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qustion about using RV anti freeze in toilet - septic system

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by kobudo, Oct 8, 2008.

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  1. kobudo

    kobudo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Loc:
    MN
    Hello,

    I have a new cabin that will be used one weekend a month in the winter. (Minnesota)
    I will leave the propane heater set at about 40* or 45* when I am not there but it could fail so I want to protect my pipes etc.
    I'm planning to turn off the water from the well and use the curb stop to drain the system. My toilet will still have a little water in it.
    We picked up some RV antifreeze from WalMart yesterday. How much should go in the toilet? I assume it should go in the tank and in the bowl. If I do this 1-2 times per month will it hurt my septic system? Any other suggestions or hints would be appreciated.

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Shut off the toilet fill valve and flush the tank dry. Then dump in enough RV antifreeze to fill the trap in the bowl. It will be nice and red. You don't want a dry trap or you will get sewer gasses in the cabin. Dump some RV antifreeze down each drain like the shower and sinks that have traps to prevent them from popping.
  3. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Silver Spring, MD/ Munising, MI
    RV antifreeze should be fine for your septic. You will be using the septic (the usual way) so little I don't think it will be an issue.

    Also, if freezing is a possibility and you have any horizontal pipe runs you might want to blow out your pipes with a compressor at the pressure tank (I'm assuming this is a well system). Even though I do that I still got a nasty and expensive surprise this summer when I turned on the water in my seasonal house. Turned out there was a very long horizontal run to the shower in the upstairs bathroom, all 4 elbows blew (hot and cold, both ends) and one of the pipes as well. Some houses do not drain well. I have to say, I do this once or twice a year, and I hate it. But I hate the cost to keep it heated with propane even more.
  4. kobudo

    kobudo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    MN
    Thanks for the replies.
    I don't think I will have a horizontal pipe problem. I only have 3 faucets, shower, bathroom sink and kitchen sink. The water tank is above the bathroom in a loft and the bathroom and kitchen are back to back so there are no long runs. If the propane stove doesn't have a problem it shouldn't get below 40*F but you never know........
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    When I have done this in the past, I pump the water from the tank and the bowl after flushing, remove the top of the tank regulator, pour some antifreeze into it and the bowl rinseing tube as well (till it runs down the sides of the bowl) then some in the bowl. I then place a generous handfull of toilet paper in the bowl, to provide a seal in the event the antifreeze has evaporated by the time I return. Remove the blob of toilet paper before restoring toilet operation. (it has usualy dried out by then)
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