As the mercury continues to drop and winter is upon us, homeowners need to ensure their well systems, including tanks and pumps, are adequately protected from subzero temperatures. Improperly protected systems can lead to supply issues and costly repairs.
Bear in mind, it is not necessarily the water below ground you need to be concerned with—it’s the water above ground in your pipes and pump that requires preventative measures to avoid freezing. Freezing can subsequently cause issues requiring the expert and fast service and repair of professionals like A1 Arthur’s Well Service.
Protecting the Pump
Water well systems will have one of two types of pumps: a submersible or an above-ground jet pump, and sometimes—depending upon your particular system—both. While most submersible pumps are located below the frost line and not susceptible to freezing temperatures, jet pumps are at risk of freeze damage if not properly protected.
An above-ground jet pump should be located in an area that remains consistently above forty degrees. This will prevent the water that travels through the pump from freezing and causing problems. Specialty pump housing can be employed to ensure that the pump remains at the required temperature. Common options often include aesthetically pleasing “fake rock” structures or can even be full-sized well houses.
In either case, you want to ensure that the housing is sealed properly and appropriately insulated. Should you discover any gaps, cracks, or holes at any time, make certain they are promptly repaired.
Aside from any pumps located above ground or otherwise exposed to the elements and freezing temperatures, homeowners are advised to pay particular attention to exposed pipes. Standing water in pipes can freeze and expand when exposed to freezing temperatures, sometimes resulting in burst pipes and, of course, an interruption in your home’s water supply. Not only that but according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, the subsequent water damage can wind up costing homeowners over $5000.
To avoid a situation like this, take care to insulate exposed piping, preferably before a hard freeze sets in. Fitting foam sleeves or even employing thermal blankets can prevent the disastrous occurrence of a burst pipe. Avoid the temptation to use electrical heat lamps to keep pipes warm. Unfortunately, the hazards that they bring outweigh any potential benefit.
5 Quick Tips to Protect Your Pipes
In addition to insulating your pipes with foam sleeves, thermal blankets, or other appropriate materials, these five quick tips will help you keep the water flowing in your pipes this winter.
Keep Garage and Outbuilding Doors Closed
This is especially pertinent if there are exposed water lines located in these areas. Keeping the doors closed prevents freezing cold drafts which can adversely affect the pipes.
Keep Interior Cabinetry Open
Places where pipes are exposed inside, but not necessarily out in the open—places like bathroom vanities and kitchens—can harbor cooler temperatures. While it can be inconvenient, opening these cabinet doors will expose the pipes to the circulating, warmer ambient temperatures of the home. Take proper precautions to safeguard against potentially harmful materials located in these spaces, particularly if you have younger family members.
Run the Water
Allowing a cold-water drip, not much more than a trickle is necessary, can help keep things moving and prevent an unwanted freeze.
Maintain a Static Temperature
Forget about the heating bill. Don’t try to save pennies that might wind up costing you thousands of dollars in repairs. Keeping your home’s thermostat at a static temperature twenty-four hours a day can help prevent a costly freezing problem. Additionally, if you aren’t going to be home for an extended period, make sure the thermostat is set no lower than 55° F and will remain so throughout the duration of your absence.
Insist on Insulation
Sealing windows, sills, and doors goes a long way in maintaining an optimum temperature for water pipes. In spaces like basements, attics, or even crawlspaces, you’ll want to insulate to keep temperatures raised during a cold winter.
These are just a few of the many steps you can take as a well owner and be proactive in protecting your well system and pipes against the threat of freezing temperatures. However, should you run into any issues, reach out to us at 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 believe you are facing a freeze-related issue, our helpful and courteous staff are ready to help.