WELLOWNER.ORG OFFERS WINTER WELL TIPS
Nov. 4, 2019
Source: National Ground Water Association and Wellowner.org
The cooler weather and pumpkin pies can be a welcome change from the summer heat, but it also means one looming fact: winter is coming.
While much of the water well systems in the northern U.S. are required to be built under the frost line, there is a large section of the South and Midwest where pumping systems are constructed above ground or above the frost line. For these systems, it's important to take steps to keep your well safe and operating through the winter.
Here are some winter weather tips from the professionals at NGWA:
1) Get your well inspected!
NGWA and wellowner.org recommend an annual inspection of your water well system. If you have not done your inspection, then scheduling before the winter weather arrives could save you a lot of time and money! You can find an NGWA qualified contractor here.
2) Protecting your pump
Many well owners have their systems buried deep underground which provides protection from the cold. But for homeowners with above ground pumps, you should take action to keep your system insulated and warm. Constructing a small insulated enclosure covering your pump will help the system keep above 32 degrees and reduce the risk of freezing and other damage.
This small 'well house' can save you thousands of dollars in repairs and ensure your well operates throughout a cold winter. You can find a contractor to help protect your pump here.
3) Protecting your pipes
Since the invention of pipes, there have been frozen pipes. It's one of the most common winter issues your house can suffer but it can also be avoided with a few easy steps. Frozen water can expand and burst your pipes, which can lead to significant damage to your home and well.
Turn off your exterior water and blow out your pipes:
Ideally, your house will have a shut-off valve for its exterior water supply. If so, turn off any water that flows to outside irrigation systems and faucets. Once you have turned the water off, then drain the remaining water or use an air compressor to blow out the pipes. If you do not have a shut-off valve, find a local contractor for other options to shutting off exterior water.
Insulate your pipes and use thermostatically controlled heat tape:
For houses with piping that runs through non-heated spaces, like basements, we suggest insulating your pipes. Wrapping your pipes with rubber casings or fiberglass insulation can keep their temperature above freezing and the water flowing.
For those areas with long stretches of below freezing weather we highly recommend using thermostatically controlled heat tap with your insulation that will ensure your pipes stay above freezing.
Inspect your pipes:
This is a great time to do a general inspection of your water system and piping. Spotting a problem in your system now could save you from a costly problem this winter. Contact an NGWA certified contractor to schedule an inspection.
4) Preparing for a power outage
While there is little that can be by the homeowner to prevent power outages due to winter weather, there are steps to take so you have water to drink while waiting for the lights to come back on.
Always have a portable gas generator and plenty of gas to connect to your pumping system.
Stock up on bottled water before the winter‑this way if there is a prolonged outage you can still have clean drinking water in the house.
Contact a local contractor to learn more about backup generators and other options to keep your water flowing during a power outage.