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Old 10-24-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
Curious Homeown
 
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sump pump discharge


I live in Southern Ohio and have a question. My sump pump discharge is laying on the ground untill I can get it burried. Can I, over the winter, use gutter tape or similar to keep the water from freezing? Possible?

Probally will not be able to get it burried until spring now.
Thank you

Bill
Cincinnati Ohio

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Old 10-24-2009, 06:43 PM   #2
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sump pump discharge


The simplest way to keep it from freezing in your case would be to make sure the discharge pipe pitches up continuously from the sump to the discharge point, meaning you will need to support the discharge point. If you run the pump without a backflow preventer, and drill a 1/4 inch diameter hole on the under side of the discharge pipe near the pump, the water in the hose will flow back into the pit and will not freeze. I am assuming the pump does not run continuously, if it does that is a different problem, let us know there are other solutions.

An option is to make sure the discharge pipe pitches down continuously, meaning you run the pipe up at least a foot higher than outside grade in the pit, make a 90 degree turn, then pitch down continuously. All the water in the pipe should then run out by gravity, except the water inside the house, which should not freeze. You can still install the 1/4 inch hole in the discharge line to get the last bit of water out.

You can use the gutter tape (electric heat trace), but most of the heat trace material I am familiar with is not rated for direct exposure to the air, it is normally supposed to be protected by soil cover. You would need to use exterior exposure rated tape, if it is available.

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Old 10-25-2009, 08:04 AM   #3
Curious Homeown
 
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sump pump discharge


OK. The situation here is:
The pump is in the basement well about 20 inches below the interior floor. The piping runs vertical just under the floor joist then exits out the foundation at ground level. From there it runs, across my nice grass, about 100' with a slope of 14" at the discharge end to a swale at the rear of the proptery. Yes there is a backflow valve and the pump runs only when the well fills to activate the float.

Thanks
Bill
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:24 AM   #4
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sump pump discharge


Life gets more complex. Sounds like raising the elevation of the discharge hose within the house is out of the question. However, you do have 14 inches of pitch in a hundred feet, so you have an average downward pitch of approximately 1 percent. You should be OK for the winter, as long as you make sure you have a constant pitch downward, which you should check with a level or a laser.

If you want to improve your chances of avoiding freeze, wrap the pipe with some insulation, you can get the polystyrene wrap for pipes at any big box store. You can leave the backflow preventer in place, in your case it does not do much, since you only have a few feet of water in the vertical part of the run, but it doesn't hurt either. You may still want to drill that 1/4 inch hole I talked about in the discharge pipe near the pump just past the backflow preventer, it allows the vertical section of pipe to drain after the pump shuts off.

And just think, you have the thrill of looking forward to digging a trench next year for the pipe.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:38 AM   #5
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sump pump discharge


Your discharge pipe (usually 1 1/2 inch) should dump onto a 3 inch catch pipe,outside.

This is sometimes called a 'free fall drain' the actual drain can be reduced in size after the catch pipe.


This is done so that, if the outside drain freezes the sump discharge pipe will not,the water will simply run onto the ground until the outside drain thaws out.

If the sump discharge pipe is 'hard piped' to the outside drain-and it gets blocked-you will likely have the piping blow inside the house at the backflow valve.

That is a nasty thing to have happen. -MIKE-
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