Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: How to prevent wells from freezing

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    201

    Default How to prevent wells from freezing

    I have a 16' deep well, 1 1/4" pipe, topped with a classic pitcher pump. Installed a check valve last summer to help maintain prime when out for a long weekend trip. Pumped water no problem 3 weeks ago, but this last weekend it appeared to have frozen up, likely from standing water in the pipe exposed to the frozen ground just below the surface.

    Any clever ideas/widgets/etc on how to prevent freezing while still maintaining prime?

  2. #2

    Default

    Build a building around it. Or use 1/4 cup of recreational (Non-toxic) Anti-freeze.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Already inside the cabin, and has 2" of pipe insulation from floor to the ground.

    Dumping antifreeze in it isn't really practical - more looking for a check valve arrangement designed to allow for easy pressure release so water drains back down to aquifer level on demand, rather than having to remove the check valve to release pressure.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan XL View Post
    Already inside the cabin, and has 2" of pipe insulation from floor to the ground.

    Dumping antifreeze in it isn't really practical - more looking for a check valve arrangement designed to allow for easy pressure release so water drains back down to aquifer level on demand, rather than having to remove the check valve to release pressure.

    Heat tape, Battery, Solar pannel...???

  5. #5
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    Tee in a small line below the check valve, bring it up inside the cabin and put a valve on the end in a handy place. Close the valve to pump, open valve to let air in so water will drain back down. Just a flexible copper or PEX line is plenty and easy to hide.
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

  6. #6
    Member Maast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    510

    Default

    Or a T line with a pinhole weeper, when pressurized it'll leak a drip every couple of mins but when not it'll allow air to seep back into the line.

    But it probably wouldnt maintain prime for more than a half hour or so.
    2696 Sea Raider Pilothouse
    "Dominion"

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan XL View Post
    I have a 16' deep well, 1 1/4" pipe, topped with a classic pitcher pump. Installed a check valve last summer to help maintain prime when out for a long weekend trip. Pumped water no problem 3 weeks ago, but this last weekend it appeared to have frozen up, likely from standing water in the pipe exposed to the frozen ground just below the surface.

    Any clever ideas/widgets/etc on how to prevent freezing while still maintaining prime?
    Insulate the pipe for the first couple of feet below the surface. I dropped a 6" PVC pipe over my water pipe including a foot or two below grade and shot it full of expanding foam. It works great. If you have access to the pipe right above the surface you could heat it with a heat gun or blow dryer, or even a propane torch. I used to do that regularly. You could also add a small valve on top to allow you to let the pipe drain when you leave and maintain prime with a full pipe while you're there. You'd have to prime it when you got there but it wouldn't be frozen.

  8. #8
    Member akguy454's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    norh pole AK
    Posts
    228

    Default I am a plumber

    what I would do is put a T just behind the check valve with a hose bib. When you leave open the hose bib. Like what Maast said.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Thanks for all the ideas. Found online a "control check valve" that as 4 small ports on it for various applications, just screw in a plug for each port, and remove one of them below the plunger before you go to leave to bleed it off. Open one above to release water in stand pipe between valve and well head. Can also plumb in a small line below for sanitizing/bleaching well as needed. Will be instaliing over the 4th and give it a go.

  10. #10
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Insulate the pipe for the first couple of feet below the surface. I dropped a 6" PVC pipe over my water pipe including a foot or two below grade and shot it full of expanding foam. It works great. If you have access to the pipe right above the surface you could heat it with a heat gun or blow dryer, or even a propane torch. I used to do that regularly. You could also add a small valve on top to allow you to let the pipe drain when you leave and maintain prime with a full pipe while you're there. You'd have to prime it when you got there but it wouldn't be frozen.
    Thank you for the excellent idea Mr.Pid. I learned something new today!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •