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HELP! Frozen septic!!!!!

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  • HELP! Frozen septic!!!!!

    It could be worse, really, it COULD be.

    I did a load of laundry yesterday. Not thinking a thing of it. Then got to work and coworker telling tales of her septic line freezing and the water backing up and flooding her house...

    Panic.

    It was a LONG 10 hours.

    I get home, rush into the hall... no, it's not wet... but wait, the bathroom floor *was* wet... hm. Toilet overflowed? 'Kay, musta flushed just before I left??

    An hour later I go into my bedroom which also has a bath. Smells like fabric softener. Bathtub and shower both have 4" of standing dirty wash water.

    I've had that shower drain freeze in the past, it's on the exposed end of the house, not near any heat ducts etc. When I tried to plunge the toilet in t'other bath, water came up through the sink. On closer inspection, that tub had water in it too.

    I *hoped* that by the time I woke up today the sun would have warmed the house/pipes/whatever enough to let things drain. No such luck.

    SO. It could be ever-so-much-worse, it could be sewage, not wash-water. BUT, I don't know what to *do*. I can't shower or use the sink etc. (I suppose I can bucket-bath and throw it outside--it'll just about freeze in the air before it hit's ground... )

    I can siphon out *that* water I suppose, but that doesn't do the pipes any good... how do you unthaw septic?

    The problem is it simply hasn't been above zero in at least 5 days. NOT EVER in those 5 days. And it's been more like -15 to -20 standing air at night. And there's like 3 feet of snowpack. I've *never* had frozen pipes before, except that one back shower, and it is drained about an hour after the sun comes up usually...

    PLEASE tell me there's a way to resolve this on my own... short of waiting until June...

  • #2
    Go to a mobile home parts supplier...maybe LOWE's/Home Depot, even....and get an electric pipe heater. It's a flexible heating unit that you wrap around exposed pipes and plug into a 110 outlet. It produces just enough heat to keep the pipe from freezing. YES..it IS 'safe' for plastic pipes.

    If the pipes are frozen IN THE GROUND, try parking your vehicle directly over the area and letting it idle for an hour or so. The heat from the catlytic converter may help thaw the ground out.

    [ 02-16-2003, 04:00 PM: Message edited by: shooter1201 ]
    "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
    -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division

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    • #3
      I'll second Shooter's post on the "heat tape." I've got one water supply line for my RV that is made from a special hose that will allow use of the heat tape. I've camped in some might cold weather and never had the water supply freeze up.

      Someone may tell you to try to thaw the pipes with a blow torch, or a propane torch. While this sometimes CAN be done, it's also a real good way to catch your house on fire. That might ruin your whole day.

      Good luck, and PLEASE send some of this winter weather my way!!!!!
      6P1 (retired)

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      • #4
        Using a torch isn't too good an idea. A heat tape will help.

        If you can get to the suspected frozen spot, try a hair dryer, if you can SAFELY use it.

        I've use that method before.
        Optimistic pessimist: Hope for the best, but expect the worst.

        Jack

        [email protected]

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        • #5
          quote:
          Originally posted by JKT:
          Using a torch isn't too good an idea.

          Particularly with plastic pipe!
          6P1 (retired)

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          • #6
            quote:
            Originally posted by Don:
            quote:
            Originally posted by JKT:
            Using a torch isn't too good an idea.

            Particularly with plastic pipe!
            A freind found that out the hard way a few years ago [Eek!]
            Optimistic pessimist: Hope for the best, but expect the worst.

            Jack

            [email protected]

            Comment

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