Norton Secured powered by digicert A sump pump in the basement of a home during the winter season.

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Sump Pump Winter Maintenance

Your sump pump bails you out in the spring, summer and fall when rain threatens to flood your basement. So when winter and freezing temperatures roll around, do your sump pump and yourself a favor and take care of it! Lucky for you, we’ve gathered a list of handy tips you can use to keep your sump pump in great shape over the winter.

Maintaining Your Sump Pump Over the Winter

You can’t control how much cold this winter will bring or how much snow you’ll receive — but you can proactively protect your sump pump from winter’s worst. Combine these tips with American Family’s sump pump coverage and you’ll save yourself time and money while keeping your basement dry:

Remove your sump pump’s discharge hose for the winter. When you know your area is about to experience a long period of cold weather, remove the hose connecting your sump pump to the discharge pipe and leave it off until warmer weather returns. If water were to freeze inside the hose, it’d be unusable until it thaws — and could damage the hose, too.

Make sure to re-attach the hose when warmer temperatures return. If you decide to remove your hose for the winter, make sure to reattach it when any period of warmer, thawing weather returns. Your sump pump won’t do you any good if it can’t take the water in its pit back outside!

Have an extra discharge hose handy. This tip isn’t just for wintertime — you’re better off having an extra discharge hose on hand during all times of the year in case your primary one freezes or breaks. But if you do have at least two discharge hoses already, you don’t necessarily need to remove the one connected to your sump pump when winter comes. If it freezes, just remove it, attach the spare and let the other one thaw out. That way, you don’t have to be as vigilant with detaching and reattaching the hose as temperatures fluctuate.

Never unplug your sump pump. While you might think you don’t need your sump pump over the winter months, you shouldn’t unplug it entirely. If a warm front comes through, snow melts and a rainstorm hits, you might end up with a wet basement all because you forgot to plug your sump pump back in.

Clear out debris in your sump pump’s pit. Making sure there’s no dirt, gunk, ice or other debris in your sump pump’s pit will help you avoid clogs in its intake or discharge pipes. If you notice a lot of debris in your pump’s pit, calling a professional to have it cleaned out can pay major dividends in the form of flood prevention.

Test your pump regularly. Run some water through it during the winter to make sure it’s still functional. When that big snowmelt comes, you’ll be glad you made sure your sump pump is working. And if you removed the hose earlier, make sure to reattach it before you test.

Make sure your discharge pipe gets rid of water away from your home. Your pump’s discharge pipe’s job is to take the water from the sump pump and dispose of it away from your home. If it’s too close, that water could keep seeping back into your sump, causing your sump pump to run continuously. And your pump will have even more hardship to deal with if that water were to freeze. Experts recommend that water be discharged at least 10 feet away from your home’s foundation.

Keep your heat on. Your basement can get cold — and your sump pump’s pit and pipes can get even colder. Make sure to keep your heat on and heat your basement normally, as it can prevent any of your home’s pipes from freezing.

You work hard to protect your home from the unexpected. That’s why American Family Insurance offers customizable home insurance coverages to make sure it’s protected! Get in touch with your American Family agent and get the coverage and peace of mind you deserve.

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Related Topics: At Home , Home DIY , Owning A Home