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econdave 02-06-2007 05:40 PM

Frozen Septic Sewer Pipe.
Had a major problem at work today. New building, main sewer line froze. Pulled manhole cover off and heated pipe s#@t started flowing. Frigid temps here, cant do nothing now except lay hay on septic tank and line. Heres my question. My boss says get bails of hay and cover tank. I say spread hay on top of tank, lay a tarp over hay spike the tarp with 10 inch spikes, and add another layer of hay on top. Very windy up on the mountain, he says hay will blow away, I say bails will turn to bricks of ice. any other ideas would be great.

Ron The Plumber 02-06-2007 07:31 PM

I say put hay on top and tarp it.

tvlfleming 02-06-2007 07:39 PM

Is the tank and pipe underground? If so how deep? If not, radiant temp outside is going to be same in pipe and tank with hay or not.

econdave 02-07-2007 06:05 AM

thanks for the good advice Ron the plumber. But that doesnt help me now. I didnt install the tank. I need to insulate the ground until spring now. Some positve input would be great. The tank is about 4 feet down, cast iron pipe. Not enough s#@t in the tank to generate some heat. Only 2 people use this office and we have been in it about a month. What can I do to keep it from freezing again? thanks

Ron The Plumber 02-07-2007 06:28 AM

I really wish I had an answer for you but I don't really know what you can do.

econdave 02-07-2007 09:44 AM

I hear you. Had to open manhole and bust ice out of line again today. I took foam board, cut it the size of manhole cover jammed it down just above sewer line and topped it with hay. Put lid back on and covered the whole area of tank with hay. Ran hot water for 2 hours hoping to get some heat generated in tank and keep heat inside of tank. Will see if she freezes up again tomorrow. Will keep you posted. The manhole covers were covered with frost, I figured maybe I can keep any heat in tank from escaping.

tvlfleming 02-07-2007 12:42 PM

Could be alittle costly but leave water running slow to hopefully keep it open. Heard people who live in mobile homes do that to keep their water line from freezing but in your case it would have to be warm water. Once it starts to freeze up your just gonna add to the freeze up.

grampa 02-13-2007 04:41 PM

Septic Tank
I know I'm a little late with a suggestion but here it is any way. Get a load of cow manure and put it on top. You will be surprised how fast it will thaw out. Good luck:yes:

Chris Norgaard 03-15-2008 11:12 AM

Frozen Sewer Pipe
Check out

justdon 03-15-2008 02:12 PM

The bales of hay MAY help before it freezes up but afterwards its too late. sorta like unringing a bell. YOU must be in Canada or way north of me,,,never heard of ANY septic freezing here!! DONT let the water run cause it will waterlog the system and cause ALOT of expense and troubles!! I think you CAN use that single wire heat tape in the inlet line,,pull it in by attaching barely to a sewer tape then pull them apart when its all in there!!maybe a wire hook that stays hooked while pushing and unhooks when you back it up!! Anyway with bales over it,it shouldnt take MUCH to keep it warm!! Sorta like those rain gutters deicing

majakdragon 03-15-2008 02:29 PM

I hope he cured the problem LAST summer while it was warm. Gents, this post is over a year old. You can find the posting date in the upper left corner of the post.

Chris Norgaard 03-15-2008 05:00 PM

frozen septic
The problem with hay, this time of year, is that it just traps the frost in longer. The problem with heat tape, if it is in a line that carries solids is that things can catch on the tape, causing another blockage. You need to get heat into the system. In the winter, bacterial activitity in the tank does not exist. It is just like putting stuff in the refrigerator. Here in MN, average tank temp is 30-35 F, sewage freezes at about 28-29F. Old post or not, still informative.

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