Winterizing and de-winterizing your water well is a critical part of its maintenance. It usually comes in handy for places like cabins, vacation homes, and homes in chilly areas. Winterizing your well protects well equipment and plumbing from extreme weather.
This article discusses
- Winterizing your home (well water system)
- Winterizing the well pump
- Winterizing your irrigation system
- De-winterizing your home
- De-winterizing the well pump
- De-winterizing your irrigation system
Winterizing your Home (Well Water System)
Save a few gallons of water before winterizing your water well. It is a simple process, but you must follow all the steps mentioned below. Make sure to check the local laws. Some states don’t allow individuals to make alterations to private water systems.
You can follow the following simple steps to carry out a successful wintering process.
Step 1: Preparing the Plumbing System
- Turn off the water supply to your home by shutting the main valve.
- Switch off water heater and the boiler.
- Empty all appliances that may have water. Be careful while doing it. Some appliances may have hot water.
Step 2: Emptying the Faucets
- Open all the faucets (hot & cold), showers, bathtubs, and outdoor faucets. Start from the top floor of your house.
- Open drain faucet in your home.
- The aim is to drain all water pipes in your home.
Step 3: Winterizing the Drainage System
- Use an anti-freeze specially manufactured for well water. You can ask your neighbors or a nearby well contractor for this information.
Step 4: Winterizing the Main Plumbing System
- Prepare the anti-freeze solution according to the directions given by the manufacturer. The volume of anti-freeze needed depends on the number of traps.
- Start from the lavatory, sink, and tub traps. A quart of the anti-freeze solution is a good amount to keep them from bursting during the winter season.
- Now head over to the toilet bowls and soak up the remaining water with old towels or newspapers. Add 1-2 gallons of anti-freeze solution into the toilet bowls and flush them. Flushing will push the anti-freeze deep into the toilet traps and prevent it from freezing.
- To finish off the process, add about 1-2 quarts of anti-freeze into the main trap of your house.
Caution: Do not add anti-freeze into your well hole as it will contaminate the water supply, and you will be creating a big mess for yourself.
Winterizing the Well Pump
Turn off the power supply and the well pump breaker in the main electrical supply.
Open all the taps and faucets in the same way as mentioned above.
For Submersible Pumps: Unplug the wires from the well pump. Remember to take a picture of the way wires are connected so that you can easily connect them back. For submersible pumps, the winterizing process is complete.
For Jet Pumps: Unhook the water lines attached to the well. You can use a screwdriver to open the clamps or a plumbing wrench to open the water pipes. Place a bucket underneath to prevent water from spilling. Different well pumps have different drainage methods; refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for draining the well pump.
Winterizing the Irrigation System
Turn off the water to the irrigation system by switching off the main supply valve. If your irrigation controller has a rain setting, set it up. Now release pressure in the pipes by turning the valves on. Look for all the components in the irrigation system and drain the water in them. If you have an underground irrigation system, you need an air compressor to pull all the water out from the pipes.
De-winterizing your Home
- Inspect all the water pipes, drains, and plumbing components critically. Use a torch to inspect the dark and shadowy areas of your home.
- Make repairs or replacement if anything is broken or out of order.
- Close all the faucets before you turn on the water supply. It will help you identify a leaking faucet.
- Turn on the water supply. You may need to thaw some parts of your plumbing system.
De-winterizing the Well Pump
- Turn off the shut-off valve at the water tank and turn on the valves between water tank and water pump.
- Prime shallow well pump. A submersible pump does not need priming.
- Connect the wires back to the pump. Refer to the picture you took before disconnecting wires or see user manual for details.
- Power up the pump. The pump will pressurize the tank and then turn off if it is all right.
- Check for any possible water leaks in the plumbing system.
- Get rid of the antifreeze by adding 1-2 gallons of water to each trap.
De-winterizing your Irrigation System
Turn on the water supply to your irrigation system and remove the sprinkler heads before turning on the sprinkler valves. It will help in removing any debris, sediment deposits, and dust accumulation.
Turn on the sprinkler valves to check for any leaks in the system. If you notice any leaks or malfunctioning components in the system, get them repaired or replaced.