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  1. #1
    Super Member
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    Sep 2000
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    Triangle Of North Carolina
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    JD 4700

    Default What do you do to keep your pressure tank/well head from freezing?

    I was up late on Saturday night. Sleeping in a bit late on Sunday when I hear the wife say to the kids, "Maybe something fell and that is why we do not have water." Hearing "...we do not have water." got me quickly out of bed.

    Turned out the water supply had frozen up. We had had 2-3 days where the high temps did not get much about 34. Lows Sunday morning were 17 at best. The thermometer I keep in the well house was just at 32 degrees.

    The well house is a small, ugly insulated wood box that I built as a temporary solution 6-7 years ago. The box aka well house sits on the concrete slab around the well head. Our pressure tank sits in the well house.

    To keep the plumping from freezing I run TWO CFL's in those hand held work lights. I run two lights since if one burns out the other would still be working and the water supply would not freeze. At least that was the theory.

    One of the CFL's burnt out and the water froze. So my theory was not so good.

    We have an electric space heater which I used to warm up the well house and melt the ice. The heater has some sort of thermostat but I do not have the manual anymore since we bought this thing 15 years ago. I did find a thermostat that plugs into a power outlet. The thermostat turns on whenever the temperature goes to 34/35 degrees. I thought of using this with the space heater.....

    In the end I just went out and bought two more work lights and an extension cord to run the lights. Now it will take the loss of three light bulbs to get freeze our water supply. Each of the bulbs are only 11 or 13 watts so there is not a lot of power use or heat. The lights are placed around the plumbing leading from the well, to the tank and out to the house.

    What do other people do to keep their well supplied water from freezing?

    Later,
    Dan

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    20,950
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
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    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: What do you do to keep your pressure tank/well head from freezing?

    I use a space heater set to 1200 watts and adjusted to come on around 45 degrees. Since my well head is actually in a "doghouse" attached to the side of my wellhouse, it can be colder in there when the temperature inside the wellhouse is in the 40s. I've never had a well freeze-up. . . knock on wood.

    EDIT: I have always been able to find inexpensive heaters for around $20 that work perfectly for 2 or 3 years and then the thermostats malfunction. I just toss them and buy another. They aren't worth fixin'.
    Jim


  3. #3
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: What do you do to keep your pressure tank/well head from freezing?

    A CFL saves energy buy NOT GIVING OFF HEAT!

    MossRoad

    Click On My Little Tractor
    To See Pictures And Videos
    Of It In Action!!!


  4. #4
    Silver Member zene55's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    Dripping Springs, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800

    Default Re: What do you do to keep your pressure tank/well head from freezing?

    I purchase about 30' of electrical heat tracing for mine. It has a built in thermostat that comes on below 38 degrees. It plugs in to 110v and has done a great job. It was about 30$ and came in lots of different lengths.
    2010 Kubota L2800 FEL Geared
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    www.blazy7ranch.com

  5. #5
    Gold Member
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    Mar 2010
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    Canada
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    RTV1100 2009

    Default Re: What do you do to keep your pressure tank/well head from freezing?

    Wind is a big enemy of water pipes. If you can keep the wind out that is always a big plus. So seal up every little crack after the box is reinstalled. Electric heat tape works real well. Paint the box black so it benefits from any sunny days. Heat tape is probably more efficient than 2 or 3 bulbs and has it's own thermostat.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Oct 2010
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    Central Maryland
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    Kubota L3540 HTSC-3

    Default Re: What do you do to keep your pressure tank/well head from freezing?

    Its a no brainer, seal and re insulate your building to stop wind penetration and use thermostatically controlled heat tape to wrap the pipes and you could probably even use it to wrap the tank. Those cfl's put out no heat, youd be better off with incadesant.
    2010 Kubota L3540 HTSC-3 w/R3's, 2002 John Deere X595, Woods GB72 Box Blade, Woods PL72 Core Aerator, Kubota Ballast Box, CL4 Forks, Befco 209 3pt Spreader 3pt Trailer hitch, JD spreader, JD Dethatcher, Jd Power Bagger, Stihl MS361, 024 saws, TS400 cut off, BR 380 blower and an Echo PPT 280 polesaw

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
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    Vancouver Wa.
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    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: What do you do to keep your pressure tank/well head from freezing?

    Insulation for sure and nothing wrong with heat tape but a simple and affective solution is to leave several faucets open with a small stream of water. Protects tank and pipes. Should be adequate if pump cycles about every 10 min. Every time the pump cycles you bringing up 10-20 gal of water that is likely in the 50ー-60ー range. That a lot of heat that is very low in cost and affective in keeping the water from freezing.
    Yanmar Fx24D,
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  8. #8
    Platinum Member woodchuckie's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Moundville,AL
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    KUBOTA L 2800

    Default Re: What do you do to keep your pressure tank/well head from freezing?

    My pump and tank set in a 4x4x4 house made of left over roofing from my house. It is lined with the old foam bed from my pop up camper I use to have. The floor is dirt which I assume radiates that 50 degree + natural temp of the earth like in a cavern. Never has frozen in 25 years.

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    154
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    Arkansas
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    John Deere 4120

    Default Re: What do you do to keep your pressure tank/well head from freezing?

    I recently re-built my pump house. It was about an 8ft square plywood shed, with insulation just stapled up on the inside. Now it is a 16X10 slab building with insulation in the walls, siding on the outside and good sealed doors and windows. I have a 1500 watt heater that I plug into one of those yellow thermostats that simply plug into the wall, then you plug the heater into. It is rated for 20 amps (110v) and comes on at 38F and goes off at 50F.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2007
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    Central Ohio
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    Yanmar 2402D

    Default Re: What do you do to keep your pressure tank/well head from freezing?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmccarty View Post
    I was up late on Saturday night. Sleeping in a bit late on Sunday when I hear the wife say to the kids, "Maybe something fell and that is why we do not have water." Hearing "...we do not have water." got me quickly out of bed.

    Turned out the water supply had frozen up. We had had 2-3 days where the high temps did not get much about 34. Lows Sunday morning were 17 at best. The thermometer I keep in the well house was just at 32 degrees.

    The well house is a small, ugly insulated wood box that I built as a temporary solution 6-7 years ago. The box aka well house sits on the concrete slab around the well head. Our pressure tank sits in the well house.

    To keep the plumping from freezing I run TWO CFL's in those hand held work lights. I run two lights since if one burns out the other would still be working and the water supply would not freeze. At least that was the theory.

    One of the CFL's burnt out and the water froze. So my theory was not so good.

    We have an electric space heater which I used to warm up the well house and melt the ice. The heater has some sort of thermostat but I do not have the manual anymore since we bought this thing 15 years ago. I did find a thermostat that plugs into a power outlet. The thermostat turns on whenever the temperature goes to 34/35 degrees. I thought of using this with the space heater.....

    In the end I just went out and bought two more work lights and an extension cord to run the lights. Now it will take the loss of three light bulbs to get freeze our water supply. Each of the bulbs are only 11 or 13 watts so there is not a lot of power use or heat. The lights are placed around the plumbing leading from the well, to the tank and out to the house.

    What do other people do to keep their well supplied water from freezing?

    Later,
    Dan
    I have a rental property with a cinderblock pump/pressure tank house. It is lined with two inch foam around the sides and around 3 inches in the roof. A single 75 watt incandesant (sp) rough service bulb keeps it from freezing. I stuck a thermometer in there and have seen temperatures from the 50's to 70's. The rough service bulbs seem to last longer.

    I would check the temperature and probably go to a single incandesant bulb. Remember that you are already burning around 39 watts (3x13) with the 3 CFLs. Or try something like this with a thermostat:

    Comfort Zone Multi-Purpose Utility Heater Fan - 2170699 | Tractor Supply Company

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