I have a horse and a cow that need water run to their barn before winter.
I paid an excavator to install pvc pipe from a well to a 3 car garage a few
hundred feet from the well. The PVC pipe is below the frost line, but I
need to install a well pump and a spigot in the barn ( a converted 3 car
garage ). I looked at Sears' site and I think I can handle installing the
submersible pump in the well. I have 120vAC to the well and there was a
220V pump already in the well but no 220V power so I will have to buy and
install a new 120VAC submersible pump from Sears.
My question is this: I live in Maine, USA. The barn/garage is unheated,
but has electricity. Since winters here will cause any above-ground
plumbing to freeze and burst, I will need to install some sort of heating
tape or something at the spigot end to keep that from happening. I looked
into spigots that would let the water drain back, but then while
researching well pumps, I noticed that they all come with a valve that
prevents backflow so that won't work. I don't really want to have to turn
off the well pump when not in use and I also don't want to wait for it to
fill the pipe that leads from the well to the barn. I want some heat tape
Does anyone know how to install an above ground water source that will
survive winters in an unheated barn/garage in Maine, USA possibly using
some kind of electrical heat tape? Any ideas would be appreciated.
You should be using 220vac for the pump. How are you going about sizing
the pump? There are a number ofthings you need to know before you buy
one. The cable has to be sized properly for the hp of the pump, voltage
and distance of the run from the power source to the pump. IMO you're
going to have problems finding a 120 v pump if your well is very deep
and/or the depth to the water line in the well and, your distance to the
barn also has to be taken into consideration.
You want a frost free hydrant, they come in various lengths so as to
keep the faucet height where you want it and to get the water line
connection below frost level for your area. In Maine I might guess about
48", maybe more so, a 4' frost free will give you 3' above ground and 4'
under ground. They drain into the earth under them so the earth should
be about a foot below the end of it and filled with smallish gravel and
then the water line connection to the frost free should be in a 5 gal
bucket with 1/4" holes drilled all over the bottom and sides that is
filled with the same gravel; like 2B or 3B gravel you would use on a
gravel drive way. You want support so the dirt doesn't cave it in but
you want good drainage.
I would have used 3/4" 200 psi rated PE rolled tubing for the water line
material instead of PVC with all its joints every 20' and its stiffness
but... it's too late for that.
Why with a 220 pump in the well did you run 120 to the well? What's
wrong wit hthe pump that's there now?
Quality Water Associates
I have heard that pumps should be 220v, but my pump is only 120v.
It seems to be working just fine.
When it goes (and I assume it will someday) should I be looking at replacing
it with a 220v, or will a new 120v be okay if this one is?
It costs less to run the pump on 220. Usually 120v pumps cost more than
the same thing in 220. He had a 220 pump and ran 120v out to somewhere,
the well I think. The cable has to be sized for the voltage and the
distance the run is, along with the amps the pump will draw. Start up
amp draw is higher on 120v pumps so most people opt for 220 but there's
no 'should' except where you have one or the other already installed.
Quality Water Associates
Actually, the pipe did come on a big roll and was installed by the
excavator. It is probably what you describe. I just thought it was pvc.
The electrical cable was installed by the excavator too. He said it could
be used for either 220v or 120v. I connected the electricity to the
cable to run an electric fence in the barn. Since the electricity goes
from my 2 car garage to the well and then over to the 3 car garage that is
being used as a barn, and there is no 220v electricity in the 2 car garage,
and I can't run an electric fence off 220v, I decided that the cost of
getting an electrician to run 220v from my house to the 2 car garage, and
then buying some sort of step down transformer so I could run the electric
fence from the barn, would be more than a cheap 120vAC well pump from
Sears. Since the well is a fairly shallow dug well, ( not more than 30-35
foot rise from water level to where the hydrant needs to be, I don't think
I need a hefty pump.
Thanks for your answer to my question. I will get one of those outdoor
hydrants now that I know that they drain into the ground and not back into
Mistakenly saying PVC for other types of plastic is a way too common
mistake, and eventually gets some into trouble.
With all the details it seems you did just fine except I'd suggest a
better quality pump. They don't cost much more to purchase and they pay
that back by lasting much longer; so in essence, they actually cost
Quality Water Associates
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