While it is not a frequent occurrence, septic repair in Grand Junction, CO can be required after a deep freeze. Snow normally insulates the tank and keeps it from freezing, but if snow melts and travels to the tank, it can freeze on contact. Fortunately, this occurrence is preventable. Here are five ways to prevent your septic tank from freezing this year:
- Add mulch: Before the freezing temperatures hit, add eight to 12 inches of mulch over pipes, the tank and soil treatment systems. You can use straw, leaves, hay or other loose vegetation to provide this extra insulation. This is especially critical if your system is new and vegetation is not yet established. However, if your system is currently frozen, don’t add this mulch or it will delay thawing.
- Run warm water: Use warm water every day. Run your dishwasher, stretch out your laundry loads and enjoy showers so warm water flows and thaws the tank. This does not mean running warm water all the time; doing so will overload the system. But maintaining daily warm water use helps prevent freezing. If you are out of town and have a house sitter, ask that individual to also run warm water regularly or arrange to have your tank cleared out before you leave.
- Fix leaks now: Leaking pipes leave the system vulnerable to freezing. If you are aware of a leak, have it fixed. Even if you only suspect one, arrange to have the pipes inspected so you can detect and repair a leak before it becomes a problem. Septic systems often require frequent inspections due to their vulnerability, so stick to a strict inspection schedule.
- Continue watching your system: Winter is no time to neglect your septic system. Watch for seeping or ponding, as freezing can cause the tank to breach, giving you a dreaded cold weather disaster. When these conditions arise, call in a professional as soon as possible so the cause can be neutralized.
- Insulate your system: If the ground is not frozen yet, consider adding more insulation to piles and tank panels. You can replace conventional pipes with insulated pipes or buy a pipe insulation kit from the local hardware store.
If your system does freeze, remember to not add antifreeze, salt or other additives. They may not solve the problem, and can make conditions toxic for anyone you call in to repair the problem. You may also feel inclined to start a fire over your tank, or even pump sewage onto the ground surface, both of which can also compound an already serious matter.
The same is true if you feel running hot water continuously will help. But as mentioned, non-stop water use overloads septic systems, meaning yet another problem for repair. Call a plumbing or septic professional as soon as you discover freezing, and follow their recommendations. Do not try to thaw the system yourself.
For septic repair in Grand Junction, CO, as well as general maintenance service, contact Double Diamond Plumbing. We offer high quality plumbing services, including those required by septic systems. Call us to schedule an appointment.