How to thaw a frozen septic

Discussion in 'Home Repair' started by kevinmartin33@gmail.com, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Guest

    Bought a cottage late this past fall. The previous owner had uncovered
    the septic system - I think so prospective purchasers could inspect
    it. We were only at the place once before the snow fell and never
    noticed it was open to the elements. This past weekend we went up and
    quickly found out that the plumbing was blocked. A bit of
    investigation brought me to the tank. Since it was uncovered I was
    able to open it up - it is like an ice cube.

    Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    some type.
    , Apr 3, 2007
    #1
  2. mm Guest

    On 2 Apr 2007 20:33:45 -0700, wrote:

    >Bought a cottage late this past fall. The previous owner had uncovered
    >the septic system - I think so prospective purchasers could inspect
    >it. We were only at the place once before the snow fell and never
    >noticed it was open to the elements. This past weekend we went up and
    >quickly found out that the plumbing was blocked. A bit of
    >investigation brought me to the tank. Since it was uncovered I was
    >able to open it up - it is like an ice cube.
    >
    >Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    >pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    >some type.


    Have never done this at all, but... pots of boiling water?
    A garden hose from the kitchen sink with hot water?

    Or just cover it up and wait for it to get back to the temp it would
    have been if had never been uncovered? If it wouldn't have been
    frozen now had it not been uncovered, it will reach that same
    temperature, I would guess, in 3 or 4 days. And then it won't be
    frozen. But again, I'm just guessing. No experience.

    Where are you located?
    mm, Apr 3, 2007
    #2
  3. deke Guest

    Either wait or use lots and lots of hot water.

    I'd drain the hot water heater into the commode and also bucket it
    out to the septic tank and every other place that might be iced up.
    Repeat.


    Of course, only do this when the temp remains above freezing.



    On Tue, 03 Apr 2007 04:20:50 -0400, mm <>
    wrote:

    >On 2 Apr 2007 20:33:45 -0700, wrote:
    >
    >>Bought a cottage late this past fall. The previous owner had uncovered
    >>the septic system - I think so prospective purchasers could inspect
    >>it. We were only at the place once before the snow fell and never
    >>noticed it was open to the elements. This past weekend we went up and
    >>quickly found out that the plumbing was blocked. A bit of
    >>investigation brought me to the tank. Since it was uncovered I was
    >>able to open it up - it is like an ice cube.
    >>
    >>Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    >>pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    >>some type.

    >
    >Have never done this at all, but... pots of boiling water?
    > A garden hose from the kitchen sink with hot water?
    >
    >Or just cover it up and wait for it to get back to the temp it would
    >have been if had never been uncovered? If it wouldn't have been
    >frozen now had it not been uncovered, it will reach that same
    >temperature, I would guess, in 3 or 4 days. And then it won't be
    >frozen. But again, I'm just guessing. No experience.
    >
    >Where are you located?
    deke, Apr 3, 2007
    #3
  4. avid_hiker Guest


    >
    > Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    > pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    > some type.


    I would think since you can see into it; then a bag of salt de-icer or
    something similiar put into the septic and then covered.would do the
    trick........but like others......no experience.
    avid_hiker, Apr 3, 2007
    #4
  5. Lawrence Guest

    On Apr 2, 10:33 pm, wrote:
    > Bought a cottage late this past fall. The previous owner had uncovered
    > the septic system - I think so prospective purchasers could inspect
    > it. We were only at the place once before the snow fell and never
    > noticed it was open to the elements. This past weekend we went up and
    > quickly found out that the plumbing was blocked. A bit of
    > investigation brought me to the tank. Since it was uncovered I was
    > able to open it up - it is like an ice cube.
    >
    > Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    > pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    > some type.


    Since spring is here it makes sense to wait since from what I know you
    can't do anything anyway. I live in Northern Minnesota where the
    ground freezes deep and hard. Luckily I haven't had this problem but
    I know that when it happens to someone here they either switch to an
    outhouse or the bucket method. People who don't care for those
    solutions just call in a porta potty.
    Lawrence, Apr 3, 2007
    #5
  6. Goedjn Guest

    On 2 Apr 2007 20:33:45 -0700, wrote:

    >Bought a cottage late this past fall. The previous owner had uncovered
    >the septic system - I think so prospective purchasers could inspect
    >it. We were only at the place once before the snow fell and never
    >noticed it was open to the elements. This past weekend we went up and
    >quickly found out that the plumbing was blocked. A bit of
    >investigation brought me to the tank. Since it was uncovered I was
    >able to open it up - it is like an ice cube.
    >
    >Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    >pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    >some type.


    Elemental sodium. It's the only solution.

    Use small doses.
    Goedjn, Apr 3, 2007
    #6
  7. Goedjn Guest

    On Tue, 3 Apr 2007 09:19:48 -0700, "Roger Shoaf"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"avid_hiker" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >>
    >> >
    >> > Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    >> > pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    >> > some type.

    >>
    >> I would think since you can see into it; then a bag of salt de-icer or
    >> something similiar put into the septic and then covered.would do the
    >> trick........but like others......no experience.
    >>

    >
    >I would be careful about the salt idea. Septic systems work because the
    >microbes digest the solid matter and if you muck up the chemistry the solids
    >stay solid and your system clogs up.
    >
    >I think the porta potty and waiting for the thaw is your best bet.


    A weed burner would probably work, too.
    Goedjn, Apr 3, 2007
    #7
  8. Guest

    On 2 Apr 2007 20:33:45 -0700, wrote:

    >Bought a cottage late this past fall. The previous owner had uncovered
    >the septic system - I think so prospective purchasers could inspect
    >it. We were only at the place once before the snow fell and never
    >noticed it was open to the elements. This past weekend we went up and
    >quickly found out that the plumbing was blocked. A bit of
    >investigation brought me to the tank. Since it was uncovered I was
    >able to open it up - it is like an ice cube.
    >
    >Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    >pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    >some type.


    Take your wife in there and get naked. Have HOT passionate sex. The
    sexual heat will unthaw it.
    , Apr 4, 2007
    #8
  9. Andy Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Bought a cottage late this past fall. The previous owner had uncovered
    > the septic system - I think so prospective purchasers could inspect
    > it. We were only at the place once before the snow fell and never
    > noticed it was open to the elements. This past weekend we went up and
    > quickly found out that the plumbing was blocked. A bit of
    > investigation brought me to the tank. Since it was uncovered I was
    > able to open it up - it is like an ice cube.
    >
    > Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    > pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    > some type.



    Amazing what you read here! Why didn't you ask why they uncovered it,
    and why didn't you cover it back up! The mean ground temperature here
    in western pa. is 49 degrees, depending on where you are, it might be about
    the same../. cover it up and it will defrost!>
    Andy, Apr 4, 2007
    #9
  10. Jackson Guest

    "Roger Shoaf" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "avid_hiker" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>
    >> >
    >> > Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    >> > pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    >> > some type.

    >>
    >> I would think since you can see into it; then a bag of salt de-icer or
    >> something similiar put into the septic and then covered.would do the
    >> trick........but like others......no experience.
    >>

    >
    > I would be careful about the salt idea. Septic systems work because the
    > microbes digest the solid matter and if you muck up the chemistry the
    > solids
    > stay solid and your system clogs up.
    >
    > I think the porta potty and waiting for the thaw is your best bet.


    Agreed!

    >
    > --
    >
    > Roger Shoaf
    >
    > About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube,
    > then
    > they come up with this striped stuff.
    >
    >
    Jackson, Apr 5, 2007
    #10
  11. Jackson Guest

    "Goedjn" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Tue, 3 Apr 2007 09:19:48 -0700, "Roger Shoaf"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>"avid_hiker" <> wrote in message
    >>news:...
    >>>
    >>> >
    >>> > Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    >>> > pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    >>> > some type.
    >>>
    >>> I would think since you can see into it; then a bag of salt de-icer or
    >>> something similiar put into the septic and then covered.would do the
    >>> trick........but like others......no experience.
    >>>

    >>
    >>I would be careful about the salt idea. Septic systems work because the
    >>microbes digest the solid matter and if you muck up the chemistry the
    >>solids
    >>stay solid and your system clogs up.
    >>
    >>I think the porta potty and waiting for the thaw is your best bet.

    >
    > A weed burner would probably work, too.


    Not if something cracks from the heat change, like the tank!

    >
    Jackson, Apr 5, 2007
    #11
  12. KC Guest

    On Apr 4, 1:14 am, wrote:

    > >Any thoughts on thawing it out? Someone has suggested using a steam
    > >pressure washer. Another idea is a immersion or bucket heater of
    > >some type.

    >
    > Take your wife in there and get naked. Have HOT passionate sex. The
    > sexual heat will unthaw it.


    LOL! The way my certain parts of my anatomy respond to cold, I don't
    think it'd be possible. I wonder how the eskimo's handle that problem?
    -KC
    KC, Apr 5, 2007
    #12

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