Six Tips to Prevent Frozen Sump Pump Discharge Lines This Winter

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Sump pump discharge

Sump pump discharge lines face the risk of freezing when winter comes along. 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. The winter season brings with it more than frigid temperatures, but a lot of plumbing problems, and unfortunately your sump pump is no exception. A frozen discharge line not only puts your basement at risk, but it can seriously damage your sump pump.

The Warning Signs of a Damaged Sump Pump

It’s always better to be proactive than reactive, but that involves knowing when there’s something wrong with your sump pump. Weather can be unpredictable, and your sump pump is susceptible to a variety of different problems year round. Knowing what to look for and how to prevent future damages is what will keep your sump pump functioning as it should be. If your sump pump is damaged, here’s what to look for.

  • Your sump pump is constantly running. If your sump pump is constantly running, it could mean a number of problems either with the sump pump, the discharge line, or the installation itself. Whether the issue is a broken or eroded impellor vane, or the pit and basin is too deep, if your sump pump is constantly running, call a plumber.
  • Frequent on and off cycling. A sump pump that constantly turns on and off could imply several problems. It could be that your sump pump is too small, or it may just require an adjustment. A sump pump that constantly cycles, however, will break down quicker, and should be inspected by a plumber.
  • Wet areas despite it running. 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.

How to Prevent a Frozen Sump Pump Discharge Line

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. To keep your basement dry and sump pump working, here are six tips to prevent a frozen discharge line.

  • 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. If there is any frozen water inside your sump pump, it can cause the sump pump to buckle under the pressure and cease working. Keep an eye on your plumbing and make sure the water is running, some sump pumps include adjustable settings if necessary.
  • 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.
  • Reduce its workload. Another nifty trick involves redirecting some of that excess water away from the basement. This helps to lessen your sump pump’s workload, prevents it from overworking itself, and lowers the risk of a frozen discharge line.
  • Increase the distance between the sump pump and wastewater area. Similar to the previous tip, you can also redirect some of the excess water away from your basement by attaching a freeze-resistant hose to the discharge hose. A good length is about 20 feet, and it’s important to make sure the freeze resistant hose is rigid so no water can collect.

Nobody Wants a Skating Rink in Their Basement

It’s important to take care of your sump pump, especially when it can cost you thousands to clean up a flooded basement. Nobody wants a flooded basement, and luckily it’s easy to prevent that. If you want to be prepared for the worst this winter season, then treat your plumbing right, and call a plumber to come inspect your plumbing today.

Call the plumbers at Cranney Home Services today for more information on sump pump discharge lines!