The freezing of a sump pump’s discharge is a very serious problem. It can cause extensive damage to the pump, the plumbing, and the home.

You must take a few steps to ensure the pump and the plumbing hooked to the pump is continuing to operate efficiently. The discharge hose, attachment or piping attached to the end of your pump can likely become blocked with ice — causing a restriction or blockage of the water trying to pass through. This means you or a professional should install a discharge hose or larger-than-average pipe so that the water won’t be able to freeze.

It’s also a good idea to have some sort of freeze guard or preventative freeze protection installed somewhere along your piping or hose. When the hose or piping begins to freeze, it may cause the pump to work that much harder or cause the pump to not be able to pump at all. This causes operating failure over time, and may also cause pipe and fitting failure which can cause pipes and fittings to burst and flood the home.

Finally, heating your basement to a temperature where water will be continually allowed to flow freely is imperative. This will not allow the water to freeze in your basement, but remember this won’t help outside. It is always good to periodically check your sump pump discharge where it exits the home, and make sure no ice or debris is blocking the flow of water.