Tips on Caring for Your Septic Tank During Cold Weather
Cold winter weather can bring with it all sorts of challenges and potential issues. If your home has a septic system, one such potential problem could be it freezing due to the cold. For this reason, it is essential that you take a few precautions to protect your septic tank from the cold.
Make Sure Your Septic Tank Is Well Insulated
If your septic tank was designed correctly, is working right and gets used at least occasionally, it really shouldn’t ever freeze. However, it is vital that your septic tank is covered with a good layer of dirt as this helps to insulate it from the cold air. If the dirt above the tank was recently dug up for any reason and is somewhat loose, this can reduce the amount of insulation and potentially cause it to freeze. Should this be the case, you may want to consider adding additional insulation over the tank in the form of a blanket or tarp. In addition, you should avoid shoveling snow away from above the tank if possible as this will also help to keep it better insulated.
Avoid Driving Over the Septic Tank as Much as Possible
Although the soil on top of your septic tank shouldn’t be too loose, being too compacted can also lower its insulating ability. Driving over the top of the tank when the ground is wet or snowy compacts the soil and thus lessens the amount of insulation it provides. For this reason, you should try to avoid driving directly over the top of the tank whenever possible.
Don’t Let Your Septic System Sit Unused for Too Long
Part of the reason that your septic tank usually shouldn’t freeze is that it will usually receive some warmth from the wastewater flowing into it. When combined with the additional heat from the bacterial action going on inside the tank, this is usually enough to prevent it from freezing if the tank is well insulated. However, the chance of the tank freezing greatly increases if it sits unused for a long period of time during cold weather. Therefore, if the building isn’t in use, it is always a good idea to flush the toilets or turn the sinks on periodically to help prevent the tank from freezing.
Make Sure Your Plumbing Isn’t Leaking
A running toilet or small plumbing leak may also cause the pipes leading to the tank or the tank itself to freeze. Running water down the pipes to the tank is always a good idea, but a small trickle of water from a leak can definitely be a bad thing. For the same reason, never drain gutter water into your septic system.
If you think your septic tank needs to be pumped, you should always have this done before the winter to avoid any potential issues. Whether you’re in need of septic tank installation, repair or pumping, the professional team at FloHawks Plumbing + Septic can handle it all. With locations in Belfair, Covington, Gig Harbor, Lacey, Tacoma, Pacific and Puyallup, we offer in a wide range of residential and commercial plumbing services to customers all across Washington. Whether you’re in need of drain cleaning, plumbing repair, gas repiping or need your water heater or water softener serviced, FloHawks Plumbing + Septic is here to help. For more information, contact us today.