Spring may be right around the corner, but in the high desert hills of Arizona, we still see snow and freezing temperatures that can cause homeowners a big issue—frozen water wells. The good news is, you’re never left out in the cold with A-1 Arthur’s Well Service. Located in Kingman, Arizona, we service Kingman, Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, Dolan Springs, Meadview, Hackberry, Mohave Valley, WikieUp, and Yucca. Our friendly, knowledgeable experts are always on hand to answer any problems or concerns you might have about frozen water wells and what to do about them.
In the desert, water is more precious than gold. It can be quite alarming when you twist the faucet one morning and are rewarded with nothing more than a trickle. When the mercury drops below freezing, it could mean you have a serious issue—a frozen water well. While it is more likely that the root of the problem is a frozen pipe in your home, the problem could be a frozen water well.
Can Water Wells Freeze?
Because most wells are dug below the frost line, they are rarely affected by the weather. The water within the well itself is very unlikely to freeze. Even homes that are tapped into the city’s water systems benefit from transport pipes installed three to four feet below the frost line. In either case, where homeowners typically see an issue is in the piping that ferries water into the home and with the well water pumps that create the pressure needed to do so.
Water well systems come with a variety of designs. The most common systems are either a single pump system or a two-pump system. Single pump systems operate with a single, submersible pump, which is located at the bottom of the well. These types of pumps rarely succumb to freezing.
Well systems with two pumps, however, are more likely to experience issues. Two pump systems generally have one pump that is submerged in the water tank. This submersible pump won’t necessarily cause any issues as its location places it below the frost line.
However, the second pump in these types of systems, a jet pump, is located closer to freezing temperatures. Jet pumps are the pumps designed to distribute water to the home. They are installed above ground, potentially exposing them to freezing temperatures. If frozen, it will prevent the distribution of water to the home. It is always a good idea to ensure the secondary pump is housed in a location that remains above forty degrees. This can be achieved either by installing the jet pump inside the home in a reasonably insulated location, or in specialized, insulated housing.
Is My Well System Frozen?
At A-1 Arthur’s Well Service, we are more than happy to come out and diagnose winter weather issues you may be experiencing with your water well system. There are, however, some easy steps you can take yourself to troubleshoot cold weather problems.
Sometimes, when the air gets frigid, such as during a characteristic hard February freeze, you might see a drastic drop in water pressure the moment you twist the faucet in your home. To avoid a costly repair, such as a burst pipe, it is imperative to attend to the problem right away. But how?
First, keep your faucet on. Keeping the faucet turned on will aid in alleviating pressure in the line. It will also help in the restoration of flow once the system is thawed. Next, try to determine if you have a pipe or pump issue. Frozen pipes can generally be found in areas susceptible to outdoor temperatures—basements, crawlspaces, or those located in exterior walls. Look for pipes covered in ice or frost or those that may be bulging. If you are able to locate a likely culprit, you can try using a hairdryer to thaw the problem area. If the water flow returns, you know the issue is resolved.
If, however, you don’t see any potential trouble spots in the piping, take a look at the system’s pump. In two pump systems, these are often stored in housing units to protect them from the elements. If you suspect the pump is the issue, you can either try replacing the housing with a new, well-insulated unit and wait until it thaws, or call an expert, like A-1 Arthur’s Well Service, to help you replace it if it is permanently damaged.
Protecting Your Investment
Remember when we mentioned “water is more precious than gold”? There are steps you can take before the chill sets in to help protect your investment. Wrap exposed pipes with some type of insulation. You can employ materials like heat tape, foam sleeves, or, in a pinch, even layers of old sweatshirts! When the weatherman alerts you to freezing temps, it is also a good idea to set your home’s faucets to a small trickle. Moving water is not as susceptible to freezing as standing water, and this small preventive measure could potentially save you thousands of dollars. If you have a two pump system, ensure any pumps susceptible to cold are located in properly insulated housing.
So, when the weather outside is frightful, and your water well system is being less than delightful, please call on A-1 Arthur’s Well Service. If you are in Kingman, Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, Dolan Springs, Meadview, Hackberry, Mohave Valley, WikieUp, or Yucca and think you are facing a leak, a frozen pump, or any other freeze-related issue, our helpful and courteous staff are ready to help you and your well get back into the flow of things.