How to Prevent Your Well Pipes From Freezing
With cold weather starting to settle in, you’ve probably finished getting your home ready for winter – adding extra weather strip and caulking gaps around windows, cleaning the fireplace, and storing or covering your outdoor furniture. But what about your well? Do you need to prepare your well for the winter to prevent freezing and avoid burst pipes or an interruption in water flow? We’ll walk you through how you can best protect your well this winter!
What Does it Mean to Winterize a Well?
To winterize a well, it generally means that you are preparing for your home to be vacant during the cold weather months and need to shut it down to prevent any damage from occurring due to cold weather (like if a pipe freezes and bursts). If you have a vacation home, hunting lodge, or other structure that relies on a well that you won’t be using, you will want to winterize it. This is a simple task that can save you a lot of trouble when you re-open your home in the spring, and only requires a few steps:
- Turn the water supply off to the house and make sure the switch that powers the well pump is off.
- Drain all the water out of the water lines – just turn on the taps and flush the toilet until water no longer runs.
- Unplug or disconnect any wiring that powers your pump to prevent someone from trying to use it once your home is shut down for the winter.
Preparing Your Raleigh Well for Winter Weather
The good news is that winters aren’t so cold you need to worry about well water or underground pipes freezing. Whether or not well water freezes depends on two things – how deep your well is and the frost line (the lowest depth below the surface where the ground freezes). In Raleigh, the frost line is only about six inches deep and wells are significantly lower than that! The water in your well, as well as the water in the underground pipes should be far below where the air temperatures dip below 32 degrees.
Protecting a Jet Pump
If you have a shallow well and use a jet pump to pull water into your home, it’s going to be mounted above the well, in your home or in a “well house.” Your pump should be above 40 degrees, so if it’s located in a place where the temperature can dip below that, you’ll want to make sure it’s inside some type of enclosure to insulate it.
Protecting Your Water Lines
Water freezing in your pipes is the main concern during winter, as the ice expands and can cause the pipe to burst. This can lead to an expensive repair to both your pipes and to anything that got damaged in the flood!
While underground pipes are too deep to freeze, generally, any water pipes that are above ground should be insulated, such as areas where the pipes come up from the ground and into your home. Protect them with foam sleeves that can be purchased from the hardware store, or you can wrap them in bubble wrap and duct tape or slice open a pool noodle to fit around the pipes.
If the temperature dips below 20 degrees (which happens on average of eight times a year in Raleigh), consider keeping your faucets open and running overnight – just a slow trickle is enough to keep water moving and prevent it from freezing. If you do have a pipe freeze, you’ll want to quickly thaw out a frozen well water pipe.
Call Our Well Pump Specialist
If you have a pipe freeze and burst or experience other problems with your well this winter, call our team of well pump specialists! We offer 24/7 emergency well repairs as well as well pump maintenance to make sure it’s in good working order. Call us at 919-291-4063 for service or fill out the form below with any questions or to schedule a consultation.