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Winterizing Pump Suction Lines

Cameron Huntley - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
How Do I Winterize the Pump Suction Line?

Winterizing the pump is one thing, but how do winterize the suction line?   There are several ways to deal with this situation.

If the suction line is short, 60 feet or less and the foot-valve end is not anchored, simply disconnect the intake and pull the suction line from the water.  When the foot-valve is ashore, lift it until the water runs down the pipe.  While lifting, walk forward to force the water “downhill” and out of the other end.  When the suction line is empty store it in a shady place to protect it from the sun until needed the following spring.

If the suction line is longer but in relatively shallow water maybe five feet deep, just wade out, raise the end of the foot-valve to the level of the water, remove the screen and depress the poppet check device until water stops flowing.  Reinstall the screen and let the pipe settle to the bottom.  What you have just done is to drain the water in the pipe to the water level at the shore line.  The water will not freeze (in our climate) when this is done.   If the suction is deeper and a wet suit and scuba gear is out of the question, loop a length of rope around the pipe at the shore line, get into a boat, and while moving away from the pump gently slide the rope down the pipe until you reach the foot-valve and bring it to the surface.  Follow the steps above and release the pipe when finished.  If you do not wish to follow this procedure every year, tie a float to the end of the suction line, then boat out and raise the foot-valve.
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