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Protect Your Sump Pump from Freezing This Winter

Sump pumps are designed to eliminate moisture and prevent flooding. They are usually located in or near the basement. Since most basements have little or no insulation, they are susceptible to freezing in winter. This can cause a plethora of problems. That said, extra care needs to be taken to prevent your sump pump from freezing. This is especially important if you live in areas where temperatures can plummet in winter.

Here are some tips to avoid a frozen sump pump this winter.

Keep the heat on

Cold air works its way down to the lowest part of your home, while warm air goes up and occupies the upper levels. You can feel the difference in the air temperature as you move up and down the stairs.

The basement is an inherently cold, damp space. This makes the sump pump more susceptible to freezing. To prevent this from happening, it is best to set the thermostat in your home above 55°F. This should provide enough heat to keep the discharge hose warm and prevent water inside it from freezing.

Reduce its workload

Your sump pump is required to work harder when there is a large amount of water that needs to be dispersed. This puts the pump motor at risk of overheating and failure eventually. Reduce the risk of it becoming blocked with frozen water by reducing your sump pump’s workload. Redirect water away from the basement to prevent the sump pump from overworking itself. This also lowers the risk of a frozen discharge line.

Insulate the intake section and discharge line

The intake section collects water while the discharge line channels water away from your house. When these areas become frozen, the sump pump won’t be able to function properly and can leave your basement flooded. Given that there is water left inside these sections, they are prone to freezing.

Bury the discharge hose in the ground to prevent it from freezing. The part of the hose that stays on the ground will need additional insulation since most basements do not have proper insulation. You can wrap this section with an electric cable or heating tape. This will prevent the pipes from freezing and protect the discharge line from being damaged by external elements.

Use a bigger discharge hose

Water inside the pipes expands as it gets close to freezing. If the discharge hose is too small, it is likely that the hose will be blocked with ice. These frozen chunks will prevent water from flowing and can lead to a more serious issue later. Before you know it, your sump pump is no longer functioning.

Use a bigger discharge hose to ensure that water will be able to pass through without difficulty. Sometimes, water freezes not just because it’s cold, but because the water is not moving.

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