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Winterizing your sump pump

1024 624 Nisha Muire

Toronto winters are not as harsh as those experienced across the country. However, temperatures do routinely drop below the freezing point, which means  if you have a home with a sump pump it is vital to winterize it. 

Why to winterize sump pump

Winterizing your sump pump doesn’t require a lot of work, but if it isn’t done and the drainage line freezes it will block the water from draining and the sump pit will get backed up. If not caught on time the water backup can spill over into your basement and cause a lot of damage.  

Steps to follow:

1- Remove hose

The first step is self explanatory – it is vital to remove the hose attached to your sump pump or risk it freezing with water remaining inside. 

2 – Clean pump and pipes

Even if you’ve removed the hose, if there is any standing water remaining in your pump or any pipes, this can damage the system – likewise with any mud or debris that could have found its way in. 

3 – Install a sump pump ice guard (optional)

If you are really worried about freezing water, you can always install an ice guard. These handy devices are designed to make sure any overflow water is diverted out of the sump basin. 

4 – Make sure exit pipe far enough away from house

All sump pumps have an exit pipe that carries ways away from your house – make sure that this pipe is far enough away so that no water can return towards your house. 

5 – Don’t unplug your sump pump!

That’s right. Even if you don’t expect that it will be necessary over the winter, there is always the chance of an unexpected thaw or vacillating temperatures that could require the pump to help get rid of water. If it is unplugged – that can’t happen. So be sure that your pump remains plugged in.  

6 – Winterize crawl spaces 

Next, make sure that any crawl spaces are well defended against the cold. If too much cold air is allowed into the space, it can eventually freeze your sump pump pipes and basin. 

If you are diligent about doing the steps we’ve outlined, then you can rest easy when the cold weather hits knowing your home and sump pump are ready.


Nisha Muire

All stories by: Nisha Muire