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Old 02-09-2009, 05:08 PM   #21
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Most of my non sewage water goes out the grey water system, which is part of the problem in winter. No hot water or anything goes down the septic line. Will have to have a plumber plumb in a valve or something that I can route shower water down the septic in the winter.
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Another option (if your septic system can't handle the amount of water from showers/etc) would be to flush the toilets using warm water in the winter. Play around with it, but here's what I'd try first: Put a 100W aquarium heater in the tank (inside it's own pint-size bucket in the bottom so it never goes dry and never sees the straight incoming cold water). Set it as high as it will go (most top out at 90 deg F). If I wanted to go the extra mile, I'd insulate the inside of the tank with one of those foam "anti condensation" kits. Voila.

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The foregoing idea should not be executed by anyone. Aquarium heaters are not certified or tested for use in this application, and lots of bad things, to include electrical shock, fire, scalding of suspended body parts, or any number of other untoward events, could result. It is dangerous and not at all a good idea.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:11 PM   #22
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Another option (if your septic system can't handle the amount of water from showers/etc) would be to flush the toilets using warm water in the winter.
I think a hot-water flush would be a wonderful feature for homes north of the Mason-Dixon line.

What about filling up a hot-water bucket from the shower? Or better yet, buying a really long shower hose and using it to fill the toilet tank?
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:23 AM   #23
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I'm sure my septic can handle the amount of water from the showers etc. It is just plumbed that way. I think the previous owner did it to "save" the septic and leechfield. Make it last longer by not putting so much fluid down it.

My second shower is plumbed into the septic, not the gray water system. So, I'll take showers in it for the rest of the winter.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:05 PM   #24
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I think a hot-water flush would be a wonderful feature for homes north of the Mason-Dixon line.

What about filling up a hot-water bucket from the shower? Or better yet, buying a really long shower hose and using it to fill the toilet tank?
I've seen toilets plumbed so they have a blend valve to refill the tank with a mixture of hot and cold water to fix the tank "sweating" problem. Talk about flushing money down the toilet.........
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:17 PM   #25
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I've seen toilets plumbed so they have a blend valve to refill the tank with a mixture of hot and cold water to fix the tank "sweating" problem. Talk about flushing money down the toilet.........
If you think about it a bit, you paid for everything that goes down the toilet. Ditto for the trash.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:28 PM   #26
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My main septic line just froze. I tried the plumber, but they couldn't get the power snake thru the blockage. That cost me $400.

So, I had to dig up the septic holding tank and rent a power water jet and send it up the pipe. It froze back in 2004/5 too, so I think there must be a flat spot or something in the line.

I will have to have them send a camera down this summer, as the line goes under my paved driveway. Could be real expensive if it needs work...
Two other unsolicited comments:
- If you ever have to dig up the septic tank again for this reason, consider adding two cleanouts (one pointed in each direction using a sanitary "T") to that problematic drainline leading to the septic tank. That way you could blast the frozen blockage with hot water without needing the backhoe.
- If you ever do have to dig up the sewer pipe under the driveway (e.g. to fix a broken pipe or to re-grade the pipe so it slopes well to the septic tank) you should add about 2" of rigid foam insulation across the entire trench just above the pipe. This will help reduce the heat flow at that area from the warmer soil below and keep the pipe slightly warmer during the winter. It might be enough to prevent more freeze-up problems in the future.
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