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    2032Ranger's Avatar
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    Frozen Septic

    Just wondering if anybody out there has any ideas on how to unfreeze a septic system. I have access to the pipe going to the tank and as far as I can tell there isnít any ice in there.
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    What part of the system do you think is frozen? What makes you believe it is frozen vs. plugged or full?

    You have access to the line out of the house or to the tank, both?
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    2004-L130

    2013-2032r, Curtis Hard side cab (project), H130 FEL & 61"bucket, Artillian Modular Grapple on HD frame with Diverter, 2300# Artillian frame w/ 36" x 3" tines, 46BH 9" & 13" bucket, Frontier RB1060, HLA 1000 series 60" JDQA Snow plow, JD ballast box, RK QH, Homemade 3pt multi purpose hitch, 117W of extra LED lights on ROPS and side Brush guards, Ken's bolt on hooks-3x, Ideal Knife grooved R-4's.

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    Official "Groovie" Dude
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    Could your pump have gone out?

    It's easy to test if you suspect a pump.
    Last edited by pcabe5; 01-11-2018 at 07:52 AM.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    This was one of my fears when we had the recent 14 days with below zero temps. Thankfully we had a 3Ē or so blanket of snow on the ground.

    Pump? His looks exactly like mine - all gravity from the house to the tank to the drain field.

    Sorry I canít be of any help. Will be following along in case this ever happens to me......
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post

    Pump? His looks exactly like mine - all gravity from the house to the tank to the drain field.
    ..
    Wasn't sure if he had one in the tank for the drain field. But great point Stan.
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    2032Ranger's Avatar
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    Frozen Septic

    I donít have access to the tank from top. The ground is frozen. I donít have a pump. Itís just a big tank with a leach field. Problem is, I just donít know where itís frozen in that the pipe seems to have all water in it. I just had the tank pumped this summer so everything checked out then. And I donít think itís clogged because itís just been me here and I havenít put anything strange down there. This has happened before. It usually doesnít happen this early but itís been so cold and we donít have any snow here in central Wisconsin. I was thinking about maybe trying a couple gallons of RV anti freeze but that might not be too good for the system.
    Last edited by 2032Ranger; 01-11-2018 at 08:17 AM.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Have you had any snow on the ground? If so, the ground might not be as frozen as you think.

    If it were me I would try to get at the tank lid with my loader with tooth bar. My lid is only around 12Ē below grade. If you could see in the tank it might give you a clue where the problem is.

    This is making me think harder about putting one of those tank lid risiers on my tank so I wouldnít have to dig for access to the tank.
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    Frozen Septic

    I have been thinking about doing precisely that. My cousin, just a couple miles away, did that this summer. Iím definitely going to go over and copy his handiwork.
    Itís been kind a warm here the last couple of days. Iím gonna run out and see if I can get at that lid.
    Last edited by 2032Ranger; 01-11-2018 at 08:36 AM.
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    1990 Push Mower, electric start, rear bagger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    This is making me think harder about putting one of those tank lid risiers on my tank so I wouldnít have to dig for access to the tank.
    Same here. Have to dig down around 14". I can't install an above-ground riser because the access hole is in the middle of our parking area and I can't use a commercial riser kit because none of them will fit. But... I lucked out during clean-up day this year and the Township was throwing away some small sections of 16" double-walled black culvert pipe (I tried to buy some once and it only comes in 20-foot lengths). So I scored a 18" piece that I am going to cut down to create my own riser. I'm going to purchase a square of 3/16" steel plate to use as a lid and I'll weld on a handle. I figure I can keep it about 3-4 inches under the gravel which will be a piece of cake to dig up when needed. It will sure beat digging a 14" hole.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2032Ranger View Post
    I donít have access to the tank from top. The ground is frozen. I donít have a pump. Itís just a big tank with a leach field. Problem is, I just donít know where itís frozen in that the pipe seems to have all water in it. I just had the tank pumped this summer so everything checked out then. And I donít think itís clogged because itís just been me here and I havenít put anything strange down there. This has happened before. It usually doesnít happen this early but itís been so cold and we donít have any snow here in central Wisconsin. I was thinking about maybe trying a couple gallons of RV anti freeze but that might not be too good for the system.
    RV antifreeze wouldnít be my first choice to try and thaw it, Iíd try hot water or maybe some de-icing chemicals like calcium or magnesium chloride.

    Iíd not worry that any of them would harm the physical components of the system, theyíre not corrosive or detrimental to plastic, Concrete, etc. as far as them being chemicals you wouldnít normally use in a septic, yes but think of the cleaning solutions, laundry (bleach), showering soaps, etc that get washed down there. If none of these do any harm to the supposed digestive enzymes in the tank that are supposed to process the waste I canít see how anything to de-ice the line would.

    In the future if there is a long cold spell predicted and you have no or minimal snow cover for insulation Iíd think seriously about getting an insulating blanket or bales of loose straw and a tarp to place over your tank or the field-whichever is actually freezing to protect them from freezing up.
    2004-L130

    2013-2032r, Curtis Hard side cab (project), H130 FEL & 61"bucket, Artillian Modular Grapple on HD frame with Diverter, 2300# Artillian frame w/ 36" x 3" tines, 46BH 9" & 13" bucket, Frontier RB1060, HLA 1000 series 60" JDQA Snow plow, JD ballast box, RK QH, Homemade 3pt multi purpose hitch, 117W of extra LED lights on ROPS and side Brush guards, Ken's bolt on hooks-3x, Ideal Knife grooved R-4's.

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