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Old 01-23-2017, 07:21 AM   #1
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Warm section on the walkway


We had a little snow this morning, and I notice in my front walkway, there is a strip of warm section which extends to the lawn. If I understand correctly, there is where sewage pipe is which connects to the septic tank. The section of walkway is also slightly depressed. Not sure if this is new or has been there from let go. But I noticed this first time. Any suggestion what I should do?
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Old 01-23-2017, 05:26 PM   #2
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Re: Warm section on the walkway


Quote:
Any suggestion what I should do?
Ayuh,..... Nothin',.....

The septic system creates abit of heat,...
The waste water comin' from the house is slightly warmer,....
Must be yer system ain't very deep, but there's No problem from any of this,....
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Old 01-23-2017, 06:38 PM   #3
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Re: Warm section on the walkway


I wouldn't worry about it. You could lift the stones in the spring and re-level them if it bothers you. I am curious; however, that you have a septic tank and tile bed in your front yard in a suburban setting? Not impossible or even necessarily improper, just highly unusual.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:30 PM   #4
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Re: Warm section on the walkway


we have a big front yard, and the leach field is in the front.

I am not too worried about the depressed walkway if it is just due to soil compact. What I am worried about is the possibility of leaky sewage pipe directly underneath the walkway. I just don't know 1) the depth of the pipe; 2) why 4" PVC pipe can warm up such a big area.

Certainly, it is such regular shape following the pipe. If there is a leaky spot, the warm section should not be that regular. Am I missing anything?
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Old 01-24-2017, 03:51 PM   #5
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Re: Warm section on the walkway


Your profile doesn't show your location, but that is a very light dusting of snow which tells me the temperature was barely at freezing and I'm guessing the ground in not frozen. At those temps and with the septic line set shallow, it wouldn't take much radiated heat from the pipe (from discharge flowing in the pipe as well as from the tank) to melt the snow. You can tell the depth of the line from where it exits the house inside. I wouldn't be concerned about it leaking unless you see/smell standing 'water', in which case you have bigger problems. The discharge line only has 'liquid' in it when water is sent down a drain.
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:32 PM   #6
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Re: Warm section on the walkway


That situation looks similar, but not as dramatic as it was when I lived in northern Minnesota (Virginia, MN).

The entire town of 15,000 or so was heated using steam that was generated at the city city steam power generating plant. The steam pipes were buried along the and crossing the streets. Since we had heavy snows even when it was cold, the side streets had depressions melted in the compacted snow at many intersections and pavement was exposed by the heating from below.

It was a unique system. Steam was piped underground into every home. The home's thermostat triggered a steam valve in the basement and there were individual valves in each room. The condensate was collected into a pipe with rotating cups that measured the amount of condensate generated for billing purposes. It was a unique, great heating system since AC was very, very rarely needed. - Driving and navigating the bumps and dips in the streets got a little difficult at the end of a long heating season, but the heat was uniform and reliable. - Even the water heating tanks in the homes had steam piped with steam coils inside. It was reliable even when we had -42F in town (-52F at our plant site).

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Old 01-25-2017, 08:58 AM   #7
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Re: Warm section on the walkway


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Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
Your profile doesn't show your location, but that is a very light dusting of snow which tells me the temperature was barely at freezing and I'm guessing the ground in not frozen. At those temps and with the septic line set shallow, it wouldn't take much radiated heat from the pipe (from discharge flowing in the pipe as well as from the tank) to melt the snow. You can tell the depth of the line from where it exits the house inside. I wouldn't be concerned about it leaking unless you see/smell standing 'water', in which case you have bigger problems. The discharge line only has 'liquid' in it when water is sent down a drain.
I am Eastern Massachusetts. The temp has been around high 30s to low 40s. So yes, you are right. When it was snowing, the temp was around 35. Ground is not frozen I assume. Even if it is, very shallow frost.
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Old 01-25-2017, 09:13 AM   #8
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Re: Warm section on the walkway


It could be something as simple as that bush to the left was blocking some or all of the snow from blowing onto the walkway. Was the wind coming from that direction?
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Old 01-25-2017, 09:14 AM   #9
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Re: Warm section on the walkway


Not really. I saw the snow falling and melted.
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