Author Topic: Plumbing sump pump in cold climate?  (Read 7789 times)

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Offline walkabout

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Plumbing sump pump in cold climate?
« on: October 17, 2011, 06:20:40 AM »
Do any of you have photos of how you have plumbed your sump pumps in your seasonal/unheated cabin?
I have just completed the shell of my cabin, but currently have a garden hose connected to the sump pump and obviously want to make something more permanent.

All the diagrams I can find (like this one) appear to be prone to freezing in the vertical section of pipe:


I have thought of using heat  tape, but assume I would have to use metal for the section of pipe that is to be heated.

Any other sump pump advice welcome.

Offline JRR

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Re: Plumbing sump pump in cold climate?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2011, 12:35:11 PM »
If the well is large enough ... in area, and the piping is small enough ... in diameter and length, and you eliminate the check valve and all "traps": you may create a situation where, after a pumping cycle, most of the piping will empty "to the outside" ... some small volume of water will fall back into the well.  But the pipe ends up mostly empty and therefore there is no freezing concern.   I don't know if this simple scheme will work for you or not.  Takes some planning and living with the fact that the well is never as empty as it could be.  If the pump has a water tight check valve included in its design ... you will have to add a small "bled", or leak, back into the well.

Offline walkabout

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Re: Plumbing sump pump in cold climate?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 02:53:51 AM »
Thanks for the advice JRR.

I decided to leave a section in the vertical pipe that can be removed so that the pump can be removed easily, but more importantly I can add a check valve later if needed:



Offline JRR

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Re: Plumbing sump pump in cold climate?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 07:33:59 AM »
Good idea on having a quick-removal plan.  and good looking work.  Is that sod on the ground?  Have you experimented with the pump to find if amount of waste left behind ... you can live with?

"Back when" .... I use to design various industrial facilities.   I would typically install two pumps at every sump well and the controls that would first employ one pump ... and the next cycle, employ the other.  The first pump to fail would trigger an alarm as the waste level increased to a certain point, and the controller would then turn both pumps "on".  This gave the maintenance guys a chance  to come a'running and stick in a pre-repaired pump.

Do you have a plan for "when" the pump fails?  Alarms?  Pre-prepared second pump? .... (Mop and bucket ...?)

Offline walkabout

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Re: Plumbing sump pump in cold climate?
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 08:33:46 AM »
JRR, I tested the sump pump by running a garden hose into the sump basket. It took about 30 seconds to fill it enough before the sump kicked in, but it only took the pump 3 seconds to pump it out. I realise now that I need to place some rocks/stones to disperse the water when it comes out so fast.

I did not see more than a trickle of water returning to the sump basket which is good.

I currently do not have a backup pump or backup power for the pump. I was going to look at battery backups for the pump when I get to finishing the basement. Right now I store lumber etc off the ground in the basement.

We have not had that much rain since our spring/summer storms here in MN so the pump has had to work unless I test it. I have since graded and sodded the outside of the foundation so hopefully the sump won't need to be used that often. We will see in the spring though.

Offline Native_NM

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Re: Plumbing sump pump in cold climate?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 12:18:25 PM »
New Mexico.  Better than regular Mexico.

Offline TheWire

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Re: Plumbing sump pump in cold climate?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2011, 01:21:56 PM »
My underground drain line for my sump pump at home occasionally freezes.  You might want to consider replacing the elbow coming out of the house and goes into the rubber adapter with a T then putting a short section of pipe on the top of the T with an elbow pointing away from the house.  Then if the drain line freezes, the water will spray out of the elbow.  Not the best as the water will fall near the foundation, but it beats burning out a sump pump and flooding the basement.

Offline JRR

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Re: Plumbing sump pump in cold climate?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2011, 07:00:56 AM »
I currently do not have a backup pump or backup power for the pump. I was going to look at battery backups for the pump when I get to finishing the basement. Right now I store lumber etc off the ground in the basement. ......We have not had that much rain since our spring/summer storms here in MN so the pump has had to work unless I test it. I have since graded and sodded the outside of the foundation so hopefully the sump won't need to be used that often. We will see in the spring though.

Reads as tho you are thinking thru the risks/outcomes pretty well.  Could be that a seasonal test, along with some record keeping, will be all you really need.  If that pump-out time varies much ... would be a signal to do something further.

 

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