a large number of households. The good news is that a heater can assist in warming up or regulating the air within your septic system. It works by blowing warm air into the freeze-up areas of the septic tank. These are particularly sensitive places that are subjected to severe weather conditions that result in frost.
A septic tank heater is distinguished by two primary qualities. All of them have anything to do with security. The first feature is a temperature control that prevents overheating. Your septic heater will operate efficiently without overheating or burning out if you use this method of control. The lights on the septic tank heater are another crucial aspect to consider. According to its design, a light or many lights are put above it to show whether or not it is in operation. You’ll be able to catch problems early on, before they become more serious.
Electricity is used to power the heaters in septic tanks. This implies that having one integrated into or related to your septic system will result in higher electrical expenses. Septic tank heaters consume around 1.2 kW per hour on average. The daily rates incurred may be calculated using this number, and you will get around $1.00 per day at the height of winter.
Installing A Septic Tank Heater
It is important that septic tank heaters be built in such a manner that they offer the most amount of heat to the target region possible. One thing is certain when it comes to installation: it can be completed in a jiffy (under 20 minutes). This makes it a popular choice among homeowners who are looking for a quick solution to their septic frost problems. The majority of septic tank warmers will fit into an SDR 35 with a 4-inch diameter. It is simple for those who wish to utilize pipes with lower or greater diameters to adapt them to suit their septic tank heater needs.
It’s important to note that septic tank warmers aren’t just for septic tanks.
They may also be used in other applications. Additionally, these heaters may be utilized on several other components of the septic system. Components such as the drain field and lift stations will continue to function normally in the presence of this heating system.
Picking Where To Install Heater
The location and method of installation of your septic tank heater are heavily influenced by the amount of time it will be exposed to extreme weather conditions. As previously stated, the tank, drain field, and lift station are often the most important components. When the most vulnerable sections are between the home and the septic tank, your heater will need to be built over the septic tank to ensure proper operation. If your drain fields are experiencing freezing problems, you might consider installing a septic warmer over the first drain field dropbox.
When frost problems are concentrated in the vicinity of the lift station, a septic tank heater should be installed over the lift station.
Whatever the case may be, a septic specialist should be brought in to assist with the procedure.
The advantage of hiring an expert technician is that frost problems are more easily resolved.
Types Of Septic Tank Heaters
Generally speaking, septic tank heaters fall into two groups. They are divided into two categories: automatic and semi-automated. Sensors that detect a dip in temperature will cause automatic septic tank heaters to turn on automatically. In accordance with the temperature conditions, this system is set to turn on and off automatically. Your septic system will not need to be monitored while you are on vacation. This guarantees that the temperature remains within permissible limits at desirable levels.
It is vital to have some level of manual control.
Aside from these minor changes between automatic and semi-automatic heaters, there are no other significant distinctions between the two types of heaters.
Must I Use a Septic Tank Heater?
No, you are not permitted to do so! As an alternative to septic tank heaters, you may install insulation in the form of a blanket of grass or lawn over septic system components such as the drain field, which will keep the tank warm. Aside from allowing vegetation to grow, you may mulch the area around your septic tank with either leaves or hay. It is recommended that a thick layer of mulch material be put over the tank area in order to provide insulation. Following this approach, on the other hand, is time-consuming.
Whatever the situation may be, you will be the one who must make these judgments.
Some Caution About Septic Tank Heaters
First and foremost, you must check that your sewage system is completely operational before installing your septic tank heater. In other words, your septic system must be in good working order because it might reduce the efficiency of your heater. Filling all traps, such as those in kitchens, toilets, and bathrooms, with water is a safety precaution that should not be overlooked, according to experts. Gases will not be able to escape into your home if you follow these instructions. This is critical because these fumes and scents are not only unpleasant, but they are also potentially hazardous.
As previously noted, septic tank heaters are critical devices for preventing freezing conditions in septic tanks. This is a great investment since it ensures that your septic system remains functioning and operating at peak performance regardless of the weather conditions that prevail.
In northern Minnesota, where Jim Bertucci owns and manages A-1 Services Inc., it can get extremely cold – very, very cold. The headquarters of the corporation are in Eveleth, which is approximately 100 miles south of International Falls and 60 miles north of Duluth. It’s possible that you’ve noticed that International Falls is often the coldest area in the lower 48 states, according to Bertucci. “And it isn’t all that much warmer 40 to 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle.” Customers within a 60- to 70-mile radius can have their septic systems serviced or new systems installed by the firm.
- Bertucci’s tactics include anything from putting ground cover in the fall to offer insulation to installing heaters to protect tanks and drainfields from the elements.
- Despite being small, the company is inventive.
- “I had no idea what I was doing when I started this business,” he admits matter-of-factly.
- “We entered into maintenance and installs almost soon when our pumping clients requested these extra services,” Bertucci explains.
- Despite the limited number, Bertucci and his four employees do not believe that their devotion to high-quality installations and cutting-edge technology has been weakened.
- “You don’t have to be a large corporation to benefit from the most cutting-edge technology or practices,” Bertucci asserts.
- Jamie Bertucci and Jamie Metcalf, an employee of Bertucci’s, are both full-time vacuum truck operators.
Sam Leatte is responsible for the delivery, servicing, and upkeep of the company’s fleet of more than 200 portable bathroom units.
The weather is changing.
Some “truths” regarding how septic systems work in cold areas have been altered in two of the previous four years as a result of abnormally mild temperatures during and immediately after snowfalls.
As Bertucci explains, “it is the removal of snow cover that has forced the onsite wastewater system components to act in an understandably different manner.” In the winter, snow serves as an excellent insulation, shielding everything beneath it from the freezing temperatures of the air above.
The average number of calls for frozen pipes in a typical snow-covered year was around 15.
According to Bertucci, “Homeowners contact seeking answers to situations that we have very seldom seen in the past.” Increasing the level of freezing In the past, failures caused by frost followed a predictable pattern.
Hot water was sprayed into the pipes by company technicians, sometimes repeatedly, to restore their functionality.
It is believed that the pipe was coated in frozen earth, which prevented the pipe from exploding when the water contained within it froze and swelled, according to Bertucci.
Although the entering wastewater contains a little quantity of thermal energy, this is insufficient to keep pipelines and tanks from being iced over.
As debris arrives at the entrance, it begins to collect on the ice surface, where it subsequently freezes, causing the first detrimental consequences.
All too soon, the entire building’s sewer system is overflowing, resulting in a backlog for the homeowner.
The floats can no longer activate the pump.
Until the effluent delivery line from the upstream tank is completely filled, the water level continues to increase.
In search of solutions Bertucci and his colleagues have been invited to discussion tables and seminars as a result of this pattern of system behavior.
In his own words, “I do not believe in global warming except as a continuation of natural cycles that have been going on for thousands or millions of years.” When we witness a shift from short-term, random occurrences to long-term shifts, the industry will be forced to make major adjustments to system design, installation and operation,” says the author.
- There are two pressing problems, according to Bertucci: how to safeguard current systems from freezing temperatures that penetrate deeper into the earth, and how to design and install new systems to counteract the same circumstances that present now.
- In addition, the service providers have gone outside of the onsite business for ideas and technology that they may take and modify.
- This submersible heater is placed prior to the onset of the winter freeze.
- “That’s a significant amount of additional effort that might have been avoided,” he adds.
- These heaters provide chances for maintenance and servicing, but they also raise the running expenses for the property owner.
- What about the pipes, do you think?
- To combat the frigid environment of northwestern Minnesota, Bertucci has upgraded some of his systems with a device known as a Septic Heater, which was created in that region and is offered by the Septic Heater Co.
Additionally, this gadget is operational around the clock much like the submersible heaters.
A-1 Services has installed a number of these heaters, and the owners have expressed satisfaction with the results.
Some landowners have been successful in keeping their crops from freezing by spreading several inches of straw on the ground above the absorption area.
In the absence of snow, straw can be used as an excellent alternative.
Problem-solving techniques The terms “triage” and “septic” system are not commonly associated with one another, but triage is the term Bertucci uses to characterize his approach to call response, and then to whatever circumstance he finds himself in or on the ground after that.
The prospect of probing to locate underlying structures is out of the question when the earth is frozen for miles around, according to him.
Occasionally, in cold locations, a backhoe is fitted with a frost hook, which allows it to break through concrete-hard frozen ground.
Every activity, whether it’s system installation, pumping, or thawing, necessitates the use of the appropriate tools and equipment.
A total of four Chevrolet pickup trucks and a 2003 Ford E250 service van round out the fleet.
As shifting conditions produce new issues for homes, Bertucci may be seen most of the time in or near a vacuum truck, a backhoe, or in a meeting, addressing the traditional and unorthodox demands of his clients.
Starting with thorough observations, which then solidify into conclusions that lead to solid ways that are able to tackle the new problems Mother Nature delivers to our business, the process is complete.
Ice-Covered Septic Tanks Freeze Pumpers in Their Tracks
A septic tank’s contents are frozen, and Jody Forest, owner of Forest Septic Tank Services, is standing on top of them.
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Receive articles, stories, and videos about septic tanks delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Septic Tanks+ Receive Notifications For the most part, the current polar vortex has left its imprint on the United States. Septic systems are no exception to this rule. We’ve heard several stories of septic system problems affecting Midwest businesses as the frost reached record depths and snowfall began to taper off. There is little question that those of you who live in the Northern hemisphere have been touched by similar difficulties.
- The incidence of septic tank freeze-ups has increased across the country as a result of a lack of regular use.
- However, for onsite experts, subzero temperatures and limited snow cover mean more emergency calls and working in uncomfortable circumstances, among other things.
- The firm specializes in septic tank pumping and inspections for residential and commercial customers, as well as grease trap pumping.
- conditions that could not have been predicted Forest has been in the industry for more than two decades, and he has never seen anything like this winter before.
- “This year, we’ve seen a few with ice on them.
With temperatures that are below normal and snowfall that is unprecedented, As a result of the severe drought that has gripped most of the region, requesting more snow may sound absurd, but according to the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center, snow helps to retain the heat from sewage and geothermal heat from deep soil layers.
- The majority of the issues Forest encountered were related to homeowners who went on winter vacations and left their septic tanks unused and unsupervised in their homes.
- “This has been the coldest winter on record,” he claims.
- As a result, we didn’t really get much snow cover.” Access risers are required on all septic tanks in Iowa, making it easier for installers and pumpers to get access.
- A 1-, 2-, or 3-inch coating of ice was found in nearly every riser that was opened, according to the author.
- A temporary heat source may be supplied to the tank using steam or hot water and an insulating layer of straw to defrost the contents, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
- Forest and his colleagues used a variety of tactics to defrost the ice, including the use of warming blankets and portable heaters, according to Forest.
- In addition, Forest reports that there is a month-long wait for ground heater rentals in the region.
Snowbirds and houses with minimal water usage will be advised to install a permanent insulating blanket to provide further frost protection and to prevent freeze-ups in the future.
“I would, and I’m sure some of my customers would as well.
As an example of a remedy, Forest is willing to include riser insulation in his list of services to protect systems from freeze-ups, but only at an additional expense to the customer.
There is a snowball effect.
Before a home may be sold in Iowa, the state’s Time of Transfer inspection statute mandates that every residential system be cleaned and inspected.
In this particular instance, the waiver is for frozen tanks that are unable to be thoroughly examined.
As a result, Forest presently has a backlog of 40 inspections that must be completed as soon as the weather cooperates.
Despite the fact that you cannot foresee a record-breaking cold winter, you may prepare yourself for periods of prolonged freezing.
If you’re seeing similar freeze-up problems with septic tanks in your service region, follow these recommendations from the University of Minnesota to educate residents and reduce your hassles next winter:
- Increase the overall amount of insulation in the system. Mulch the tank and soil treatment system with an 8- to 12-inch layer of organic material (straw, leaves, hay, etc.). This would be beneficial for new systems that were put late in the year and had no established vegetative cover. Educate homeowners on the need of keeping grass longer in the late summer and autumn over their tanks and soil treatment areas in order to provide more insulation and aid with snow retention. Water conservation is usually preferable to wasteful consumption, but if freezing is a concern, homeowners should be asked to raise low water use to regular water use to avoid ice buildup. However, it is not recommended that homeowners leave the water flowing all of the time because this will cause the system to become hydraulically overloaded. If a homeowner will be away for a lengthy period of time, it is recommended that they plan ahead of time. If a neighbor or acquaintance uses substantial quantities of water in the residence on a regular basis or pumps off the tank before departing, this might be a solution. When checking systems, be certain that all risers are protected by covers. As an example, insulated coverings are the finest option. If the top of the septic tank is within 2 feet of the surface of the ground, it should be sealed and insulated.
Preventing Septic Issues During the Winter
While you are huddled inside your house, trying to remain warm during the severe winter months, your septic system may be struggling to keep up with the extreme cold. Septic systems are built to withstand extreme temperatures, but if they are not protected and maintained, they may be damaged by freezing temperatures. By covering your system, you may avoid septic problems throughout the winter. Here are some precautions you can take to keep your system protected throughout the winter months, as well as what to do if you experience problems as a result of cold temperatures or freezing temperatures.
How to Protect Your Septic System During the Winter
There is always the potential that your septic system will freeze if the temps drop below the freezing point. The pipes that run from your home to your septic tank, in particular, are particularly vulnerable to freezing. It is also possible for the tank, drainfield, and pipelines leading to the drainfield to freeze.
Winterize Your Plumbing Pipes
If you do not intend to remain in your home during the winter, it is advisable to winterize your pipes in order to prevent them from freezing and break throughout the season. Emptying the water heater and draining all of the water from the pipes constitutes this procedure. It is common practice for some homeowners to add antifreeze to their systems; however, doing so is not suggested for those who have a septic system since it will harm the microorganisms in the tank.
Avoid Compacted Snow
While snow may function as an excellent insulator for the pipes that link your septic system to your home, you must take care to ensure that the snow does not become compacted. It is necessary for the survival of microorganisms in your septic tank that they have access to pore space, which allows water and air to flow freely among the materials in the tank. When the earth around your septic system becomes compacted, there is no area for air and water to travel through. If the snow becomes compacted on top of the system, it might cause ice to sink deeper into the tank, causing it to become unable to function.
In the event that there isn’t enough snow to offer adequate insulation for your system, you may have to add additional insulation yourself. Straw, leaves, mulch, or hay can be used to add additional insulation to your home. The addition of insulation materials to external pipes is possible; nevertheless, it is recommended that a skilled expert perform this task. You might end up with loosened pipes or damage to your plumbing system if you do this yourself. Expert plumbers, like as our team at Peak Sewer, are committed to putting in place preventative measures in order to avoid problems in the first place.
Contact us for more information.
Fix Leaky Faucetsand Toilets
However, while it is generally advised that you let a trickle stream of water to run from your taps to prevent freezing, allowing leaks to continue in your house can result in problems with your septic system as well.
As a result of these leaks, water will be able to enter the septic system, making it difficult for bacteria to replenish themselves in the septic tank. If there aren’t enough bacteria in the tank to break down waste, heat output will reduce, which might result in the tank being frozen.
How to Solve Septic System Problems in the Winter
We’d love to tell you that you can cure septic problems on your own throughout the winter, but the fact is that you should hire a professional to handle these difficulties for you instead. Make sure to avoid making the following blunders if you decide to take care of the situation yourself:
- Antifreeze and salt should not be used in the cooling system. As previously stated, this has the potential to severely impact the natural microorganisms in your septic tank. Fire should never be used to defrost the system
- This is just something we want to point out since someone somewhere has attempted it. It is not necessary to run water continuously to defrost the system. The fact is that, while this may be an effective preventative approach in certain circumstances, it will not solve the problem. Please do not flush hot water down the drain. A total blockage may result in the rupture of your pipes
- However, this is not always the case.
The only DIY that is risk-free is to heat the part of pipe that has been frozen. This only works if you are able to get entry to the place in a safe manner. To thaw out the pipe, use a heat lamp or an electric heater to warm the air and melt any ice that has formed; otherwise, it is advised that you bring in the pros.
Call the Experts!
Technicians that are well-trained and educated have the equipment and abilities necessary to thaw frozen septic pipes and re-open your system. Professionals are the most qualified to assess the symptoms of your septic system and determine the root cause of the problem. They can discover the source of the freezing with the help of specific gear such as cameras, and they can assess what sort of repairs are necessary. Using heat tape and tank heaters, plumbers can assist your system maintain a consistent temperature even if it is not completely frozen.
Whatever the problem, the root cause of the freezing must be identified and corrected in order to avoid refreezing in the future.
Most importantly, you should not leave the health of your septic system to chance during the winter months.
If you’re ready to prepare your septic system for winter, or if you need assistance with a septic system problem, please contact us right now!