How do I turn off my well water?

shequitJanuary 19, 2008

I will be taking an extended vacation soon and I would like to turn off the water when we leave. We had a major flooding incident a couple of years ago and recently had a connection under a sink leak and I do not want to worry about it happening while I am away.

We have a well and I am wondering if I can just flip the well switch to off, open a faucet to release pressure and that is all I need to do. Also, do I need to do anything special regarding the water heater other than turning the heat down a bit?

I would greatly appreciate your response.

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brickeyee

If the water is OFF turn OFF the water heater.
An electric water heater element will fail INSTANTLY if it is not submerged in water and turns on.
A gas unit is more forgiving, but can still overheat.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 4:09PM
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shequit

brickeyee - thank you but I think I did not make myself clear. The main question is how to turn off the well. Just flip the switch to off and leave a faucet open? I think probably turn off the icemaker and humidifier. Anything else?

The water heater is a gas unit and is freestanding, not in the well, not in water.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 4:40PM
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rjoh878646

Flip the circuit breaker off to the well pump. Turn gas water heater to pilot. Then drain pressure tank by opening up a faucet and run it dry. It's as simple as that.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 12:02AM
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jakethewonderdog

If you are just worried about flooding, just turn off the breaker to the pump and open a faucet until the water stops running. No need to drain things down.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 11:11AM
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shequit

Thank you rjoh and jake. We did a test run this a.m. and it was simple. After the nasty flood thing of two years ago, I can go away, now, without worry about water stuff.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 12:28PM
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suburbanmd

Opening a faucet to relieve the pressure seems like overkill. The size of a possible flood, with the well pump off, is less than you could have if a leak developed on a normal day, when the well pump is on and you're out of the house from morning to night. That's assuming you've got a normal pressure tank, not something unusual like a big tank sitting on your roof.

If you've got an "instant hot" water dispenser, unplug that too.

One more thing: If your well is in a well pit, and the sump pump is fed by the same circuit as the well pump, then don't shut it off, or water might rise in the pit and seep into the well head. In that case, just close the main shutoff valve.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 1:10PM
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brickeyee

"The water heater is a gas unit and is freestanding, not in the well, not in water."

The tank IS full of water normally.
If it does not remain full and the burner turns on it can overheat.
Setting it to pilot will be fine.

Water heaters are NOT designed to operate without water in the tank.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 1:30PM
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shequit

suburb and brick - thank you for the tips.

suburb - I do not think my sump is on the same breaker as my well pump but that is a good thought and I will check it out.

brick - I will NOT drain my water heater, per your advice, thank you.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 10:26PM
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