Basement Waterproofing Basics – Keeping Your Sump Pump From Freezing

A good sump pump can mean the difference between a wet basement and a dry basement. Because your basement is underground, it’s constantly in danger of leaking groundwater through its walls. If you’ve enacted a comprehensive basement waterproofing program, you might have a drain that sends all water to a sump pump, which in turn pumps it out of the basement.

That sump pump is the beating heart of your entire basement waterproofing system. So it’s important to make sure it doesn’t freeze in the cold weather. Here’s how to prevent that from happening.

Get a big pump

A really big pump. If the hoses leading to and from your sump pump are larger, they’ll allow more water to pass through, which in turn will be less likely to freeze.


Keep the pump itself well-insulated, and bury its discharge hose as deep as possible so it’s below the frost line. Insulate the discharge hose as well, with heavy duty tape or something equally strong.

Don’t overwork it

Divert as much water as possible from its path. An ideal basement waterproofing paradigm includes a system of swales (long, shallow ditches) and berms (raised pieces of ground) that divert water away from your house. If rainwater doesn’t go near your foundation, that’s less work for your sump pump.

Heat the basement

Keeping the basement heated can prevent the water in and around the sump pump can prevent it from freezing. Keep this in mind on those very cold nights.

Keep the water’s egress point lower than the pump itself

This way you won’t get a buildup of water around the sump pump. That way, even if the temperature does drop, the pump won’t be submerged and will be unlikely to freeze.

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John and Barbara Vicich

“We wanted to thank you for your personal and specialized attention to the water problem we had in our basement. You took the time to inspect the whole situation and gave us recommendations, all of which worked. You had a way of explaining the process and materials that would be used in a way that we understood. We are very pleased with the work that was done and would highly recommend your company to anyone.”

-John and Barbara Vicich

Debbie, Berwyn

“The day after Hurricane Irene, all of my neighbors basements were filled with water, while mine remained dry! It is wonderful, everything remains dry and the battery backup worked beautifully when my power was out for 2 days. Dry AND quiet, thank you, thank you! Thanks! Debbie, Berwyn”

-Debbie, Berwyn

Doug Smith, Glenside

“All I have to say is that Hurricane Irene was no match for the job that Rightway did for my basement and my father-in-law’s. I had my basement done 5 years ago and we are still bone dry and my father-inlaw’s was done last year and another dry basement… Great job! I highly recommend them for waterproofing and mold remediation.”

-Doug Smith, Glenside


“I’d highly recommend these guys for your basement. My basement has been dry since they installed a sump pump and French drain in June. They offer a competitive price, they get the job done quickly and they stand by their work. Please mention my name if you proceed down the road with these guys.”


Angelo and Sandra Patiri

“We had our basement waterproofed with Rightway Waterproofing in 2007, after all this time and just getting through Hurricane Irene, we did not get a drop of water in our basement. Rightway Waterproofing did a very good job and we are very satisfied!”

-Angelo and Sandra Patiri