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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Prevent Your Sump Pump From Freezing

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

wet basement floor with sump pump Sump Pump Water Damage

Winter weather is quickly approaching. Did you know your sump pump discharge lines faces the risk of freezing? Your sump pump is designed to keep all excess water out from your basement, but it can’t do that if the discharge line is frozen. A frozen discharge line not only puts your basement at risk, but it can seriously damage your sump pump.

Here are some warning signs of a damaged sump pump:

  • Your sump pump is constantly running. If your sump pump is constantly running, it could mean a number of problems, call a plumber.
  • Frequent on and off cycling. A sump pump that constantly turns on and off could imply several problems and it should be inspected by a plumber.
  • Wet areas. Because a sump pump is designed to remove any excess water from your basement, it’s best to be located at the lowest spot on the floor. If you can’t locate your sump pump at the lowest spot, installing a PVC feed line should help to remove any remaining excess water.
  • Odors and humidity. Sump pumps have an airtight lid that’s designed to keep all odors humidity from rising out of the sump pit. If you smell something foul coming out of your sump pump, you might have a loose or broken lid.

Here are a few tips to prevent the sump pump drainage line from freezing:

  • Keep your water running. One reason for your plumbing freezing is if there is any excess water that isn’t running. If the water can’t flow throughout your house, it’s more likely that any water inside your sump pump will freeze.
  • Prevent the water from meeting freezing air. The best way to prevent a discharge line from freezing is with as much insulation as possible. To achieve this, you can try burying the line deeper underground, or try adding insulation using hay and a tarp.
  • Give your sump pump a slight slope. One of the easiest ways to prevent a frozen discharge line is by letting gravity do the work. When you’re looking at where the sump pump lines go, try and see if you can make them go at a slope versus a straight line, as gravity will help keep the water running. If your house isn’t on a natural slope, you can make one.
  • Add some insulation. Just like the pipes running through your home, adding some insulation can help drastically prevent a frozen discharge line. To properly insulate your discharge line, you should be able to find what you need at a local hardware store.

Nothing is worse than having damaged plumbing in the dead of winter because it can result in costly damages. You can keep your sump pump discharge line running properly this winter and all it involves is some maintenance.

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