bulb as heater for well shed?

When I bought my house, I had the well checked out by a well drilling company for condition and capacity. I didn't get the formal report until a couple weeks after closing (I was there for the well test, and so knew from talking to the guy the important things--that the well supplied enough water for me, and the pump and tank were in decent shape for their age, so didn't need to wait for the formal report).
Reading the formal report, I was surprised by one thing. It notes the pump and tank are in a shed (which I knew) that is not insulated (which I knew) but that is heated (which I did not know). Inspecting the shed, I see no sign of a heating system. There is a bare light bulb in there, which I had assumed was to provide light if one wanted to look at things like the gauge on the pump or tank.
So, the question is, is that bulb the heating system for the well shed? I've never though of incandescent lights as heaters before, but of course they give off heat, and in a small shed, I suppose that could be significant.
I don't see any markings on the bulb to indicate its wattage. Is there a reasonable way to determine what wattage bulb should be used there? Is any normal incandescent light of the proper wattage fine, or is there a special type that should be used when the bulb's purpose is heating?
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I have no idea where you are but where I grew up on rural farms in southern Ontario this "bulb" was the norm. When it got really cold you just left the light on and in most cases it was enough to keep things inside from freezing. Unless your little brother left the door open once or twice
:-(

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Tim Smith wrote:

Yep, the higher the wattage, the warmer it stays. We usually use a 100 watt bulb, but if the temperatures were going to really get down and stay down, we had a 250 watt flood that we would put in there. Probably overkill.
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Robert Allison
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Bulbs have a habit of burning out.
"They" make "pump house" heaters for your problem.
OR, just get a $20 heater from Wal-Mart and plug it in. The heater will only come on when you NEED heat.
Given that the "grid" in many rural areas isn't all the reliable I suspect that the main thing that prevents freezing damage is the thermal mass of the water tank. The water coming from the ground should be at least 50F.
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John Gilmer wrote:

Really? So I could remove the light bulb and not have to worry about it?
But wait, it used to freeze up before we put the light bulb in there, so,... since that fixed the problem, I think that I will leave it in.
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Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Tim Smith wrote:

Actually, assuming that the shed has no windows then any light (incandescent or not) would convert its rated power draw to heat at nearly 100% efficiency. There's nowhere for the light to go, so it bounces around inside the room until it gets absorbed by the air or the other surfaces.
Chris
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On Tue, 22 May 2007 18:53:11 -0000, Tim Smith

a quick "payback" here.. There are switches that can turn this bulb, or a heater, on at pre-determined temps..all in one self contained thermostat.. some are not adjustable.. only come on at 40 and below.. Chuck (in SC)
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Only if you also replace the bulb with one of lower wattage, or put a thermo-cube type outlet in there. The bulb is going to pull the same power no matter what temperature it actually *IS*. It will just make it warmer if you insulate.
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Actually you should use 2 bulbs in a well house. In case a bulb blows unexpectedly, you have a backup. I lined my well house with 1/2" foam insulation board and use 2 60w bulbs and have never had a freezeup even when there was only 1 bulb lit.
KC
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