Product Spotlight: Product insulates against freeze issues

Product Spotlight: Product insulates against freeze issues

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Maintaining a functioning septic system is essential, and when temperatures drop and freezing conditions set in, it may take some extra effort or equipment to keep them performing. 

Bernie Miller, owner of Innovative Thermo Solutions, has worked with septic systems in areas where cold weather is prevalent for decades, and has recently noticed an increase in issues related to freezing. 

“The need for a solution became very apparent when Minnesota state and local codes changed to require manhole covers to be at the surface to allow for proper cleaning and inspection,” Miller says. “Research confirmed our suspicion that the frozen soil surrounding the risers was allowing the cold to penetrate through the manhole risers and also allowing the heat from the tank to escape, lowering the temperature of the septage in the tank.”

The company went to work designing an insulation disc that would keep the cold out and the heat in. “With numerous prototypes and more testing, we finally landed on a design and started to work with the various manufacturing companies to finalize the product development,” Miller says.

The end result is the Thermo-Disc, a durable insulation disc that can be installed in the riser and removed in seconds with no special tools. The Thermo-Disc is designed to work with risers 23.5 to 24.25 inches. It is made from 2-inch water resistant XPS, closed-cell foam insulation with an R-value of 10. Covering the foam on the top and bottom is a plastic contoured pan to provide strength and rigidity. Around the perimeter, users will find a flexible rubber seal made to friction fit in the riser for an airtight seal.

“We recommend the disc be installed as deep as possible in the riser or to the top of the lid,” Miller says. “In some cases, this is deeper than a person can reach.” In those situations, Miller recommends using a pole to push the disc down to the desired depth. The product also has a looped rope handle offset to the side that can be hooked for easy removal. 

Miller says additional advantages of the Thermo-Disc is that it helps in maintaining active anaerobic bacteria in the septic tank. “When the temperature of the septage in the tank drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the anaerobic bacteria become dormant and no longer break down waste, increasing BOD and TSS,” he says. “The addition of a Thermo-Disc has been proven to increase the temperature 10 to 15 degrees, keeping the bacteria active and the tank properly operating.”

Miller says one of the first customers to use Thermo-Disc had a tank and drainfield for a cabin that froze the previous three years, but since installation, the system has operated flawlessly throughout winter. 320-398-2705; 


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