Can a Septic Tank Explode or Freeze?

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Septic tank is a common feature in our homes. You can’t live in a house that is not connected with a septic tank or central sewage system.

In winter, everything that is not protected is frozen outside! Thus, it is one of the most frequently asked questions about the septic systems! Yet, you will not find a lot of resources on it! I don’t know why.

In this article we are discussing the effect of freezing winter on your septic system and answering the question- can septic tank explode?

Let’s start…

Effects of Freezing Winter On Septic Tank

When winter comes and the temperature goes below the freezing point, a dormant septic tank can freeze. You can see backup caused by a frozen pipe also.

But don’t worry! If you are using the septic tank daily and water is running through the pipe, there is no risk of a frozen septic system.

When does the septic system freezes then?

In one word, when you do not use the toilet. If you are leaving your home in the winter, there is a huge risk that when you come, you will see a blocked septic system that backs up.

In some coldest weather conditions, a running septic system can also be frozen up.

So, you need a proper solution not to freeze the septic system and how can you normalize it.

What Causes The Problem?

You will experience a frozen tank more often when you have a leaking tank or pipe. A leak in the tank or the pipe can make your winter feel like a hell!

So, before the temperature goes down the freezing point, check both pipe and tank for any defect. If you find one, fix it as soon as possible.

The Solution to a Frozen Septic Tank

You can use mulch cover on the pipeline and the tank. This is by far the most effective and affordable thing you can do to protect the tank from freezing.

The mulch will protect the underground pipe and the tank from being frozen. It works as an insulating layer between the snow and the soil.

But a frozen septic system won’t recover by doing this. For recovering a frozen septic system, you need to call professionals.

Frozen Septic System Tips

Remember not to do these when you have a frozen pipeline or a tank-

  • Do not pour hot water in the toilet to remove the frozen block. It can melt the pipe or harm the fittings used inside the tank.
  • If solid blocks of snow are appearing on the tank, do not try to break them by running them down with a vehicle. This can demolish the entire septic system.
  • Pouring water in a frozen tank will result in a backup. So, do not try this method too.

Can Septic Tank Explode?

In a word, yes! Septic tanks can explode. Let’s explain it in detail.

Septic tank produces inflammable methane gas. When human waste goes to the toilet and breaks down, the process produces methane gas. A gas that can catch fire when comes close to the heat.

Now, how can you reduce the risk of explosion in a septic tank?

The easiest way to remove the risk of explosion is to have a ventilation system in the septic tank so that the methane gas does not accumulate into the tank.

In the Indian Sub-continent, people use a pipe from the septic tank to the roof for getting rid of the gas as soon as it is produced.

You can use this system to reduce the risk of explosion.

The other way to remove the risk is to have a gas detection system installed. Since this is an expensive move to make, we do not recommend this.

But if you do not want to ruin the nice outlook of your house with a pipe popping up, you can use this method.

Final Words

Septic tanks won’t explode, nor will it be frozen if you follow the procedures we have written above.

If you experience any problem with your septic system in the winter, do not waste your time on the internet.

Go and get a professional to fix the problem fast.

If you want to know anything more related to this, leave a comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Can a Septic Tank Explode or Freeze?”

  1. I like the idea of having some insulation from the mulch for your septic tank. Hopefully, that would prevent any issues that corm form cold weather freezing the pipes or the contents of the tank. Next time I get my septic tank serviced, I should ask about getting some mulch to put over it.

  2. It’s good to know that you shouldn’t pour hot water in the toilet since it can melt the pipes. My uncle is worried about his septic tank pipes freezing this winter. I’ll have to help him find a professional in the case of it actually freezing.


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