Winter Care Tips for Your Septic System

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Even though winters in California aren’t nearly as harsh as they’d be in some other parts of the country, they’re still cold enough to be cautious. That’s especially true if you have a septic system, since they can be fickle and need pampering during the colder months. These tips from Contact Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning will help protect your septic system for the winter and help stave off repairs.

Insulate Your Septic System

There are a number of ways to keep your septic system insulated during the winter. Keeping the grass in the area a bit higher helps, as can a layer of mulch around the tank, pipes, and drainage field. In some parts of the country a frost blanket can be useful, but you may feel that’s overkill for the Sacramento Valley area.

Limit Activity in the Area

It’s never a good idea to drive or park vehicles, or permit heavy foot traffic, around your septic system. That’s also true during the winter, since that activity tends to aerate the soil, allowing frost to penetrate deeper. In the rare event of snowfall, on the other hand? Leave it. Snow is actually a great insulator for your septic system!

Use it Or Lose It!

One of the best ways to prevent a freeze in any plumbing system is frequent use. You don’t want to waste water by overusing the system, and especially in a climate that’s not prone to extended periods of extreme cold, normal use should be sufficient (and you certainly don’t want to overdo it, since that’ll cause its own problems). But if you’re going away for a period of time when it’s cold out, it’s not a bad idea to have someone check in on your home and your plumbing.

A Few Septic Tank Don’ts

There are some things you absolutely should not do if you think your septic system might freeze, or has frozen. This Link Will Open A PDF Document Don’t put additives, salt, or antifreeze into the system, don’t run water continually in an attempt to thaw things out, and whatever you do, don’t start a fire over the system — nothing good is going to come of that, trust us.

Repair Leaks

Leaky toilets and dripping faucets cause plenty of problems, but did you know they can also harm your septic system when it’s cold? Small amounts of pooled water, common in drains and pipes when you have a slow leak, freeze more easily than a larger volume of moving water. When water freezes, you can end up with ice in the lines between your home and septic system, which in turn can cause blockages and backups. Don’t assume that the problem is too minor to need attention — call a plumber and get it done!

Septic Cleaning, Maintenance, and Repairs

While damage from the cold is infrequent hereabouts, we’ve found that damage brought on by neglect or poor maintenance is all too common. Pump and clean out your septic tank and pipes on schedule. And if you need septic system repairs, HVAC repair, or any other kind of emergency plumbing service — this winter, or any other time of year — get in touch with Ace Plumbing!