Can A Septic Tank Freeze?

Most septic tanks are installed underground deep enough to prevent freezing from extreme conditions. Unfortunately, there are parts of the septic system that may be susceptible to freezing in or around Saratoga, Clifton Park, Delmay NY, Albany NY, Hudson NY. The parts of a septic system that may freeze include:

The Main Septic tank

The Drainpipe that exits your home and enters the septic tank (near your inlet)

The Drainpipes that exit our septic tank and branch off to create the drain field.

The Drain Field Itself


What Causes a Septic Tank to Freeze?

The pipes that are more than likely to freeze before the other components of the septic system are the main drain from the house to the septic tank. There are many contributing factors that can lead to a frozen drain line but the most common is a slow leak from one of your fixtures. For example, if the bathroom sink has a continuous drip, the flow of the water is not significant as it drains through the main drain. This small stream of water in the drain line can freeze and lead to a blockage.


The reduction in frequency in use of the septic system can cause a septic tank to freeze. During the extremely cold months make sure to use your system a few times a day but do not OVERUSE the system!


How Do I Know if My Septic Tank is Frozen?

Very Simple. Your toilets and fixtures will not drain correctly and or drain very slow.

Before the winter install insulation. Above the tank, pipes and drain field add a layer of insulation. This can consist of materials such as hay or mulch.

Stagger the use of hot water. You can do this by taking shower in the morning and doing laundry in the afternoon instead of doing them at the same time.

Do not walk over, use machinery, dry over or intentionally compact snow or soil above the septic system. A layer of snow over the septic system and components provides a layer of insulation. Walking over and or driving over the septic system can lead to compacting the snow during the winter or compacting the overall soil that is located above the tank. Compacting the soil and or snow reduces the insulation properties of both.

What Should I Do If I Think My Septic Tank Is Frozen?

Your best bet is to call a septic inspector or septic company to come out and further evaluate the issues. DIY methods can lead to further damage of the septic system.

Shield Guard Home Inspections provides septic inspections in Albany, Saratoga, Clifton Park, Delmar, Berne, Hudson NY and more. Shield Guard Home Inspections can provide a septic inspection while performing a home inspection or as a standalone service. Give us a call today to schedule a septic inspection.

518-649-9111

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