Winter is coming - and with it, the threat of frozen pipes. Frozen pipes also provide the threat of broken pipes, which can cause flooding once the seasons turn warm again. If you have a well, your property is at particular risk of flooding due to the amount of pipework running between the well and your home.
There are extra steps you need to take to make sure that your pipes connected to the well don't freeze. In this blog, we'll go over the steps for winterizing your well, both for vacation homes and year-round homes, so you don't need to worry about frozen pipes and the damage they can cause.
If you're winterizing your well at a vacation home, you can simply shut down the water to make sure your pipes don't freeze. In most cases, the water can remain off until you return during the on-season. Take the following steps to turn off your water.
1. Turn Off Water Supply
The first step is to shut off the power to the water supply. Make sure that the specific switch used for the water is in the off position.
2. Drain Water
Turn on all water sources in the house and run them until the water stops running to make sure there's no left-over water that can freeze in the pipes. You may also need to empty any irrigation hoses for winter storage.
3. Unplug Power
Even though you've already turned the water supply off, go ahead and unplug or disconnect the power to your water well pump to keep the power lines safe in case someone tries to use the water after the well has been winterized.
4. Disconnect Water Lines
Disconnect the PVC pipes and water lines and drain them of water. Leave these lines disconnected through the winter to prevent any water getting past a worn out seal. Store PVC pipes upright and place buckets under the water lines to collect any water that wasn't drained.
When you need to winterize your well for a home that will still be in need of water in the winter, you need to do a little more work to keep your pipes safe. Below are some ways to winterize your well so it's still usable.
1. Insulate Pipes
Foam padding, heat tape, or even old sweaters can help insulate your pipes. Make sure the insulation is thick enough and tight enough to get the job done. Insulate all visible pipes. If you are unsure if you have adequate insulation, you may need a plumber or well expert to insulate hidden pipework.
2. Install Heat
If you have an above ground well, install a heat lamp inside of it so that you can regulate the heat inside of your well. Remember to use an outdoor extension cord to plug it in. To ensure the safety of yourself and your well, consult with an electrician or well expert when choosing and installing electrical components near your well water.
3. Shut Off Outdoor Spigots
Remove your garden hoses and turn off the spigots for your outdoor water. Drain any water from spigots and hoses, and do not leave your hoses connected over the winter. To prevent hose cracks and other winter damage, store the hoses in a dry, climate-controlled place.
4. Cover Well
Make sure to cover your well so elements don't get inside, like snow and ice. Use an insulated well cover or a framed or brick well house to make sure it's fully and securely covered.
Follow these steps, and your well will be safe from harm. For more tips on how to winterize your well, talk to a professional.