Get Your Water From A Well? Protect Your Pump For Winter To Keep It Flowing

Posted on: 9 December 2016

If you're buying a home that uses well water and you've never owned or used a well before, you need to take precautions to protect your water source before freezing weather arrives in your area. Unprotected well pumps, like the water pipes in your home, will freeze and be damaged when the temperature drops into frigid territory.

The best way to protect your water pump depends on which type of pump you own. Here's more information to get you started:

Submersible pump

This type of well pump is lowered down into the well casing and draws water directly from the well reservoir. It's situated well below ground, which is low enough not to freeze.

The pipe and casing coming out of the ground are the parts to worry about with a submersible pump. The exterior pipe may freeze and cause the water in the pipe to expand all the way down to the pump itself. Any section of pipe that's exposed above the frost line is vulnerable.

Cover your submersible well casing with an insulated barrier to reduce the chances of the exterior pipes freezing. There are attractive large covers shaped like rocks that blend in with the landscape.

A cheaper option is to purchase medium and large plastic trash cans. Stuff insulation between the two cans (when the medium can is placed inside the large can), and then invert the entire thing over the pipe and casing.

Shallow or deep jet pumps

The other most common type of water well pump is the jet pump. This device works above ground and pulls water up to the pipes through the casing. Most jet pumps are housed in some type of structure or well house.

If the jet pump freezes, especially if it's full of water, it may explode, crack, or have damaged internal parts. Pipes coming up from the casing may also freeze in the well house.

Solutions to keep your jet well pump from freezing include placing a lamp inside the pump house. Be sure that you set the bulb and cord up in a way that doesn't present a fire or electrical hazard.

There are also well house baseboard and plug-in heaters that are made specifically to protect pumps. Use heated pipe cables with a plug-in thermostat to keep the pipes from freezing near the pump for extra protection. Seal all gaps in the well house, but make sure you can easily check to see if the lamp or heater is working.

Before winter weather arrives, schedule a freeze-prevention inspection with a plumbing professional like those at Brad's Plumbing. They look over your system to see where the potential freezing zones are. Your plumbing repair specialist will advise you on the various products and DIY solutions to keep your well running like a summer stream no matter how cold it is outside.

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