The sump pump can freeze if the discharge hose from it freezes. This could cause overheating and lead to the pump failing completely. This could spell disaster for your basement if water builds up in the sump basin. These tips will help prevent your sump pump from freezing.
- You should ensure that the sump pump discharge pipe outside your home is either buried in the yard or extended above-grade with a slope.
- To prevent it freezing, place the pipe at least 5 inches below the frostline (the highest depth below which soil can freeze). The pipe freezes in the section where it meets the ground at frost line. This is also where the water disperses.
- Choose an above grade solution and extend the discharge line from the house at a slope. It doesn’t need to be steep. The slope should be continuous so that water flows. Attach a freeze-resistant cable to the discharge hose. The hose should be at least 20 feet from the foundation. You should use a rigid, smooth hose to ensure that water does not collect. The water will flow more easily if the pipe is correctly sloped. Standing water in the pipe is less likely to freeze.
- Insulate the sump pumps discharge and intake lines to prevent freezing. Use wires and clamps to attach a larger diameter pipe at the end of the sump pump’s hose. Leave a gap between the pipe and the hose. You can also cover the pipe with hay (a natural insulation) and a tarp. Do not pour automotive antifreeze into the sump pump.
- Check the sump basin regularly and check the sump pump for proper operation. Make sure your flex discharge line is free of snow, ice, and other debris. To prevent dangerous ice buildup, make sure your sump pump does not discharge water onto your driveway or sidewalk.
- Use portable heaters to warm your frozen sump pump pipe You should not use a blow torch to melt the line. This could cause injury or damage to your house. If you are unable to freeze the hose by yourself, call a professional contractor.