How To Keep Your Sump Pump Discharge Hose From Freezing

If you have a sump pump in your home, then this device is likely the main feature of your basement waterproofing system. A fully functional sump pump can help to reduce mold and mildew in the basement, and it can also help to keep your home from flooding when the water table raises during the spring. However, your sump pump can completely burn out or allow water to build in your house unexpectedly if the outlet hose freezes solid. If temperatures become quite cold in your area during the fall and winter months, then you should do what you can to prevent the outlet hose from freezing.

Bury The Hose

Most sump pump discharge hoses are constructed out of corrugated plastic. This hose is attached to the outlet hole on the outside of the home where water is forced up and out of the basement through a long PVC pipe. The outlet generally sits close to the ground. The attached hose is then laid against the ground so that water can be released at least 20 feet from the home. This means that a 20 foot piece of discharge piping is recommended so that water can safely seep into the ground away from your foundation. However, the length of the pipe allows the water to become quite cold as it travels away from your house, and the water can freeze close to the pipe edge. Also, water will collect in the corrugated sections of the pipe and freeze after water is discharged.

To prevent water from freezing within the pipe, you should bury the majority of the discharge pipe so only the very end is exposed. You will need to bury the hose below the ground freeze line though, so check to see what this depth is in your area with the help of a frost depth map. Typically, a three foot depth will be safe if you live in the southern part of the United States and a five foot depth will be appropriate for the northern part of the country.

Use a trench digging tool to create the trench for your discharge hose. The last three or four feet of the trench should be gently angled up towards the surface of the ground so the end sticks out of the trench. Place the hose in the trench and cover it with soil. Afterwards, cover the exposed area of the pipe with straw or a piece of foam insulation. Consider hiring a plumber to help you install this line, if necessary.

Change The Hose

If you do not want to bury the discharge hose, then it may be in your best interest to change the type of discharge hose that it attached to your sump pump instead. Even a simple change to a non-corrugated plastic pipe will work well to reduce the amount of water left behind in the pipe. You can also choose to use non-corrugated PVC piping as well. If you decide to go this route, then also pick a large diameter pipe of one and a half or two inches. This will allow for good water flow even if water does start to freeze slightly along the interior.

You can also choose to connect a large diameter pipe to the discharge opening that collapses when it is not in use. These non-freeze hoses work the same way that fire hoses do. They open up as water flows through them and they collapse when water flow is no longer present. While fire hoses are typically made out of tightly woven fabric materials, the varieties for home use are constructed out of thin PVC. You also have the option of utilizing a no-freeze hose that has an electrical line warmer attached around the exterior. These rubber or PVC hoses have an electrical plug on the end. Plug the end into your outdoor socket when temperatures turn cold to prevent sump pump discharge water from freezing.