Can Your Water Well Freeze Over in the Winter?

January 15, 2020

Now that we’re well into winter, you might be noticing problems with your well water pump—maybe to the point that you’ve wondered whether you have a freezing water well on your hands in Columbia, TN. It can be disconcerting to notice a drastic decrease in your water pressure, but with some mitigation, you’ll be far less likely to suffer any permanent consequences.

Can well water freeze?

Wells are typically drilled well below the “frost line” in the ground, or the depth to which the cold can penetrate the earth and freeze it or the water within. The typical frost line depth is about 32 to 48 inches, so the water supply line should be buried well below the frost line for best results. However, this also means that your well water will not freeze within the actual well.

The type of pump you have can contribute to water freezing on its way to your house. If you have a jet pump, which are typically installed above ground and can be located in a place where the temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll need to wrap all pipes with insulation material. The pump itself will generate a little bit of heat if it’s kept in an enclosed, insulated area.

Winterizing your well

To make sure your well has the best chance at running smoothly throughout the winter, you must first ensure that your well is securely covered. You can do this with anything from regular trash cans to special insulated well covers available from retailers. Wrap all above-ground pipes with foam insulation sleeves to ensure the water won’t freeze within them—these are usually available at home and garden stores. Some homeowners choose to use heat tape.

If it seems like your above-ground pipes are already frozen or partially frozen, use a hair dryer to warm them, then wipe clean and dry before insulating. Some well owners like to keep a heat lamp in their insulated well enclosure, which helps keep above-ground pumps operating in an appropriate temperature. If you use electricity, please be aware of all manufacturer-recommended safety precautions, and keep a careful eye on your well house.

The most important thing you can do to keep your well running safely and smoothly all year long is to call a well maintenance professional as soon as you notice any signs of trouble. This is especially true if you suspect you have a submersible pump and frozen pipes. Leaving the pump running while pipes are frozen can break your pump.

Prevent water well freezing in Columbia, TN

If you need assistance preparing your water well for a hard frost, so it and your pipes won’t freeze through in Columbia, TN, call Action Electric Motor & Pump Repair. We offer comprehensive sales, installation, repair and maintenance for well water pumps and water conditioning systems. No matter the scope of your water needs, we can help design and maintain a system that will serve your home or business for years to come. Reach out to us today to learn more.

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