We are on a well and after a shower this morning, we have no water. No
cold or hot water. I turned off the well to prevent it from just
running non stop. I am trying to heat the crawl space, but I am not
sure that it frozen pipes coming into the house from the well? Any
thoughts or advice?
It might help to know where you are. In the north, it might be frozen
pipes. In the south, it might be that we're in the worst drought in
50 years. Either place, it could be an equipment or piping failure.
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We are in Illinois, very cold last night and today. The pump seems to
be working, it will not turn off unless I pull the fuse. Pipes that do
not run under the house are not working either, coming right off the
water softener. Still confused???
What does the pressure read? Does it change as the pump runs? If the pump
runs, but the pressure doesn't change,the pipe from the pump to the pressure tank
may be frozen. Or, there may be a major leak. Is there a faucet nearer the pump
Give it up, Bud. Call someone in to have a look at it. Hell, have them
show you what needs to be done, pay his service fee and then fix it
yourself. I dont recommend it but if you or someone is smart enough,
you may be able to get it fixed and save a few bucks
My guess is frozen pipes, but that is nothing be a guess based on the
little information you have provided.
* No cold or hot water
* trying to heat the crawl space
I have no idea how cold it is there or how cold the pipes are, but it
sure is possible to freeze pipes and it will stop water and can damage
It is at or below 0. The pipes do not feel cold to the touch. If
pipes are frozen, what can I do to prevent damage? How can I unfreeze
them? Even the pipes that run in the utility room straight from th
ewater softener and the pump are not producing water, these pipes do
not go under the house into the crawl space. Would it be normal for
the well pump continue to run if the pipes were frozen? Thanks again
maybe the pipes are frozen before they get into
your house. Find out where it comes in and get a
hair dryer on it or an electric heater. Even tho
the pipes might be burried deep enough they still
have to come out of the ground into you house. 2
times last winter I had to thaw the pipe right
BEFORE my main shut off. If this turns out to be
the problem then leaving a drip will prevent it
form happening again.
OK, lets get this all straight.
I was a plumber for many years and I have a well on my farm.
I am not all that far from IL. Last night we dropped to MINUS 24 or
First, DO NOT let the pump keep running. That can wreck it
Answer these questions.
1. Where is the storage tank? (probably blue, or else an old
2. Assuming you found the tank, there should be a drain valve on the
bottom. Does water come out?
3. Could the tank be frozen too? There is a pressure switch on it,
gray box that has wires going to it, small pipe goes into tank. That
small pipe may be frozen causing the switch to not work.
4. Where is the pump, is it a submercible pump in the well, or a jet
pump, and where is it located? (You said crawl space, so I asume no
5. So, where is the pump, is it in a shed, pit, outbuilding, or what?
Answer all these questions and maybe I can help.
Yes, frozen pipe can burst and do damage. You need to find the frozen
part. I have a feeling it's near the tank and the pressure switch is
not working because of freeze on pipe leading to the switch or tank
itself. Once again, shut that pump off.
Posting some photos of the well, the tank, it's location, etc. might
Thank you for sharing your expertise.
1) The blue tank with the pump motor attached is in a utility room
attached to the back of the house. This room does get colder than the
rest of the house, but is inside a non finished room with a small heat
discharge to the room.
2)I have found the tank but do not see a drain valve. I do see an
extension that resembles that of a tire air valve.
3)I do not think it was cold enough in that room last night for the
tank to freeze but the pipe that goes to the well, maybe?
4& 5) the tank, pump motor are in this back room. We have no basement,
Pipes do run under the hose in a small unheated crawl space. The water
pipes do have heat tape on them, but I am not sure how old it is, or if
it is working, we bought this house two years ago, last winter we did
not have these problems.
Thanks for letting me know to turn the pump off. I did, just wanted to
be sure. I have a heating pad on one pipe going into the tank and a
space heater on the tank itself. How long does it normally take for a
frozen pipe to become free moving again? Temps are expected to be high
of 17 Sunday. Please respond, awaiting a solution.
OK, I dozed off so I am finally back.
You have a jet pump in the house.
I think you froze the tank or the pipes to the well.
How deep are those pipes in the ground?
It may have frozen right where ti comes out of the floor into that
room. Leave the pump off, but I highly suggest you put an electric
space heater near the pump too, (besides the tank). Safely of course.
It's one thing to burst a pipe, but if the pump and tank freeze, they
will crack. I lost a pump once from freezing. You dont want to have
to replace all that stuff for a few bucks worth of electricity.
There should be a spigot at the bottom of the tank to drain the tank,
but someone may have installed it with out. If you are handy enough
there must be a union in the pipe that you could open. The pump
itself has a priming plug that you could also remove. Note, water
could shoot out of both of these.
To find the pressure switch, follow the wire from the pump toward the
tank. That P.S. has to be there.
On the top of the blue tank there should be a red plastic thing, under
that is the air fill valve (looks like a tire stem). The red cap thing
could be missing too. Anyhow, that is for adding air to the tank.
Don't mess with that now. If the pump runs too often, that is where
you add air, but that is not your problem at the moment.
If the pipes are frozen to the well, there is little you can do eacept
wait till it warms up outside, unless you want to spend big money to
get a front end loader to come in dig up from the house to the well,
and have a plumber replace the pipes.
I highly suggest that after this thaws, you put a spigot on the bottom
of that tank and add a pressure gauge. If your pipes are freezing to
the well, you will need to find out why. Possibly building up the
lawn there may help. Bales of straw on top of the ground (BEFORE) it
freezes, etc. DO NOT use straw now, if it's already frozen you will
just keep the frost in the ground.
If you are frezing in that room, you better get more heat in there and
/or insulate. Heat tape on the pipes indicates there were problems
with freezing in the past. You cant test heat tape just by plugging
it in and feeling it. It should get about as warm as a heating pad.
If it dont heat, it's dead.
Turn the pump on every so often and see if it works, but dont run it
long if its not filling.
One other thing, If you have an electric water heater, shut off the
power NOW. If the water gets low, the heating elements will burn up.
Assuming the pipes are metal....back in the north country where I
lived, we'd attach a welder cable to each end of the pipe and in about
20 minutes the pipe would heat enough to melt the ice. No digging.
However, if pipes are burst, then it's another matter.
Yep, they even sell a special device for that now, and it's basically
just a welder. The only problem is that most pipe used underground is
some form of plastic these days. I never used a welder, so I am going
to ask. Dont the welder transformer overheat? Those devices made for
the purpose pulse on and off from what I heard, althought I neve used
one of them either. Most of my plumbing work was in the city and a
heat gun was the usual fix.
we got tired of our city water line freezing during 30 winters if we
forgot to trickle the water. previous replaced line before we moved in
was improperly installed too close to the surface of the frozen
sidewalk and under a sleeper space below the first floor in the dirt.
for $5000 we finally replaced the water line a couple of winters ago
below the frost line about 4 feet deep all the way underground from the
street to the basement. new 1" copper line gives better flow, never
gets near the frozen ground, and works great. check your local plumbers
and well water companies are very experienced in your climate and soil
and neighborhood well conditions. you will waste time, money, trickle
water, and electricity to heat these lines that should be properly
installed and maintained. try for great shower water pressure and hose
water pressure and clean drinking water every day in your home.
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