Preventing a Frozen Sump Pump

When a piece of equipment has to work harder, it risks overheating or failing. This is true with your sump pump, which could be at risk this winter. If you encounter a frozen sump pump hose, it means your system is trying to work harder than it needs to. Don’t let winter’s best efforts lead to potential damages to the sump pump, or even your home.

You can help prevent your sump pump from freezing this winter, which will help avoid flooding. There are a couple helpful tips that apply to your sump pump, and will give you peace of mind this winter when the temperature really drops.

Ideally, your sump pump discharge line should either be buried in the yard, or extended out above-grade on a downward slope. The intent is to carry that water away from your home and its foundation. 

If your pipe is buried, it should be at least 4-5 inches below the frost line, or the maximum depth of ground below where the soil won’t freeze. Common points of freezing include where the pipe meets the ground at the frost line, and where the water dispenses.

If you home has an above-grade solution, you want to make sure that extends the discharge line away from the house at a downward slope. Again, the idea is to carry that water far away from the house. A steep slope isn’t required, but it needs to slope enough where water can flow. A poorly sloped pipe risks carrying that water back toward the house, or allowing standing water, which is more likely to freeze.

Insulating the discharge line will help guard it from freezing. Another solution is running a larger diameter pipe from the end of the sump pump and leaving an air gap between the hose and the larger pipe. 

You will want to test your sump pump regularly to make sure it works properly, not just in the winter, but all year round. Also, check on the sump basin often, and make sure the sump pump isn’t discharging water where it could freeze and be a potential zone for danger.

In the chance that your sump pump does freeze, you can help it out. Portable heaters make it possible to thaw the sump pump. Otherwise, call a professional and get their help.

The sump pump is an integral part of your plumbing, and like other parts of your plumbing, it risks freezing. For more information on maintaining your sump pump this winter, call the professionals at Sunrise Heating and Plumbing today at (616) 293-9326. We pride ourselves in providing nothing but exceptional customer service.