How Do You Take Care of a Sump Pump in the Winter?

Sump pumps may not be used as frequently in winter but still require proper care to help prevent flooding and water accumulation issues. A little preparation now can save countless headaches in the future!

Ensuring your sump pump is winter-ready is a smart move; for more tips on maintaining your pump, check out 

Clean the discharge hose

Sump pumps can help keep your basement dry, but their effectiveness can be undermined if their discharge line freezes during winter weather. Homeowners can take some simple measures to protect their sump pumps in winter, such as disconnecting their discharge hose until warmer conditions return and keeping a close watch on it during this season.

Furthermore, diverting the discharge line away from your house is wise to prevent water recycling and flooding. If this is impossible or impractical, an extra hose may help avoid freezing by providing backup until the first one thaws out.

Clean out any debris that accumulates in the pit of your sump pump to reduce workload and lower the risk of a frozen discharge hose in the future.

Insulate the intake pipe

Insulating your sump pump’s discharge line and intake pipe against freezing is one way to protect it and ensure it can continue doing its job without freezing up, potentially flooding your home. Insulating these lines provides warmth that can protect them against the cold temperatures outside.

Wrap its exterior in bubble wrap or foam insulation and attach a larger diameter pipe using clamps and wires, creating an air gap.

The best practice would be burying the discharge line; however, if this isn’t feasible, you could at least extend it on a downward slope away from your house to use gravity to keep water moving freely away from it and thus help avoid freeze damage as flowing water thaws more slowly than standing water. This approach also prevents flood damage as flowing water tends to drain faster.

To further protect a line, thicker pipe insulation or foam sleeves should be used on exposed pipe sections. A plumber could also install a larger diameter discharge hose, which may be more resistant to freezing conditions than traditional discharge hoses.

An additional discharge hose can be handy during winter to disconnect and attach the frozen one easily if necessary. Not only is having an extra discharge hose helpful in protecting against wintertime freezing temperatures, but having an extra one ready can prevent your sump pump from freezing at any time of the year.

It is an easy, cost-effective preventative measure that could keep your basement dry from flooding!

Invest in a battery backup system

If you want to ensure that your sump pump can continue operating when power fails, considering a battery backup system could be worthwhile. These DC battery-operated pumps work alongside your current pump and activate automatically if one fails or loses power.

They feature a large battery that’s charged, as well as a separate heavy-duty pump placed higher than the first pump. When activated by battery power, these sump pumps can quickly pump water from your home until electricity returns – thus helping prevent flooding or structural damage caused by nonworking pumps for extended periods.

They can be acquired at most hardware stores and online retailers, but be sure to select the ideal model. Different batteries will have different run times and require specific chargers; invest in a system featuring as much quality and size battery capacity as you can afford for optimal results when needed most.

Battery backup systems can be an excellent addition to your sump pump maintenance plan, but they shouldn’t replace regular inspection and upkeep of pipes and fixtures. If your old sump pump has reached the end of its lifespan, however, replacing it may be necessary.

Keep the water moving

Sump pump discharge pipes that experience freezing temperatures often freeze solid in winter, rendering their operation ineffective in capturing and removing incoming water – the entire point of having a sump pump. This then prevents it from engaging and extracting it as intended.

Insulating pipes is one way to stop this and help ensure the sump pump continues functioning if it freezes over. This should keep water from freezing over, keeping your sump pump operating even though its inner workings may have frozen.

Rerouting drainage piping could also help avoid pipes freezing over while decreasing the sump pump workload and making its work more efficient.

An effective way to prevent your sump pump from freezing is by disconnecting its discharge pipe hose before winter weather arrives. This will allow your pump to continue functioning while warming conditions return and any frozen areas have thawed out; an extra hose would be useful if this need arises during the season.

For added peace of mind, insulate and place discharge lines away from houses (to encourage natural water movement), which will significantly decrease the chances of freezing over.