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 septic line that has frozen in past years
Author: ana (NH)

In New Hampshire - is there a minimum that line from home to tank has to be buried. The home is not presently occupied but it is my understanding that the line has frozen in the years. I am trying to prevent this from happening again and dug up the trench. The line is down 12" to 18" and it seems to have proper slope. The pipe was s and d not sched 40 but due to lack of time to fix - it is already freezing - I am putting in a new piece of pipe to replace area that has a crack. Also while it is open I am thinking of installing heat tape/cable. and possibly blue insulation board on top and possibly sand and salt mix in the event I have to dig it back up. Any suggestions. Also I was told by someone today that the inlet line has to be below frost line which I don't which is not my understanding as long as it is right dimensions and right slope. thanks

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 Re: septic line that has frozen in past years
Author: hj (AZ)

It CANNOT freeze, unless it is standing full of water all the time.

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 Re: septic line that has frozen in past years
Author: packy (MA)

or unless you have a small drip,drip, drip from a fixture..
put it this way, if a plastic drain freezes you are out of luck. surrounding it with sand/salt mix will allow you to expose it but to thaw it you will have to erect a tent and use a giant heater.
it is not like thawing a pipe indoor. your pipe will be surrounded by terribly cold conditions..

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 Re: septic line that has frozen in past years
Author: ana (NH)

Will the sand and salt mixture hurt the 4" PVC pipe. Also, what do you think of putting a heat tape on the pipe - the type that is used on roof line to prevent ice backup to be used in the event it freezes or temperatures get very low.

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 Re: septic line that has frozen in past years
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

If the home is not occupied, is the waters turned off? With the waters off, there will be no water in the discharge line. No water means no freeze in line, until spring.

Best Wishes

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 Re: septic line that has frozen in past years
Author: ana (NH)

We setting this place up to occupy this winter like within the next month. Just want do what I can to try to prevent freeze up in septic line.

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 Re: septic line that has frozen in past years
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

What size is the discharge line.... that keeps freezing.
Best Wishes

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 Re: septic line that has frozen in past years
Author: packy (MA)

salt will not hurt the PVC.

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 Re: septic line that has frozen in past years
Author: ana (NH)

4" it is about a 25' run.

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 Re: septic line that has frozen in past years
Author: hi (TX)

When I was in snow country if we had prolonged get cold maybe -20 to 30 below zero we hoped for snow cover over the septic. If the septic froze you may be dealing with Porta potty until spring.
I thought that possible heat tape placed along pipe that is insufficient buried and then some Styrofoam buried above the pipe wouldn't be a bad idea. Anyone front the frozen north have any experience with this setup?

Mom is not happy if the septic freezes.

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