How ice and freezing temperatures affect basement pumps



During the winter months, a basement pump can come under a lot of stress and strain. Higher levels of rainfall mean a basement is more likely to be flooded while frozen temperatures increase the risk of burst water pipes and other damage to water-related items such as water storage units. All of this can result in a basement pump being used more.

Added to this, basements are colder than other levels or rooms in a property and can risk causing damage to a pump, even if it isn’t in use.

Cold weather can affect basement pumps in other ways. Pipes can freeze; restricting water flow while frost damage can cause leaks in pipes.

Here are some tips for ensuring that your basement pump is working optimally through the winter months.

Early season service

If you haven’t used your basement pump much in the summer and autumn months but are more likely to need it during the winter, then it’s worth checking over your pump and possibly giving it a quick service.

Electrical and mechanical components can be more prone to breaking if they haven’t been used for a long time so it’s worth removing any grime or debris and testing the pump to make sure it’s working OK. If you need help checking over your pump system or if you need help with servicing, get in touch with our basement pump servicing team on 0800 009 21 20

Check pipes for frost damage and other issues

Although a basement pump itself is unlikely to freeze, ground frost and cold nights can cause discharge pipes to freeze. Check all pipes for frost damage and repair any leaks. If the pipes are still frozen this will restrict water coming through the pipes and cause a blockage which will also put the pump under more strain.

Warming up the surrounding area with a heater is a good way to thaw out the pipes. You can also provide heating during cold nights as a form of frost-protection to avoid pipes from freezing at all.

If DIY thawing of frozen pipes isn’t for you then call our professional basement pump servicing company to help clear the pipes fully.

We recommend checking the pipes fully if you expect to use a pump for the first time in a few months as well as after a night when temperatures have been close to zero (or less).

Allow the motor to cool down

Leaving the pump on for extended periods can risk overheating. If you are using the pump for extended periods, then try to rest the motor for at least 15-20 minutes to allow it to cool down. We appreciate this isn’t always possible when a basement is being flooded but there are ways to be more effective such as by pumping in batches.

Bury pump pipes below ground

If your discharge pipe runs outside and possibly connects to a smaller pipe to extend its distance, then it’s more prone to frost. Many people use standard smaller piping to carry discharge away from a property, but this increases the risk of issues related to cold weather.

By burying the pipe as much as possible below ground you are reducing the chances of it freezing. Larger pipes should also be considered as they are also less likely to freeze or create blockages.

Although you can bury the pipes yourself, we recommend contacting a professional basement pump pipe installer to make sure that this is done properly.

Need help?

If you are concerned about damage or need help with servicing and repairs of your basement pump, then get in touch with London Basement Pumps. We are happy to organise a site visit to see how we can help keep your basement dry through the cold winter months and into summer. Get in touch today - Call us free on 0800 009 21 20

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