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Do I Need to Prepare My Sump Pump for Winter?

December 7th, 2020

sump pump winter

A sump pump is used to remove water from the sump basin in your home’s basement. Although it sees the most use during the rainy season, it also needs to be prepared for the winter.

As the temperature plummets, your sump pump – like the components of your plumbing system – is in significant danger of damage. Luckily, you can protect it from the elements.

Here’s how:

Protect the Discharge Pipe

The discharge pipe is the part of your sump pump at highest risk. If it passes through cold air without protection, water inside may freeze. Not only can this crack the pipe, but the pump will struggle to bypass the blockage, eventually burning out the motor.

The ideal solution is to bury the discharge pipe no less than 12 centimeters under the frost line. If this is impossible, the pipe can be insulated to maintain safe temperatures. Roofing tarps and hay are common materials for discharge pipe protection.

Disconnect the Discharge Hose

Given that the discharge pipe itself can be fragile, it’s no surprise any extension hoses could cause a problem. Water is much more likely to get caught and freeze in an extension hose than inside the pipe. Disconnecting the hose is the best solution.

If removing the hose completely isn’t an option, be sure to replace it with a freeze-proof model. The best place to situate your hose is usually at the end of a driveway, so it can’t pose a safety hazard if it does freeze. Sloping the pipe downward enhances water flow to mitigate freezing.

Keep Your Water Running

A small amount of flowing water can make a tremendous difference in keeping your pipes safe in the winter. Keeping a cold water tap on low throughout the season is one of the best protective practices, along with insulating any water lines that are susceptible to freezing.

Safeguard the Pump Motor

If the sump pump’s motor fails, you’ll find yourself with an expensive replacement on your hands. To reduce motor strain, consider adding other forms of drainage that can contribute to redirecting the water around your home: For example, a French drain or improved terrain grading.

Get Help Winterizing from Your Local Sump Pump Professionals

A little preparation goes a long way. As the weather gets cold, call the sump pump experts at Syles Mechanical for the advice you need. We’ll help you ensure your sump pump stays safe all season long.

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