If you are experiencing a backup of waste in your home or overflowing of the waste outside your drainfield, your septic tank might be freezing. This can be the result of many different things, from not using it enough to the outside temperatures. Here are some things to know about freezing septic systems.
The Septic System Isn't Used Enough
A very common reason for the septic system to freeze and stop working properly is by not using it enough. Just like with a sewer system, the pipes in your septic system can freeze due to the cold weather outside. This happens more easily when you don't have warm water flowing through the pipes continuously since they sit there dry and open to the below-freezing temperatures. If you are planning on taking a vacation during the winter, have one of your neighbors run the water while you are gone. You might also experience issues if you suddenly have a roommate or teenage child move out. That lack of use in their bathroom or corner of the house can cause freezing during the winter.
There Are Leaky Faucets in the Home
You might also experience a freezing septic system if you have plumbing issues you haven't gotten repaired. For example, if you have leaky faucets in your home, the leaky water can get trapped inside the pipes in the wall, particularly in your basement. This might cause your pipes to freeze while it has the standing water, which can then freeze inside the pipes. If you have a leaky faucet, make sure you get it repaired right away. Before leaving for winter break, inspect the plumbing fixtures in your home to look for signs of leaks and other problems that might contribute to a freezing septic system.
The Pipes Aren't Insulated
The pipes in your septic system should be insulated during the winter season whether you are home or not. You want all pipes that are open to the cold air to have good insulation, such as outdoor pipes, or pipes that go through your basement. In fact, the basement of your home likely gets colder than other areas, so it already needs careful attention when it comes to your pipes. You can consult a plumber to insulate the pipes properly and let you know of other ways to avoid freezing of the pipes. Ask a plumber (like those at South East Plumbing Service) for assistance if you think the septic system is frozen.