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    Frozen Sump Pump Discharge Pipe!

    Asked Feb 2, 2009, 03:30 PM 6 Answers
    I did a search before posting this question, but I only came across bits and pieces of the info I needed.

    I live in NY and my neighborhood has a high water table. I installed a sump pump last year and ran the discharge pipe out through the foundation and into the sewer by the road. There were very heavy rains and lots of melt water in February of 2008. At that time, the sump pump was cycling on and off every 3 minutes. To keep a continuous downward pitch and still empty into the roadside sewer/drywell, I had to keep the entire discharge pipe above the frost line.

    The discharge pipe has frozen and I have to fix this before the water table rises again and my basement floods. Currently, the sump pit is dry but I don't want to bet on how long it will stay that way.

    • There is a proper check valve installed (see picture).
    • The discharge pipe is 1-1/2" PVC without any perforations.
    • The discharge pipe exits the house about 3-4 inches below ground level and is about 1-1/2 feet below ground where it ends in the sewer.
    • The discharge pipe is about 30 feet long.

    Should I be installing some sort of secondary pipe that branches off the main pipe inside the house to deal with future blockage?

    Should I be digging up my lawn and redoing the system? Perhaps a dry well below the frost line... but would the dry well be able to handle the volume of water I'm pumping?

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    6 Answers
    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,441, Reputation: 212
    Ultra Member

    Feb 2, 2009, 05:27 PM

    Hi Logan

    For starters In my area I'm not allowed to sump directly into the storm sewer. So be careful.

    To do it right Lower the pipe below frost line and then no worries.

    An axillary pipe is the other option

    Dry well WON'T handle that amount of discharge at all

    So that leaves to options. I go for the depth below frost and go extra on depth if you can.

    Logan for as quick as the sump pumps I would rig up a back up pump and set the kick off a little higher for extreme times and not to mention while sleeping the original pump burns.
    Many of times I do this on heavy areas. I look at it like a bilge pump in a boat and if it fails the boat sinks.

    Signed 21 Boat

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    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 341, Reputation: 6
    Full Member

    Feb 2, 2009, 05:39 PM

    I work for my town and they gave me permission to connect into the storm drain... sweet huh? Anyway, if I were to drop the discharge pipe below the frost line, wouldn't the pipe have to come back up above the frost line to enter the storm drain? The pit in my storm drain only goes down about 2 feet. That would probably leave a huge collection area for water to sit inside the pipe.

    As for an auxiliary pipe, how and where should I set it up in my run? I know it would have to be AFTER the check valve. Is there some kind of PVC valve I can buy to divert the water to the auxiliary pipe only when I want to, like during the winter months?

    I just came up with a few possible setups. I like options A or B but I threw C in there anyway. What do you think?
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    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,441, Reputation: 212
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    Feb 2, 2009, 07:09 PM

    Since the storm is only two feet how about installing a check valve which should be there and then a vent after the check valve right against the house and then the slope from there will always drain out to catch basin. If the pipe completely drains out then it can't get frozen unless it gets back water from drain. This way you could maintain the height there and it Will always drain out with in reason.
    To put a Y for added discharge a Ball valve could be used on the Y in the basement.
    I don't see a reason for 2 ball valves is the line becomes frozen that is the ball valve.
    The main concern on the primary side is it draining completely and vent to allow that so it won't freeze with left over water vacuumed in it
    So pump check valve Y ball valve on split and straight run on main after check and that vented right where it come on the outside of foundation.

    Signed 21 Boat

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    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 341, Reputation: 6
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    Feb 2, 2009, 08:50 PM
    Let me see if I got it right...

    Once the discharge pipe leaves the sump pit there needs to be a check valve like I have in my picture. After the check valve I add a wye connector so that there is a main discharge that leads to the storm drain and an auxiliary discharge. On the axillary line I add ball valve to open if the main gets clogged.

    Going back to the main discharge... After the wye, the main discharge continues up and out through the foundation wall. Once the pipe is outside I should add a one way vent (see picture) so that the water can flow out to the storm drain better.

    Am I missing anything?
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    21boat's Avatar
    21boat Posts: 2,441, Reputation: 212
    Ultra Member

    Feb 2, 2009, 10:30 PM

    Looks good Logan I posted a site picture you may have looked up and the only diff is they show a trap outside the wall which you don't want The Vent is perfect. You could Y in the vent connection for another clean out just in case.

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    If you decide to do a tandem sump pump in the future make sure the second pump runs now and again and not dies sitting in a pit.

    Signed 21 Boat

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    logan176's Avatar
    logan176 Posts: 341, Reputation: 6
    Full Member

    Feb 8, 2009, 10:04 AM
    Okay, I completed half the job so far. It's still a little cold outside and there's still snow on the ground so I won't be putting in the outside vent for a few more weeks. I wyed off the main and added the ball valve. Then at the top I temporarily attached a black plastic hose.

    Two More Questions:

    1: I'm curious about something. I know you said to put in only one ball valve because the ice would act the other ball valve. However, in this setup, if there is an ice blockage in the main line and more water is pumped in, then the entire line out to the street would be completely filled with water. If that water also froze, isn't there a good chance that the large volume of ice would crack the pvc pipe?

    2: Also, when I connected the pvc pieces together I have been using the two products shown in the picture. First the cleaner, then the glue. I do remember reading that pvc needs a primer. Is the cleaner acting as the primer? I've used this combo in the past and I've never had a problem yet.
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