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Bill55

02:09AM | 01/05/04
Member Since: 02/20/03
20 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
Last summer a new drain pipe was installed for our sump pump. The pipe runs from the house to an grate at the curb. Becuase of pitch the pipe is 4 inches deep near the house to a depth of 8 to 10 inches near the curb. Our sump pump runs quite a bit every 10 minutes or so. My concern is with water freezing in the drain pipe and causing a backup. Is there anything I can put in the sump water to avoid a freeze-up?

cellarwater

08:59AM | 01/06/04
Member Since: 12/09/03
175 lifetime posts
That sump pump drain should have been installed at least 3 feet deep!I'm hoping that it is not connected directy through the wall. Rather that the pump discharges outside,then into the drain. also what size pipe is underground? It should be no less than 4 inches in diameter.We've got a deep freeze coming. My advice repipe sump pump to outside Leave a two foot stub [the 1 1/2inch] get some gutter pipe or 4 inch pipe and run to drain.remove any check valve from pump.Water held in pipe will freeze.Stay dry. C.

devildog

09:34AM | 01/06/04
Member Since: 09/16/02
250 lifetime posts
It sounds like cellarwater knows more about this than I do, but here is my two cents. If there is a slope going from the house to the curb how is water going to freeze? It sounds like the water will run right to the curb, leaving just the water inside the house below the 90 degree elbow. The water on the inside shouldn't freeze that fast (unless it's in an unheated crawl space). If you're looking for a CHEAP way out buy some electrical tape and wrap the pipe. I would wait on it until you know it's going to freeze.

The more your sump pump runs the less chance there is of it freezing up.

Correct me where I'm wrong cellarwater.

Good luck,
Devildog


cellarwater

11:21AM | 01/06/04
Member Since: 12/09/03
175 lifetime posts
Devildog[they make an awesome breakfast] Take a look at a stream or river during a cold period. Notice that the icing will take place from the outside banks toward the center. When it gets really cold[20 Deg.or lower] this process happens faster till the waterway freezes over. This is what happens inside cold pipes, till they freeze shut. During cold snaps [I'm in new England] This is my most frequent service call.Tape is a bad insulator from the cold. C.

Bill55

01:35PM | 01/07/04
Member Since: 02/20/03
20 lifetime posts
Update
1. The drain pipe does not go thru the wall but goes straight down to about 8 inches. I was wrong about the depth. There is a clean out cover at the top of the pipe should I remove that should the pipe freeze up and occlude?
2. At the curb the pipe is at a depth of 16 to 18 inches and is perforated and covered over with pea gravel. We are at 10 degrees right now am I worried over nothing? My father in law says everything will be fine he was here for the installation.

tomh

05:06AM | 01/08/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
550 lifetime posts
You have received good advice from the other posters. I wanted to comment on your question whether you should add something to the water to prevent freezing. The sump water is draining to the curb, then to the stormwater system and creeks. Do not add antifreeze which is toxic. Animals could drink it from the curb and its discharge to stormwater is illegal in any event.

It sounds like you could modify your cleanout to act as an emergency bypass in the event the pipe freezes. The solid cleanout cover could be replaced with a small round grate that fits in the opening. This would allow water to back out of the system at the cleanout in the event pipes further towards the curb freeze. I agree with your father in law, you probably won't have a problem, but if you do have a freeze-up, you want the system to continue evacuating water from the sump.

devildog

08:47AM | 01/08/04
Member Since: 09/16/02
250 lifetime posts
I stand corrected. As I said I am no expert. I guess it's people like me who keep cellarwater in business. Sorry about the bad advice.

Devildog

cellarwater

11:05AM | 01/08/04
Member Since: 12/09/03
175 lifetime posts
Tomh has the right advice. Also you might want to get one of those little water alarms put it near the pump & it will alert you to any trouble.C.
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