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Can I add windshield fluid to sump pump pit?

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From Nancy:


Very good article about house sump pump! My ? is, I have PVC discharge pipe which extends out from back of house to the side, which i connected a flexi hose to. now that it is winter, i cut/shorten the flexi hose, however my sump pump stopped because water in hose was frozen, not sure if water in pvc froze also.

I cannot bury the pvc pipe, but i plan on burying the flexi hose in spring. any suggestions how i can prevent maybe water freezing in pvc pipe? someone said you could put windshield fluid in sump pit water to prevent, would this help? also would this damage my pump? any advise would be greatly appreicated..thanks!!..i dunno wut to do

asked in Sump Pump by darekrudy (21,730 points)
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1 Answer

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Hi Nancy,

Don’t put anything into the sump pump pit, it’s just a waste of money – the pump will discharge everything onto your backyard anyway, and you’ll contaminate soil with chemicals. If you have a check valve installed above the sump pump, position the horizontal section of the discharge pipe so it slopes towards the exterior – it will drain remaining water onto the ground (otherwise it stays in the pipe and freezes).

Without the check valve it doesn’t matter, after the sump pump stops operating, remaining water will either drain through the sump pump or to the exterior. The important thing is the height of the sump pump discharge pipe at the exterior wall penetration – if it is at the ground level, it will be hard to keep the ice out of it, above the snow line would be perfect but sometimes not possible (that exterior piece you’ve left should be hanging above the ground and above the snow line if possible).

Some people connect sump pumps to the sewer lines (for the cold season), but (at least in Illinois) many jurisdictions forbid such installation to prevent those systems from flooding. Connecting the sump pump to your septic tank is also a very bad idea.
answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)