Winter maintenance is important in ensuring that your electrical appliances don’t fail due to extreme weather. Given the unpredictability of the winters in NEPA, we recommend winterizing most appliances in your home that will not be used, from your hot water heater to your sump pump. 

Unfortunately, damaged sump pumps are one of the most common home inspection errors we see in a lot of homes in NEPA. This guide will help you prolong the longevity of your sump pump through some simple winter maintenance.

Remove the Discharge Hose

First, you can begin by removing your sump pump discharge hose for the winter. By removing the hose connecting your sump pump to the discharge pipe and leaving it disconnected until warmer weather returns, you will prevent it from freezing. 

Since this hose is exposed to the elements more than any other part of your system, it’s essential to start here. It’s also important to remember to re-attach the hose when it becomes warmer out as things will begin to thaw.

You can also choose to have an extra discharge hose. With the extra hose, you can remove one hose if it freezes and replace it with the spare while the first thaws out. 

Keep Your Sump Pump Running

A common misconception among homeowners is that you should unplug your sump pump for the winter to protect it.

You should never unplug your sump pump because if the weather warms up and snow or a rain storm hits your area, your basement could flood

Clean Out the Sump Pit

Clear out debris from your sump pump’s pit that may have accumulated through the summer and fall. You should make sure that there is no dirt, ice, gunk, or any other debris that might inhibit the system. This will help to prevent clogs in the intake or discharge pipes and prevent mold from accumulating that can spread around the home. 

Test Your Pump to Ensure Its Functional

You should also test your pump regularly. During the winter months, run some water through it to ensure that it is functioning properly. Run a test every few weeks to keep your sump pump running in tip-top shape. 

Inspect Your Discharge Pipe

Another important tip is to make sure that your discharge pipe gets rid of water away from your home. Your pump’s discharge pipe takes water from your sump pump and disposes of it away from your home. If your discharge pipe is too close, the water could keep seeping back into your sump pump and cause it to run continuously. It is recommended that water be discharged at least ten feet away from your home’s foundation to prevent damage and cracks from forming.

You can even wrap your pipe with a thermal blanket like any other pipe in your home to prevent it from freezing. 

Keep Your Basement Warm 

Lastly, we recommend that you keep your heat on in your basement. By keeping your basement warm, you can prevent any of your home’s pipes from freezing. Consider upgrading your insulation to save money and keep your basement warm during the freezing months. 

We hope that these tips will help you prevent damage to your sump pump and ensure that it is properly maintained!