Stop my sump pump pipe from creating a fountain of ice next to my house
January 21, 2008 8:43 PM   Subscribe

How can I repair my sump pump drainage pipes so that they'll withstand sub-freezing temperatures?

I live in an area that apparently has a high water table, and I think I have an underground spring close to my home too. Which means the sump pump in my basement has been running 24/7 for the last few weeks as we've gotten snow and thaws. Yesterday, I discovered that the PVC pipe had burst right after it exits from the house and before it goes underground. I'm getting a spectacular build-up of ice there from the water gushing out of the basement. What can I do?

I'd repaired part of this pipe system in the spring, but I don't think the bonding glue will work in sub-freezing temperatures. I also don't want to shut the pump off for any length of time. But I hate having all this ice build up right next to the house, and I'm worried that having the water build-up there will cause some to leak back into the basement.

Clearly, when spring comes, I have to dig a deeper ditch and lay new pipe. But what steps can I take to keep it from cracking again, especially in the area that is exposed as it leaves the house? And what can I do now to divert the water further from the house?
posted by saffry to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Where does it go after it goes underground?

If it was me, I'd go to Menards and get more PVC and just rig something up until the thaw comes. Larger ddiameter pipe just running away from the house so the ice builds up farther away.

Did it burst from freezing, or did the repair just fail? It shouldn't have frozen, if it did you've got a plumbing design problem.
posted by gjc at 9:10 PM on January 21, 2008

You didn't hear this from me because my town says it wrong: my pipe freezes somewhere outside every winter and merely blocks the pipe. I bought a smaller pump that I attached a hose to and run it to the sink in my basement. When the weather warms up, I switch back to the main pump. Yes, I know this is wrong (from a water bill paying perspective) but foo on them.
posted by jdfan at 7:11 AM on January 22, 2008

Try to insulate the pipe, maybe by wrapping loosely it in pink fiberglass wool, or even large trashbags packed with fallen leaves tightly packed around it. You only need the water to stay at cellar temperature for a few moments before it heads under the relatively warm earth.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:19 AM on January 22, 2008

when you go to home depo, you can buy some flexible hose that you can attach for now, using clamps, that'll withstand the freezing better. Run the hose downhill on the ground to keep it freezing. You may have to replace it again this winter.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 8:40 AM on January 22, 2008

Our sump pump exit has a fail-safe connection: just outside the house where the internal pipe meets the wider bit of PVC, the connection is made with a slotted funnel. If the outside pipe ever freezes, the water from the sump exits here instead of backing up into the house. It's high enough off the ground that the fitting itself should never get blocked.
posted by yerfatma at 10:42 AM on January 22, 2008

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