How to Keep a Sump Pump Hose from Freezing – Gardener Corner

How to Keep a Sump Pump Hose from Freezing

If your house is in an area prone to flooding & clogging, certainly you would have a sump pump installed in your basement or garden. That is such a life saver! A sump pump is a device that is meant to prevent pooling of water in your basement; a situation that often occurs during of rainy days. But then again, what about icy chilly winters? When everything around you is covered by a dense, white carpet of snow, you imagine your plight knowing the outlet of your sump pump is frozen and submerged under snow – your sump pump fails to serve its sole purpose. Its outlet is solidly frozen and it can no longer carry out the one job it was assigned to do – drain the water from your basement.

Sump pump hose during normal days

Sump pump hose during winters

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So here we are to find ideas to prevent a sump pump from freezing. These are some easy steps that you can make or simply take care of to prevent the occurrence of such disaster.

Wide Pipes

The simplest way of preventing freezing of the sump pump hose pipe is to ensure complete drainage. Narrower pipes at times fail to drain the water completely and this causes water to stay stagnant inside the pipe. This accumulated water might freeze eventually leading to freezing of sump pump hose.


Respect the gravity! Keeping the outlet of your sump pump pipe at a level lower than that of the sump pump helps a lot. This ensures evacuation of water from the pipe easily and hence water would not accumulate inside the pipe. So simple put: No clogging, No freezing. So, give a little slope to your sump pump pipe to let the water drain completely.

Insulate the Pipe

Another method of preventing freezing of the sump pump hose is to avoid its exposure to daylight. As long as it is buried inside the ground, freezing is not an issue. If the ground is frozen you need to go deeper enough to reach normal ground. The normal temperature of the ground is supposed to keep the sump pump hose from freezing. To be certain, here are a few options to go with:

  • Either you can make an arrangement that the pipe drains directly in to the sewage. This will prevent its exposure to daylight. If in case this is not possible we can insulate the outlet.

  • Wrapping the outlet of the pipe with straws is a feasible idea. Straws have an inherent insulating property that will take care of the freezing. Using other insulating tapes or materials over the sump pump hose will serve the same purpose.

  • Another way of insulation is using a larger diameter pipe covering the sump pump hose pipe. Attach a larger diameter pipe to the end of sump pump hose using wires and clamps leaving air gap between the hose and the larger pipe. Air acts an insulator and water will drain out by itself before it starts to freeze

Increasing the Distance

By attaching a freeze resistant hose to the outlet of sump pump, you can increase the overall length of hose outlet so that the water being drained out is away from the house. Advisable distance for this is a minimum of 20 feet. Also the hose used should be smooth and rigid which has no scope of water accumulation and thereby freezing.

Raise the Temperature

This depends upon where the freezing begins. If the freezing begins within the basement, raising the temperature of basement could be of great help.

Help the Sump Pump

If by all means your hose pipe starts freezing, your sump pump is put on an extra work load to work in such odd circumstances. In such scenario it is advisable for you to do some manual work around your basement to evacuate water so that the pump can rest a little. This obviously is not the way you would want to spend your evening on a snowy day.

Discharge Line System

These are some commercially available discharge line systems that help in water drainage when discharge line freezes. These are easy to install and easy on maintenance.

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With such device installed in main discharge line, drained water would not back flow even if the main line is frozen.


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