Most vacation homes and cabins are considered seasonal homes. In other words, they are not designed to be used during the winter because their plumbing systems and structures are not adequately insulated to withstand extreme cold. When preparing to close your vacation home for the season you must winterize the plumbing. This includes going through the steps to winterize a well water pump. If a well water pump is not properly winterized, it will not withstand the season.
Things You'll Need
- Flat head screwdriver
- Duct tape
- Warning signs
Turn off the water supply to the entire house, as well as all of the power. Make sure that the individual switch that provides power to the well water pump is off. Do not turn off the main breaker and leave the switch in the ON position. (This way if someone accidentally turns on the main they will not also trigger the pump.)
Drain the water from the water lines: turn on all the taps in the house and let them run until water no longer runs from them.
Unplug or disconnect the wiring that provides power to your pump. Even though you have turned off the power supply switch to the pump this is an extra safety measure to prevent someone from trying to use the pump after it is winterized. If your water well pump is in a deep well (one you can not access) no further action is required to winterize the pump: the depth of the well will prevent the pump from freezing. If you have a shallow well, move on to Step 4 to complete the process.
Use a flat head screwdriver to loosen the hose clamps attaching the water feed lines and pump lines to the water well pump. Place a bucket under the connections so that any water that spills when you disconnect the hoses will not wind up on the floor. Tilt the pump as much as you can to drain any water that is still in the pump prime. Tape any cords, wires and the ends of both water feed lines to the body of the pump. This will help you remember what goes where when you return to open your seasonal home.
Tips & Warnings
- Tape signs over all the taps, toilets and switches for plumbing items, including the well pump, that warn visitors not to use the plumbing because it is winterized. This will help prevent accidental mishaps.
- The force of ice expansion can split solid rock. Make sure that all the water is drained from your pipes and pumps before closing your seasonal home for the winter or the ice that will form will destroy the pump and break the pipes.
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