Preventing sump pump discharge lines from freezing?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Mad Plumber, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. Mad Plumber

    Mad Plumber Mad Skills

    Messages:
    223
    Please advise on preventing sump pump discharge lines from freezing and can you tell me if you can connect the discharge from sump pump to the downspout output that connects to the storm drains. Please give detailed instructions on how to bury the extended dishcharge pipe from the sump pump pipe.What size to use , What pipe to use. Is there an insulated pipe.Is it adviseable. to tie in to downspout lines. What is an Iceguard. I read about installing a tee. How does that work.How deep do we go and what materials are needed. Thank-you
    Linda
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    What part of the country do you live in? In some places, it is illegal to connect a sump pump to the sewer, so that may be an issue as well. If the line can drain after the pump shuts off, icing is possible, but not as much of a problem as if it pools, so proper slope is critical.
  3. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

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    Location:
    North Carolina
    If you insist on detailed instructions I'll need a lot of specifics on your end as well as a retainer fee. :D

    On the other hand if you want free advice I'll tell you to set the discharge line with as short, small diameter, and as vertical a riser as possible, then 90 to an increased line size, to a free discharge of constant slope in accordance with plumbing drainage Code. Then in the check valve just past the pump drill a 1/4" or so hole in the flapper. Once the pump stops its cycle the riser should drain back to the sump and the sloped discharge should empty itself onto the ground.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Connecticut
    If you're going to drill a hole in the check valve why even install one?:confused:

    Have the riser come up then have the line to the storm sewer pitch 1/4" per foot the rest of the run. Install a vacuum breaker at the top of the riser. This will allow the line to the sewer to drain dry after each cycle so it will not freeze. The line can not have and bellies or, it will freeze, unless they are buried deeper than the frost line. Even so if there is sufficient cold air flow in the storm sewer there is a risk of freezing.
  5. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

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    Location:
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    Most pumps come with them already installed. It will also reduce flooding if the discharge end gets surcharged.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Location:
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    The hole is below the check valve to prevent the pump from being airlocked when a pit dries. Check valves prevent the riser from draining back into the pit!
  7. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    No matter what you do if it get's cold enough outside the line will freeze. You can come up with any slope you want, down pipe up pipe it makes no difference. When temps drop below freezing the horizontal pipe is going to slowly begin to freeze and eventually plug. Unless you can bury it below forst line and drain it into some sort of pit below the frost line it's always going to be a problem. I only know this because it get's pretty damn cold around here in the winter and we deal with this problem often.
  8. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Location:
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    In my area the sump should not discharge to the storm drain but to my own property. Of course most of us link the sump discharge to the downspouts that discharge to the street. It's overlooked but not technically allowed. A clever interpretation by one of my neighbors is to discharge to his own property that then flows through ordinary surface drainage to the street rather than piping directly to it.

    The real gem is that the 1950s houses along my street have a floor drain at the bottom of the outside stairs to the walk out basement. These are connected to the sewer which would be a no-no. But in our case it has been challenged and subsequently grandfathered since they were installed when the houses were built, and the code was very vague at that time!!!!!!!! Yippee!

    What do most houses do to get rid of the water that collects at the base of their walk-out basements where such a solution is not allowed?
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Location:
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    Here they do not allow sump pumps to discharge into the street as it would create an ice hazard in the winter.

    They must either discharge unto your property in a maner that it doesn't flood into the street or, create a runoff problem for your neighbors. Plumbing into the storm sewers is disireable.
  10. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

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    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    If the riser is in a cold space and filled with water then it will freeze. Drill a small hole in the check valve flap and it will drain back into the sump, preventing that.
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Location:
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    I would question why anyone would install a sump pump in an unimproved cold area...

    Generally they are used in basements to prevent flooding and the outside is cold.

    But if you did want to install one in a frozen puddle outside I would not install a check valve at all rather than ruin it by drilling a hole in it...:rolleyes:
  12. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Lots of people have cold basements. And if you have a heat conducting pipe then the portion nearest to the outside wall would be colder still.

    We drill check valves all the time in pumped septic systems to keep them from freezing.
  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Location:
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    The portion near the outside wall would be the downward pitched portion going out which would be dry.

    Does it even get cold in North Carolina?
  14. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Depends on how he's got it plumbed.

    It is a very diverse state. We have a 4 month long ski season, and the northern most palm trees. Most Yankees only see I-95 on their way to Florida.
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Location:
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    I didn't even see that...
    Delta baby!:cool:

    I advised a riser then vacuum breaker and pitched which is the right way.

    Remember?
    Enough muddying of the thread...
  16. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Most New Englanders have a myopic view of the world, especially The South. Where I grew up in Massachusetts they taught us that the tallest mountain in the East was Washington in New Hampshire. :D

    There's more than one way to plumb it apparently.
  17. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
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    You must not have been paying attention in class that day...
    I believe Mount Mitchell in your state would have that ranking...
    Truth be told we don't have mountains in the east... We have bumps!
    Gotta go west for real mountains...

    Mt. Washington's only record is the highest recorded wind speed on the surface of the earth at 231 MPH. It's summit ellevation of 6,288' really isn't much in height.

    Here's a question for you... What is the tallest mountain in the world?:cool:
  18. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    To prevent freezing discharge lines, run heat from the furnace to any area just below the SP discharge line, where ever the line could possibly freeze.

    This will prevent it from freezing.
  19. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Is this a trivia contest now? Who cares?

    My education of the South from the Northern perspective was lacking in a lot of areas, not simply geography. Its a good thing actually, since fear by regional prejudice and of the unknown keeps a lot of Yankees away. It would be awfully crowded here if y'all knew the truth.
  20. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I didn't say that I hadn't been to your state...
    I just said if I was going to Florida I'd fly!
    I spent quite a bit of time there in fact...
    Mooresville, Terrell, North Wilksboro, Concord...
    I have a few friends that lived in Mooresville & Terrell on Lake Norman...
    Go fast n turn left!

    Still If I wanted a sump line to drain back into the pit I'd just skip the check valve rather than drill a hole in one...
    Drilling the hole defeats the purpose of having one...
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
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