Hell Freezes Over: How To Repair A Frozen Septic Tank
There’s nothing good about a frozen septic tank, but sometimes it does happen. Frost can build up on the soil over the tank and cause it to freeze. It can also make it difficult to access the tank. However, it’s not impossible and, for the adventurous do-it-yourselfer, it poses a challenge. It’s tragically easy to determine when your septic tank is frozen. When you begin using flushing toilets, doing laundry and other plumbing-related activities and sewage begins to back up in, say, your tub, and it’s freezing outside, there’s a good chance your septic tank is frozen due to the fact that the septic system is a pump system and is vulnerable to the cold.
Steps To Take To Repair A Froze Septic Tank
Here In Salt Lake City
The first thing to do is to turn off your water main. We have a blog post dedicated to doing just that. Following this basic step, the real fun begins. You’ll have to access your tank, which probably means getting the pickaxe out of the garage or shed and start digging. When you break through the frost you can then lift the lid to your septic tank and determine if it is, in fact, frozen. The surface will be frozen. Chip through that to get to the liquid effluent beneath the ice. If the tank baffles are iced over, it’s best to call in a Salt Lake City plumber. As you can see, this is definitely only for those with a strong back and a little background in construction, working with tools and so forth.
You’ll then want to drain the pipes, usually in the basement of your home. Remove the large PVC drain plug/nut to the drain pipe that exits the house. Place at least a 30 gallon plastic trash bin to catch waste. Rest assured that it’s coming.
- Connect one end of a hose to your water heater and the other end deep into the drain pipe. Turn on your well pump and the valve to the hot water heater.
- After a short period of time, 10-15 minutes, you should begin to melt a hole in the ice in the drain pipe. It should now begin flowing freely.
- Continue to run the hot water into the tank for another 15 minutes and thaw as much of the frozen septic tank pipe as possible.
- Listen for the drain pipe the septic tank pump turn on and pump up effluent to the leach field.
- Once you are certain the frozen septic tank is thawed and back to working order, screw the PVC drain plug back on and re-cover the septic tank with the frozen soil. Adding some hay around your tank will provide it with extra insulation.
- Once spring rolls back around, call a professional to complete a comprehensive inspection of your Salt Lake City septic tank for cracks or other problems.
A Plus Salt Lake City Plumbers Are On Your Side!
We’re always looking for ways to save you money. Should your septic tank freeze and you’re the adventurous type, then the above is an effective step-by-step repair for thawing frozen septic tanks in Salt Lake City. The structural details of your home may be different, so be sure to call with any questions you may have.