Sump Pump Discharge in Winter

A sump pump is an important part of your home's outdoor drainage system. Water draining from sump pumps in the winter can cause ice to build up. Below are some tips to help keep your sump pump in good working order.

  • Check your sump pump discharge pipe regularly to ensure that it does not freeze. This is especially important when the temperature fluctuates frequently.
  • The sump pump discharge pipe should be directed a minimum of 1.5 meters away from the foundation.
  • Your pipe should be sloped so that water drains out and does not sit and freeze inside the hose. A frozen line could damage your sump pump.
  • A positive grade from your house will also help minimize flooding in your home. Water that sits close to your home may flow down your foundation to your sump pump where it will have to re-pump it out. This can cause premature burn-out of your sump pump.
  • Be considerate - make sure the water from your discharge pipe does not cause icing on a neighbor's property.
  • Remember to remove/disconnect any sump pump extension hoses before winter.
  • Most sump pump discharge hoses are connected with a simple pipe clamp that can easily be unscrewed and the extension hose removed.
  • Some homes have a more difficult arrangement, or underground extension pipes. These must all be disconnected in the fall, once the weather drops below freezing, to prevent burnout of the sump pump and/ or back up problems.

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Last edited: August 29, 2018