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  1. #1
    Silver Member Jimmyb33's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    124
    Location
    SE Texas
    Tractor
    Kioti LK3054

    Default Well Tank Insulation

    This will be the first winter we get a simi-hard freeze since I've lived with a water well. Projected temps will be low 20's Friday and Saturday and may not get above freezing for some time. Right now, my well tank sits exposed with only some brushy trees protecteding it from the North winds. My question is, at what point should I insulate the well tank to protect it from freezing? Is this little 2 day freeze enough to cause me trouble? If I do need to insulate it, what are the suggested, cheap ways to do that??
    Thanks!
    JB
    JimmyB

    1999 Kioti LK3054 with KL128 FEL & a 5' box blade,5' Servis-Rhino shreader

  2. #2
    Elite Member dex3361's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    3,571
    Location
    N. of Charleston WV
    Tractor
    Kubota L4400-1 HST,FEL, 3x3 remotes, TNT. BX1500 54 mmm

    Default Re: Well Tank Insulation

    If I were you I would insulate it before it got down to 32コ. My sister and BIL live in Orlando and I was there visiting one year and wouldn't you know it they had a cold snap and he was looking out the window turned to me and said I wonder if I should insulate the water tank? It wasn't 10 seconds later I heard my sister from the back room shout whats wrong with the water? Needless to say it was froze and his pump was exposed and it busted the casing at 32コ. I wouldn't chance it.
    Randall



    1Timothy Chapter 2:
    3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
    4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
    From: The HOLY BIBLE

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    10,285
    Location
    Triangle Of North Carolina
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Well Tank Insulation

    We have a hideous looking well house that is roughly 5x5x5. Looks like a pile of trash. It is made out of plywood and 2x4s and is covered with tarps. This was supposed to be temporary.

    Built it in October of 2004!

    I was going to build a proper well house last spring but a car accident stopped that project. This spring I should be good to go.

    The box is insulated with house insulation, R15. AND I run two low wattage CFI lights to keep the box warm. Our pressure tank is in the well house. Last weekend our high temps were 32 with lows into the teens. I checked the well house at it was a balmy 50 degrees. Both lights were still on. I use two lights in case one stops working I will still have some heat in the box.

    Here they have well covers that supposedly look like rocks. They look horrible to me. But they sure look better than my well house. But they cost too much money. The "rock" would be a quick insulation if they have them down your way. I would still run a light or two under the rock for insurance.

    I suppose you could wrap the tank in insulation and then tarp the insulation to keep out the rain for a very temporary solution. Just put a light under there for some warmth.

    Later,
    Dan

  4. #4
    Platinum Member woodchuckie's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    628
    Location
    Moundville,AL
    Tractor
    KUBOTA L 2800

    Default Re: Well Tank Insulation

    If it has a 1/8 in. line running to the pressure switch, that will freeze first and you won't have any water. I insulated mine for free with stuff I had around the house. I made a 4'X4' frame out of 2X4's and screwed some left over metal roofing to the sides and just laid it on the top for easy access. I put 3" insulation in it and on the top I had a 4'X4' piece of lattice with the insulation laid on top of it and the roofing on top of that. I left the floor dirt because the heat from it will keep it from freezing without a heat source although the pump does generate some heat. I happened to have a defrost thermostat which closes when it get below thirty. I wired it with a flood light so it will come on if it does get cold enough.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    343
    Location
    Poniatowski, WI
    Tractor
    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Well Tank Insulation

    Silly southerners. Put the water tank in house where it belongs :-D

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    RIP
    kenstrac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    765
    Location
    So central NH.
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 45

    Default Re: Well Tank Insulation

    Being from the north we all had the tanks in the basement,when I moved to the Savannah GA.area the first time the temp hit 26F we lost our water I went out and found the switch was on but no water(submersible pump) I got the torch and heated the Tee, the first thing to thaw was the pressure relief valve. The pump was running all this time and could not relieve on pressure since the Tee was frozen,It will take a while for the tank to actually freeze because of the mass but if you are going to have several days of cold I would wrap the tank in some sort of insulation paying special attention to the smaller pipes and Tee and let the water run a little to keep the lines flowing.
    The switch that was on the tank did not have a low water shut off I replaced it with a sq D low water shut off valve to save the pump if this happened again.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    12,469
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Well Tank Insulation

    I wouldn't worry about the tank itself, as the water of any volume will take a while to freeze. New water pumped in will be warm and melt any ice formed on the walls. (this is assuming the well is active)

    I would however be more concerned with pipes and valves that attach to the system. That is where smaller volumes of water will freeze and expand quickly. Faucets and pipes can freeze quickly.

    Advice is to let the water run and keep water flowing through the system. Usually a trickle of a couple gallons per hour will fend off any mild freezing that you are likely to get. It only reached negative 1 F last night here.

    And hang a lightbulb (lighted near the small diam. pipes like on the pressure switch.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    361
    Location
    Wascott, WI, USA
    Tractor
    2006 Jinma 354LE w/YD485

    Default Re: Well Tank Insulation

    Quote Originally Posted by rus_geek View Post
    Silly southerners. Put the water tank in house where it belongs :-D
    Another thing silly southerners may not know - leaving a faucet trickling will help prevent freezing, as new water from the well will help keep water temperatures up.

    Oh, and watch your outside faucets, as well.


    Oooops, beenthere beat me to it.
    Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be a convenience store, not a government agency.

    2006 Jinma 354LE w/YD485, ZL-30 FEL, LW7 backhoe, Rear blade, tiller, brush hog, box blade, post hole auger, snowblower, boom pole, carry all

  9. #9
    Silver Member Jimmyb33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    124
    Location
    SE Texas
    Tractor
    Kioti LK3054

    Default Re: Well Tank Insulation

    Thank you all for the wonderfull suggestions! (even you rus_geek )

    I do have all of the small bore piping insulated with foam insulation. We do tend to get one or two quick freezes down here every year so I keep the small stuff wrapped up. I was thinking anlong the same lines as you beenthere... that the tank has enough volume to not to have to worry too much about the water in it freezing.

    I think I'll use some of the suggestions you guys gave me and build a little tarp tee-pee over the well tank and run a shop light out there for the cold nights. I'll let the water drip too... when I lived in the city they told us not to do that, but for different reasons. My outside faucets are covered in those little styrofoam covers from Lowes so they should be good as long as the dogs leave them alone.

    Thanks for the suggestions and let me know if you have any more!!
    JB
    JimmyB

    1999 Kioti LK3054 with KL128 FEL & a 5' box blade,5' Servis-Rhino shreader

  10. #10
    Elite Member WayneB's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Location
    New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kubota B-7500

    Default Re: Well Tank Insulation

    If you can cover the pump and tank with something like a large cardboard box and then stick a light bulb inside. It will keep it nice and warm and it won't freeze.

    If the lines are exposed they will freeze too, and the trickle of water is good to keep the water moving.

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