How To Thaw A Frozen Septic Line

If you live in a place where temperatures drop below freezing during the winter months, it’s a good idea to be aware of what could potentially happen to your home’s plumbing.

Here are a few potential indicators that your home may have a frozen septic line:
• Your home’s toilet(s) won’t flush
• Your home’s drains have stopped functioning

Typically, domestic plumbing can endure cold weather; however, if the plumbing is not used often (which keeps it warm) it’s easy for ice to form when water passes through.

And when that ice forms, you’ll end up with a blockage.

So besides your drains not working and your toilets not flushing, what else can happen if your home’s septic line becomes frozen and isn’t properly thawed out?

Unfortunately, if left untreated, waste can be forced out and can spill into your yard. Furthermore, your home’s pipes could break, causing expensive repairs.

But we have good news! The worst case scenarios with a frozen septic line don’t have to happen. In our guide below, we’ll tell you exactly how to remove the blockage and get your septic system up and running again.

How to Thaw a Frozen Septic Line Yourself

Before you try any do-it-yourself solution, it’s important to know the risks ahead of time. If you don’t have much experience with plumbing, consider calling a professional team like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Cedar Rapids. We’ve got years of experience, a satisfaction guarantee and we’ll do the work for you, minimizing risks.

Should you like to give it a try yourself, please do so with caution to avoid permanently damaging your home’s plumbing.

1. Start by finding your home’s septic system holding tank. You’ll want to find the septic tank cover that’s closest to your house.

2. Since the access cover is made of concrete, you’ll need to use a crow bar to open it. Should you encounter frozen ground near the holding tank’s cover, try digging around it.

3. Using a garden hose with a 6-inch nozzle, connect the hose to a water source that is not your domestic water supply. If you have a utility room and can connect the hose to that hot water supply, that’s your best bet.

4. Be sure to limit the temperature of the hot water you’ll use to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water is too hot, you could damage your home’s pipes.

5. Next, you’ll need to find the septic pipe that comes from your house. Put the hose, nozzle first, into the line so it moves toward the house.

6. Turn on the water from your utility room and continue pushing the hose into the pipe until you feel some sort of resistance, which means you’ve located the ice blockage! By spraying hot water directly onto the ice, it should melt relatively quickly (you’ll be able to feel the blockage loosening while holding the hose).

7. Once the blockage has cleared, pull the hose back out of the septic line, keeping the water on until the hose has been fully removed. Be sure to close the holding tank, leaving it exactly as you found it.

8. Sterilize your garden hose using chlorox wipes and clean it off with wet paper towels.

Thawing Frozen Sewer Pipes – Prevention Tips

  • Add septic tank insulation around your home’s pipes
  • Fix any leaking faucets
  • Use your septic system regularly when temperatures drop to generate heat

Feel like you may need professional help to tackle frozen septic line issues?

Call on Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Cedar Rapids to help you fix a frozen sewer line. We’re available 24/7 and have an outstanding reputation for offering 100% satisfaction guarantees.