One of the most common questions in relation to winter septic tank repair is if a septic tank can freeze during the winter. Technically, septic tanks do not freeze over the winter because they are buried at a depth where the temperature inside the tank combined with the flow of (warm) water mitigates freezing inside the septic tank. However, extreme cold conditions can pose a threat to septic systems.
A frozen septic system is typically caused by freezing in the delivery line (pipe) leading to the septic field or in the soil. Frozen pipes are repairable with injected steam and/or in-line heat trace. Here are some simple things you can do to minimize septic tank problems in the winter.
Winter tips to prevent a frozen septic system
- Don’t shovel the snow where your septic tank and drain field area is – This might sound counterintuitive, but a blanket of snow helps insulate the septic tank and drain field areas from the cold and retains its geothermal heat. Without a snow cover, frost can enter deeper into the soil. As tempting as it is to clear the snow, it’s best to leave a snow cover where your septic tank and drain field area is.
- Avoid walking, driving, or placing equipment over the septic tank and drain field area – While a snow cover can help insulate this area, the snow should not be compacted. Healthy soil has pores that allow water and air to circulate in the organic matter and minerals. Compacted snow is heavy and can cause soil compaction, leading to septic system problems.
- Empty your septic tank if you’re leaving for holidays in the winter months – Regular septic system use helps ensure that the septic tank stays warm. When the septic system does not receive wastewater for even a week, the septic tank can freeze. If you’re planning to be out of town over the winter, it’s a good idea to schedule a septic tank pump before you leave to prevent components in the septic tank from freezing.
- Keep up with routine septic tank inspections – Many rural homeowners prefer to schedule a septic system inspection before the cold months set in. However, a septic system inspection is beneficial year round. Our goal is to identify any potential problems before they become a costly issue.
At SepTech Canada, we don’t just inspect the tank as that’s only one part of the system. We check the integrity and condition of the entire septic system, including a full assessment of the drain field area and the condition of the mechanical and plumbing equipment, alarms, and more.
Scheduling routine septic system inspections can be the difference between a healthy system and one that has you calling for emergency repairs in the middle of a cold snap.
Where to find septic system winter repair services in Strathcona
We offer onsite emergency and general septic system repair services year-round, especially in the winter months when failures are most surprising and potentially devastating. Surface discharging your septic system can carry substantial fines and poses serious health and safety risks.
Call us for immediate response and service for freeze-thaw, back-ups, alarms, pumps, and electrical components. SepTech Canada offers confidential on-site assessment for all residential septic systems.