Does Cold Weather Affect Your Water Well?

Water Well

Could Your Water Well Be Affected this Winter Season?

Winter weather can cause problems for homeowners. For homeowners who rely on private water wells to provide high-quality water for their families, winter may cause additional problems. Wells are designed to access groundwater that does not freeze, which is why most of your well components are below the freeze line. However, issues do arise and homeowners should be prepared to watch out for possible signs of danger. Generally, look at the weather report because the extreme cold can be dangerous to anything outside. In this post, we will discuss some common well issues related to cold weather.

Frozen Pipes

Because your water well is located underground, the water in it probably won’t freeze, as the water level should be way below the frost line. However, the pump system and pipes that run your well and deliver the water to you can be very vulnerable to cold snaps if they are not buried properly underground.

Water expands when it freezes, so if well pipes aren’t adequately installed or insulated, freezing water can burst your pipes from the inside. This means no water for your residential, commercial, or agricultural needs, and it can also make for an expensive repair.

Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to prevent your pipes and pump from freezing this winter. The easiest way to keep your pipes functioning is to let a faucet continually drip warm water, but this isn’t the favorite choice for the conservative-minded. If you’d like a no-hassle, more permanent solution, there are options for keeping your pipes heated during the winter. Foam tube insulation is pretty standard, and you can even get creative with similar materials, like bubble wrap. There are also more encompassing solutions, such as heat cables or heat tape. If you realize the water line from your well to your home isn’t buried deep enough, contact us, and we can solve this problem.

Power Outages

If you experience a power outage due to ice or snowstorms, your water well pump will not work. You will continue to use water for a short time as your system draws the remaining water from the well storage tank. However, once that water is used, you will not have access to freshwater until power is restored. In many cases, this does not pose an immediate problem as power outages are often short-lived.

One of the best ways to avoid losing water supply during a power outage is to install a backup generator in your home to supply power to essential appliances. The size and scope of your backup generator system will depend on how elaborate a system it needs to maintain. A smaller, gasoline-powered pump should suffice if you only need to provide power to a sump pump. However, the more fixtures and appliances you add to the load like lights, well pump, furnace, refrigerator, etc., the larger the backup generator will be.

If you are using a gasoline-powered generator, please ensure it is placed outside, not in a crawl space, basement, or attached garage. Make sure the generator is safely connected. And once power is restored, disconnect the generator immediately.

Additionally, it is a good idea to keep a backup supply of freshwater inside the home in case of an extended power outage.

Water Well

Well System Issues

There is always a tiny amount of water retained in the pipe connecting to the pressure switch in well pumps. That water is very susceptible to freezing, and once it does, it will expand, preventing the pump from turning on. If the water in the pipe freezes, use a heat source such as a hairdryer to thaw it and get it working again. To avoid freezing, wrap the pipe with insulating materials and keep the pump next to a significant heat source to keep the temperature above 32 degrees.

Furthermore, if your pressure tank is in a garage or mechanical that isn’t climate controlled, you’ll need to take precautions to keep the water from freezing. 

If you have concerns about your water well system’s ability to withstand freezing temperatures, whether the pump and pipes are aboveground or below, give C&J Well Co. a call. We’ve been the go-to well service company in Central Indiana for over 25 years, and as a family-owned business, we plan to be for generations more. Our decades of experience make us the local experts at preventing frozen pipes and pumps and repairing any problems you encounter with your well. Contact us today!