Prevent Exposed Plumbing That Leads To A Septic System From Bursting

by Jayden Fisher

Prevent exposed plumbing that leads to your home's septic system from bursting during the winter by insulating it with the steps below. Once the pipe sections have been covered with insulating tape and a foam cover, water and liquid waste that runs through the plumbing will not be likely to freeze and cause the pipe sections to expand when they thaw out.


  • soapy water
  • sponge
  • towel
  • metal file
  • roll of insulated plumbing tape
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • foam insulating sleeve
  • wide thermal tape
  • heat lamp

Clean The Plumbing's Exterior And Secure Insulated Tape

Turn off the main water valve. Clean the outdoor plumbing that is attached to your home's septic system with a soapy sponge. Once dirty residue has been eliminated, use plain water to remove soapy film from each pipe section. Dry the plumbing pieces with a lint-free cloth. Lightly sand the surface of each pipe section with a metal file. By doing so, the insulated plumbing tape will adhere the proper way. 

Wrap a couple layers of insulated plumbing tape evenly around each pipe section that you would like to protect during cold weather. Use scissors to trim the end of the tape and press the end firmly against the plumbing with your fingertips.

Cover The Tape With A Foam Insulating Sleeve

Measure the plumbing that you covered with insulated tape. Purchase a foam insulating sleeve that is the same length. Slightly pull the sleeve's foam edges apart in order to widen the gap. Slip the sleeve over the plumbing. Hold the edges of the foam together and cut strips of wide thermal tape that are long enough to cover them. If you are covering a long section of the plumbing, cut a piece of tape that will cover a small section of the foam's opening and secure it before cutting additional pieces of tape and adding them.

Keep A Close Eye On The Weather During Cold Weather

Turn on the main water valve and use the plumbing inside of your home in a normal manner. Keep a close eye on the weather forecast during the winter. Although the foam insulation and tape will prevent the plumbing from freezing in most instances, it doesn't hurt to take additional precautions. When the weather is predicted to be freezing temperatures, plug in a heat lamp outdoors and aim it towards the outdoor plumbing. A heat lamp will keep the surface of the pipe sections above freezing, preventing them from cracking or bursting.