Winter power outages are no fun to deal with, especially if you live in an area that gets hit hard in the winter. If your home has well water and a septic system, there are some things you'll need to know to avoid damaging the well and septic systems and to make life a little easier until the power is restored.
Shut off the Breakers
When the power comes back on, you don't want a power surge to damage the systems. Go to your breaker panel while the power is out and shut off the breakers that power the well pump and the septic system. If you don't know which breakers control those elements, you can shut off the main breaker at the top of the breaker panel to shut the power off to the entire home. The downside to doing this is you won't know when the power comes back on unless you're paying attention to the neighbors or check randomly.
Stock up on Water
The good news is, as long as you have buckets of water, you'll be able to flush the toilet several times before anything bad will happen.
The best way to flush a toilet using buckets of water is to remove the tank lid and pour the water into the tank, but if you're using water from a creek or stream, you'll want to dump it directly into the toilet bowl. If you pour water from the creek or stream into the tank, you could be introducing debris that could clog the small water lines feeding the bowl from the tank.
Tip: Please know that if your septic holding tank was near full when the power went out, you'll have less room in the tank to add more water to it. If you begin to smell things coming out of the drains, stop pouring water into the drains and toilets or it could begin to back up into the drains.
Heat the Pipes
You have to keep your pipes warm. They should be at least above freezing. So, open up the cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathrooms to allow the heat from inside the home to heat the pipes. If you notice that temperatures are beginning to dip below freezing, head out to find alternative sources of heat. Do everything in your power to keep those lines from freezing because once they freeze, they could burst and cause bigger problems than you want to deal with.
Talk with your local professionals to learn more about handling your well and septic systems during a winter power outage. For more information, contact a company such as Knights Plumbing & Drain today.