tell how you all keep your well pumps from freezing. please

jeanweddingNovember 12, 2012

Prev.owners deceased. of this old money pit home...

There was a tanning type light in the unheated brick wellpump housing.... with a deteorating plywood "roof"

Hubby put on a new lid. completely new with 2 by 4 and steel for "roof"

Insulated whole shebang. Brick walls and new lid roof, too. also added a new electrical outlet, none there ...somebody before us just had an extension cord running thru brickon house to "heat type light lamp".so it as constantly on I presume...

so anybody use one of those thermostatically control outlets? They got good and bad reviews. want to plug in a nice trouble type light

Please make suggestions

Thank you

Jean

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brickeyee

Just get a line voltage thermostat and wire it in series with some bulbs.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:41PM
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bus_driver

Since heat is what you want, two 60 watt incandescents in series will each receive just 60 volts from a 120 volt supply and will have a dim light. Almost all of the electricity will be converted to heat. The lamps will last a very long time at 60 volts. Ideally, the two lamps should be identical, from the same manufacturer.
The only thing necessary is to keep the temperature just above 32 deg. Anything higher is wasted energy.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 3:07PM
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alan_s_thefirst

Interesting idea. Only downside to wiring in series is if one bulb blows, you won't have any heat at all.

What's common here in pumphouses is to have an outside light wired in with the pump so you can see from the house whether the pump is running or not. I suppose you could do that with Bus Driver's suggestion, so you can see whether or not the heat bulbs are operating.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 5:45PM
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live_wire_oak

How much heat you need depends on your location. You've already beefed up the important part: the insulation. I'm assuming that you put the lions share of the insulation overhead, as that is where it does the most good. You might also install those pink foam sheets internally against the walls and ceiling. They won't get wet and soggy from condensation like fiberglass or cellulose and will provide better R value.

The hottest bulbs that you can burn are halogen. So look for some full voltage halogen lights that you can put in there if you are in a really cold climate. Otherwise plain old incandescent will do, if you can still find them.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 2:02AM
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lazypup

If you put two 60w lightbulbs in series the resultant heat would only be 30watts.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:16AM
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bus_driver

"Only downside to wiring in series is if one bulb blows, you won't have any heat at all."
If using a single lamp and it fails, how much heat does one have?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:32AM
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aliceinwonderland_id

Wiring two bulbs in series doubles your chance of failure.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 9:43AM
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alan_s_thefirst

I was referring to having two bulbs in parallel. Then you do have some redundancy, but you're right about the longevity of the bulbs in your scenario.

I'm not sure if that would be enough heat. If not, one could use Halogen (but they may not last if wired in series), or chicken coop heat bulbs. I think Busdriver also referred to a plug-in thermostat in another thread, but I suppose you could hardwire one too.

Some people just put a fan space heater in their pumphouses. I have one whose lowest setting is "anti-freeze" - the temp doesn't have to be that much above freezing.

Needless to say insulating the enclosure helps.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 1:12PM
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bus_driver

A lamp, or multiple lamps, rated at 120 volts and operated at 60 volts, will have a reduced chance of failure, by many orders of magnitude.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 4:18PM
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brickeyee

Find some 130 V rated incandescent bulbs.

They will last a LONG time on 120 V.

Instal two, and make sure there is at least a tiny hole that allows you to see if they are both on from the house.

Cover the hole with a piece of clear plastic to stop excess air movement (though if the hole is only 1/4 inch it is not all that much anyway).

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 11:27AM
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