Sump pumps are plumbing devices that take in rising water levels in the basement. It will disperse the accumulated water out to a safe area. This equipment plays a very important role in keeping the basement flood-free. You need to do upkeep for your sump pump since it’s prone to malfunctions just like any other type of device.
You need to become even more vigilant during winter. Sump pumps can become frozen and therefore, unable to operate and leave your basement flooded.
Here are some ways you can prevent your sump pump from freezing:
- Insulating the discharge and absorption area
Sump pumps have an absorption pump to take in the flooded water and a discharge pipe to release the water. It’s most likely that there is still a bit of water left that stays on these areas. Still water freezes easily so these sections are prone to freezing. What you need to do is insulate the discharge pipe and absorption section. Go to your local home improvement store or any shop that has insulation equipment. The discharge pipe and intake section have different insulation requirements than regular pipe insulation, so get advice from a plumber.
- Prevent the water from interacting with the chilling atmosphere
One of the reasons why freezing occurs is because of stagnant water mixing with the freezing air. Your sump pump is more vulnerable to freezing if its pipes are installed on flat land. The freezing air joins the still water due to the flat area. The solution for this is to place the sump pump’s pipes deeper into the ground. This will cause less interaction between the air and water. For a quicker yet less effective solution, you can place a tarp cover on the discharge pipe to prevent the air from entering the pipeline.
- Don’t let the water sit still in the pump
As what was discussed earlier; water that isn’t moving can freeze faster than flowing water. A sump pump that recently discharges water is most likely to have stagnant water on its sump. The last thing you want to happen with the sump pump is its pipeline blocked by ice. Your sump pump won’t be able to function if there are chunks of ice obstructing the water’s pathway. Aside from that, the block of ice can jam the float switch. Without a functioning float switch, the sump pump won’t even start in the first place.
You can change the settings of your sump pump and force it to draw out water just to keep the water flow moving. This method will depend on the type of sump pump since each unit has different features and settings.
- Modify the foundation to lower the water going into the basement
Sometimes the sump pump must work double time due to the frequent amount of water that needs to be dispersed. Large volume of water can happen when snow and ice melting at a fast rate. You can also change the foundation or landscape outside your house to lessen the water flowing into the basement.