Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Sump Pump Problems in Winter and Other Cold Weather Pump Issues: Professional Advice to Keep Your Building’s Pumps Running

With each passing year, extreme weather in the Northeast gets worse, largely due to climate change. Your sump pump is an essential method to prevent interior water damage. If you had problems with it last winter, or if you aren’t confident in its performance this year, read on. We discuss sump pump problems in winter, as well as winter season issues that may crop up with other pumps in your New York City condo or co-op property.

The Purpose of Your Sump Pump

Prevention of indoor flooding

The sump pump (aka stormwater sump) isn’t a fancy device, but it’s important to protect the lower levels of your building. It detects rising water, typically due to heavy rainfall or snowmelt, and pumps it away before it can come inside and cause damage.

A float sensor in the pump basin triggers the pump to turn on when the water level reaches a certain depth. Usually, the water is pumped via a discharge line to a distant location in the landscaping outside or, in dense city areas, to the drainage system.

Sump Pump Problems in Winter

Causes and symptoms

By far the most common sump pump problem in winter that we see at Antler Pumps is freezing of the ground around the pump and its discharge line. Unfortunately, New York is subject to a wide range of winter temperatures, from mild, rainy weather to deep freezes similar to what residents of northern New England and Quebec experience all winter.

When those frigid temperatures hit, your discharge line can freeze along with the ground. This is because water may remain in the line from previous use, or once the pump starts running, the water being removed is just a trickle, not moving fast enough to keep it from freezing. Just like with any pipe, slow-moving water can freeze and accumulate, on top of expanding as it freezes. Pretty soon, the entire discharge line is blocked, and the sump pump can’t do its intended job.

What are the symptoms of a frozen sump pump discharge line? You’ll probably notice all three of these things:

  1. Water keeps rising in the basin and may even start to flood the inside of the property.
  2. The sump pump runs constantly, trying to remove the water, but with the ice-clogged discharge line, there’s nowhere to send it.
  3. No water is running at the far end of the discharge pipe, whether in your yard or where it feeds into the city drain lines.

Obviously, water coming into the interior of the property is the worst consequence. However, if the pump runs constantly, it could burn out the motor, leaving you with a second problem on your hands.

Solutions for sump pump problems in winter

In places that endure consistent freezing temperatures all winter – mostly north of the border in Canada – properties disconnect their sump pumps for winter. But that isn’t a practical solution for New York City, where you may have a deep freeze in January that turns into a rainstorm in early February, necessitating the use of your sump pump.

A better solution is to insulate the discharge line to prevent freezing. In many cases, these lines run above or just below the surface, leaving them subject to freezing and thawing all winter long. If you insulate or bury the line deeply, you can eliminate these cycles that put your pump and property in danger.

There are three other fixes that can help prevent your sump pump from backing up in winter:

  1. Use a wider diameter pipe, which is also helpful in times of heavy rainstorms and hurricanes.
  2. Make sure the gradient for the pipe runs downhill from where it originates.
  3. Check to see that the size of the sump pump is sufficient for the demand being placed on it, as weather conditions have changed over the last decade or two, when it was probably installed.

Common Wintertime Problems with Other Pumps

High demand means more maintenance

What about the other pumps in your property during winter? As we mentioned above, a pump that runs constantly is vulnerable to burning out or breaking down. This is a risk with pumps that see more demand in winter, especially those associated with your boiler system.

You have multiple pumps running hard during cold weather, providing the boiler with fresh water, circulating hot water or steam, and bringing condensate back to the boiler. If your boiler system pumps are older, have had problems before, or are overdue for maintenance, now is the time to tend to them before winter sets in.

The experts from Antler Pumps can check things like:

  • Pump mounting
  • Cracks in the pump casing
  • Broken or clogged valves
  • Hardened gaskets and seals
  • Impeller problems
  • Electrical issues with the motor
  • Lubrication and bearings
  • Pump settings for optimum performance

You reduce the probability of having a pump failure this winter with proactive maintenance in the fall.

Fix Potential Sump Pump Problems Before Winter

Act before freezing temperatures

As important as it is to take care of your boiler system pumps in autumn (and your rooftop equipment too), it’s equally vital to ensure your sump pump will function properly when it needs to this winter. If your sump pump has failed or frozen, or if you worry about your sump pump’s reliability this winter, don’t delay. Call Antler Pumps at 212-534-2500 for a checkup now, while the weather is still warm enough to fix any potential issues. You’ll thank yourself this winter when the rains come and your building is protected.

Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of

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You can browse some areas of (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with

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Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
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We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

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The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

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The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

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The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

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Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

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This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

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We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

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