As a private well water user, you have the responsibility for the water safety and quality throughout the year. But, winter can present some new challenges to overcome to ensure that your well water supply is not interrupted. In this article, we will look at how you can protect your private well during the cold winter months.
3 Key Areas to Protect
There are three main components that you need to protect against potential damage:
1. The Pump
Many well water systems are buried underground, and this does provide some protection against the cold. But, well water users with above ground pumps need to take action to protect the pump against the cold temperatures. Building an insulated enclosure around the pump is a great way to keep the ambient temperature above 32ºF. This will significantly reduce the risk of freezing and the damage that comes with it. Adding this small well “pump house” to your property could save you thousands of dollars in repairs and an earlier than expected replacement.
2. Protect the Pipes
When water freezes, it expands, and then it contracts when it thaws. This is the action that bursts pipes, and the release of water in and around your home can cause a lot of damage in a short time. Protecting any above ground pipes from the freezing conditions should be a priority. The pipes that are at the most risk are the small diameter pipes that connect the pressure switches to the pressure gauge. So, when you insulate the pipes, wrap them all, even the smallest ones.
3. Power Outages
A power outage during winter is more likely, and a lack of power will prevent the pump from working. So, it’s important to keep a gas generator and some gas available for emergency use. For prolonged power outages, keep some bottled water on hand.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Locate the shut-off valve for the exterior water supply and turn off the water that supplies external faucets and irrigation systems. Drain the remaining water, or you can blow out the pipes with an air compressor. If there is no shut-off valve, ask a local contractor to add one or explore other options to turn off the external water as needed.
Next, insulate the pipes that run through non-heated areas such as basements and garages as a priority. The pipes should be wrapped with fiberglass insulation or rubber casings to keep the temperature above 32ºF to prevent freezing.
Finally, as you work, use this time to inspect the pipes for signs of wear and tear. Any surface cracks or obvious water leaks should be repaired before the coldest weather arrives. If you notice a problem, contact a certified professional to fix it for you, or if you have the DIY skills, repair it yourself. Remember that small cracks only get worse, and a release of water can cause a lot of damage that’s expensive to fix.
If you need to schedule some essential maintenance for your well water system, contact your local water treatment specialist.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.