How To Keep Outside Well Pump From Freezing

How To Keep Outside Well Pump From Freezing?

A frozen well pump can disturb the water supply, damage the system, and cost an expensive repair. In contrast, learning how to keep outside well pump from freezing will help you get a continuous water supply, avoiding all tiresome efforts.

You can protect your outside well pump in plenty of ways, including by building a well house, installing a space heater, using a light bulb, wrapping the pump with insulation and a foam sleeve, etc.

Read more to learn all the effective alternatives and steps to troubleshooting the frozen pump.

How To Keep Outside Well Pump From Freezing

Most well pumps are usually installed deep underground to access groundwater. As a result, the ground around the pump protects it from the cold winter elements. Still, you should check the hole and seal it properly.

Despite this, if you’ve placed the well pump above ground, you have to take action to keep the pump insulated and warm.

According to the Water System Council (WSC), you should keep the above-ground well pump in an area where the temperature remains above 40 degrees. This will prevent the water in the well pump and its water line from freezing and causing potential pump damage.

In respect of this requirement, the steps you can take are:

Construct A Well House

Construct A Well House

If you want to place your well pump above ground where the temperature drops below 32 degrees, construct a small insulated enclosure for your well pump.

This will cover the well pump to maintain the safe temperature inside it and reduce the chance of freezing. Despite this, you’ll have to weatherize the well house.

Wondering how to insulate a well pump house? Simply apply weather stripping over the roof of the well house.

For better performance or during the coldest weather, you can attach a floodlight inside the well house. However, the motor pump will produce some heat while running to prevent it from getting frozen inside the insulated enclosure.

The dimensions of a well house are quite the same as an adult dog house. And you can buy the easy building place online at an affordable price.

Even comparing the overall cost, a well-maintained house will save you thousands of dollars in repairs while allowing you to run throughout the winter.

Apply Insulation

Thermal blanket

Building a well house can be an over-prized investment for warmer climates and areas where the temperature doesn’t drop scarily.

Instead, you can protect your outside well pump from freezing by wrapping it in insulation. In this case, the options to consider are towels, blankets, and other thermal blankets for the well pump that won’t damage the pump’s components.

Apply Foam Sleeves

foam sleeves

Insulating well pipes with foam sleeves can be a good idea to let the well pump start efficiently in winter.

Make sure the foam sleeves are made of thermal material and have double layers. Use heat tape and keep the pipe at least an inch above the ground to get the best result.

Use Light Bulb

After building a well house, you can place an incandescent light bulb inside of it. Keep the bulb close to the well pump and leave it on throughout the colder weather.

In this case, a 100-watt bulb will do the trick to keep the space warm. However, it requires caution as the bulb can knock over and burn the machine. This option also won’t be an energy-efficient option and may cost around $3 to $5 a month to stay on 24 hours a day.

Install Space Heater

Space Heater

For cost-efficient protection, put a thermostatically controlled space heater inside the well house and set it at about 45 degrees. A space heater is more reliable and doesn’t consume more electricity than a light bulb and heat tape.

You can apply a kerosene space heater for a freezing night. However, it isn’t a good idea to use a combustion heater in a populated area.

How to Troubleshoot a Frozen Well Pump

If your well pump is already frozen, it’ll no longer supply water to the home. You may prefer to wait for warmer weather. But it won’t be wise, particularly if you mainly depend on the well for regular chores.

To fix it, you must find the frozen spot and thaw it out. You can try these troubleshooting steps before asking for aid from enthusiasts:

Turn the Water Faucet On

You can expect to get some water through pipes if the well pump doesn’t freeze completely. Even running the water can help break the ice buildup in the well pump. So, turning on the faucet is a good step to start with.

Check the pump

Scrutinize the well pump as there can be noticeable frost outside the pump. This will also help you decide whether the freeze occurs before or after the pump.

Install a Space Heater

Turn on a space heater and place it near the well pump. If the pump is frozen slightly, the ambient warming air will effectively melt the ice in it.

Place the space heater on a stable surface as it may take some time and holding it for a long time will be tiresome.

Wait a few hours and then check the water flow. After checking a couple of times, if the water still doesn’t flow, call a licensed plumber to thaw the well pump.


Does the well pump freeze commonly?

The well pump freezes if the surrounding temperature drops below 40 degrees. But well pumps freeze rarely as most pumps are placed under the ground or inside a well house to protect them from cold weather.

Should you cover your well pump?

Of course, a well pump is quite expensive and plays an important role in delivering water to the home for various needs. So covering the well pump is essential for both protecting it from the weather and ensuring continuous water flow to the home.

How to insulate a well pump?

Applying spray foam insulation is a highly effective option to insulate a well pump. It keeps the pump warm and prevents ice buildup outside and inside the pump.

Final Words

After getting ideas on how to keep the outside well pump from freezing, concentrate on applying the preferred one. If it’s building a well house, consult DIY enthusiasts or experts to build and insulate it properly.

Then put the preferred option inside the well house to heat the space to enjoy a continuous water supply throughout the summer.

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