Flush the toilets a few times until the water no longer fills the tank and bowl. Drain all appliances, including your water heater. Completely empty your septic system’s pressure tank. Once your lines have been completely drained, add septic-safe antifreeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.Nov 16, 2020
The propylene glycol or ethanol used in RV antifreeze, however, are both safe for your septic system and won’t cause any damage when used in appropriate quantities.
Automotive antifreeze uses Ethylene Glycol which is not okay for home sewage systems. Propylene Glycol is used in Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and is okay to use in your home water system. … You can pour anti-freeze directly into the water tank of your toilet once you‘ve drained the water out of the tank.
Flush all toilets to drain most of the water out of the tanks. Pour some propylene glycol (antifreeze — not ethylene glycol which is toxic and used in cars) in the tanks to mix with the remaining water and pour one pint of non-diluted antifreeze into each toilet bowl.
Ethylene glycol, which makes up automotive antifreeze, is very poisonous. It should never be dumped on the ground or left where animals can get to it. It is also damaging to a septic system. It can kill off the good bacteria living in your septic tank.
In the winter, have the tank pumped out when it reaches three quarters capacity. Otherwise, you run the risk of the contents freezing, expanding, and then cracking the the tank. If the tank is filled to capacity, effluent could back up into the pipes, which could burst if their contents freeze.
Place a layer of mulch 8 to 12 inches thick over the pipes, tank, and soil treatment system to provide extra insulation. This can be straw, leaves, hay or other loose material that will stay in place and not become compacted.
Winterizing your system is important for several reasons. All the water in your pipes has the potential to freeze, which can damage the pipes. Taking steps toward preventing broken pipes saves money on costly repairs. Winterizing your septic system lengthens the lifespan of your septic system.
“That water will eventually saturate into the porcelain, which isn’t such an obvious problem when it is warm outside.” … That difference in temperature can actually crack the tank when a toilet gets flushed and the new, colder water fills the tank.”
Final Thoughts on RV Antifreeze
Technically, an RV antifreeze can freeze, but not into solid ice. It can harden and slowly expand until it reaches its freezing bursting point. The burst point will damage the water lines and destroy the plumbing.
In truth, RV Antifreeze does have the capability to stain toilets. If you use low-quality antifreeze or don’t wipe up any excess product on your toilet, the antifreeze is likely to stain your toilet.
It’s possible to use your RV toilet for brief periods in freezing weather. Purchasing a four-season RV or modifying one to handle sub-freezing weather is one possibility. I have done this previously with good success. This requires a coach with completely enclosed and heated holding tanks.
You should not dump RV antifreeze on the ground, even if it is non-toxic and biodegradable. As it is a still chemical material, dumping RV antifreeze on the ground can be harmful to the environment on many levels.
When exposed to persistent freezing temperatures, the water and liquids within these parts freezes. A frozen septic tank can push waste back up into your pipes, causing backups, overflowing sinks and toilets, and a host of other health concerns.
If a cabin or home sees limited use during the winter, the septic tank can be pumped and then gradually filled over the winter with no wastewater leaving the septic tank. If the tank is located in an area with a high water table, tank buoyancy should be evaluated prior to pumping the tank.
A new septic system (tank and drainfield) where the soil is bare commonly has freezing problems the first year. A thick insulating layer over all bare soil generally will prevent a frozen system. Insulating distribution boxes and around exposed inspection pipes, risers and the manhole is especially important.
Insulate Your Pipes
When your sewer pipes are not properly insulated there is an increased risk of the water inside freezing. Insulating your sewer line is a simple procedure: wrap pipe insulation around the plumbing lines and secure with electrical tape.
If the supply line is the one that has frozen, you will be able to flush the toilet once and use the water already stored in the tank. Since the frozen pipe will prevent fresh water from flowing into the tank to refill it, the water in the bowl will be low.
If you’re also experiencing cold weather, or live in a climate that experiences it often, it’s probably safe to prepare your pipes and your toilet for a deep freeze.
Despite what Back to the Future showed us, standing on a toilet doesn’t usually work out very well: odds are the intricacies of the flux capacitor will not reveal themselves to you. Even if you do manage to keep your balance, you could still crack the bowl – toilets are designed for seated, evenly distributed weight.
RV antifreeze is made to replace the water that is in your RV plumbing. It is not made to be mixed with the water. When water freezes it expands. If there is water in a pipe or a valve and it freezes it expands in volume and overwhelms the space it is in and the result is that the ice bursts the pipe or valve.
Typically, in most regions of the United States the minus 50 degrees F RV antifreeze works fine, but not necessarily when there is polar vortex temperatures like we experienced in January 2019. And keep in mind, the freeze point and burst point is based on pure antifreeze, not when it is diluted with water.
Pour one quart of special RV antifreeze into the gray and black tanks to protect the drain valves and seals. Do this through all sink and shower drains—you want antifreeze in the pipe traps as well. Add about a pint to the toilet bowl to protect its flush valve and seals. Note: RV antifreeze is PINK.
Sadly, no. RV antifreeze will not melt ice for you. RV antifreeze is used to prepare the RV plumbing for winter, including flushing out any remaining water from the pipes, faucets, and other places.
In general, the temperature has to dip below freezing (32 F) for approximately 24 hours for RV pipes to freeze. This is all dependent on many factors such as if you have an enclosed underbelly, heated underbelly, heat tape, insulation, or other preventative measures in place.
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