Why Did My Septic System Freeze?

“I Made it Through the Cold Weather and Now My Septic System Froze!”

I hear this so often from customers that though they were home free. I see a great increase of  freeze ups that occur in the Spring when the temperatures are above freezing. There are many factors that come into play here. So why does one septic system freeze while another performs flawlessly? One of the main reasons for system freeze up is use or lack of use.  As the ground gets cold so do the septic components. The more water and ‘food’ the system receives, the better the chances to avoid freezing. Now we do not want to over load the system, but it was designed to process a certain wastewater load, and if we can stay within the design, we should be good to go. Of course there are other factors that come into play also, such as, location of the components and depth below ground surface, insulation, pitch,etc.

We recommend the following to increase the chance of keeping the  system flowing:

  • Do not walk on any part of the septic system in the winter months.
  • Do not remove snow cover from the system components.
  • Do clean the effluent filter, if present, before clod weather sets in.
  • Do use additional hot water in the winter months, try not to waste water though. Laundry and bathing can add warmth to the system.
  • Do have the system checked by a professional to determine if any maintenance is required. It is much less expensive than a winter service call!
  • Do cover or insulate exposed covers and vents,. but leave vents open so they work properly.

In conclusion, you can increase your chance of keeping your septic system flowing by using some common sense in the operation of the of the system.

Please use the form below or give us a call at 715-356-3020 with questions.




About len

Len was born in 1953 and have been involved in the LaFrenier Sons Septic, a family owned business since high school. He attended college at UW Marathon and Madison where I studied chemistry, physics, computer science, biochemistry, zoology, bacteriology, and other. He also studied Power Mechanics at Madison Area Tech. Len has the following licenses: Wisconsin Master Plumber RSVP, Soil Evaluator, POWTS Maintainer, Master Septage Operator. He is also licensed in Michigan as a POWTS Maintainer and Septic Installer.
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