Well Maintenance in the Winter Months
Well maintenance is very important in the colder months. Winter is just around the corner, and for homeowners who rely on well water, the frigid temperatures can put a lot of stress on your plumbing. It’s easy to assume that there’s no maintenance involved for a water system that’s buried underground, but just like the rest of your home’s plumbing, your well requires maintenance. No homeowner wants to deal with a lack of running water during the dead of winter, and luckily you don’t have to.
Well Maintenance Winterization
Water wells are designed to access groundwater that rarely freezes, which is why most wells are buried beneath the freeze line. There are pipes, however, that have to come aboveground to enter your home, which not only makes them susceptible to freezing. A frozen pipe isn’t just a costly repair; it can prevent any running water from coming through to your house. Insulating exposed pipes is a great first step toward protecting well maintenance this winter, but there’s much more you can do. Here’s how you can perform well maintenance for the winter.
- Have your well inspected annually. It’s best to have your well inspected at least once a year to catch problems early. Having a professional fix a small problem before it becomes a bigger problem, saves you money and ensures your well is functioning properly. It’s also an issue of health, as the quality of your well affects the quality of your drinking water.
- Watch out for bacteria. Speaking of health, bacteria can be a serious problem. Wells that properly installed don’t require annual sanitizations. If you suspect there are bacteria in your well, you’ll need to have it tested and treated by a professional immediately.
- Monitor the water pressure. Your plumbing can be sensitive to changes in water pressure, especially during the winter season, when it makes pipes more prone to bursting. If you notice any sudden changes in your home’s water pressure, it’s important to have a plumber come and investigate.
- Watch what you flush. Anything that isn’t septic waste or toilet paper should not be flushed down your toilet, as it can severely clog your septic system. Make sure to be mindful of what you flush down your kitchen drains as well. Even sinks with a garbage disposal, are only designed to grind so much food before they break down and the drain gets clogged. Do your best to limit what you flush and keep your plumbing clear.
- Keep hazardous materials away from the well. Toxic substances such as paints, fertilizers, pesticides, cleaning products, or motor oil, can seep underground and even leak into your groundwater. That’s why it’s important to keep any hazardous substances at a safe distance away from your well.
- Occasionally check the well cover. The well cover serves as sanitary protection for your well water, which is why it’s important to periodically check for any damages. A damaged well cover can mean your well water is compromised, and it should be replaced immediately.
- Be careful when you mow. Mowing your lawn and any other lawn maintenance should be done with care, especially around your well, as the mow blades can damage the well cover. Avoid piling snow, leaves, and any other debris around your well.
- Have a generator. Sometimes the worst can happen during the winter season, such as losing power. Unfortunately, if you live in a home that runs on well water, a lack of power also means a lack of running water. A backup power generator not only ensures that you’ll stay warm in case of a power outage, but that you’ll have running water.
- Have a professional repair the problem. It sounds tempting to try and fix the problem yourself, but all well issues are best left to the professionals. Your plumbing is complicated, but a professional well system contractor has the right equipment, materials, and training, to keep your well functioning and water supply safe.
A Running Well is a Prepared Well
The winter season can take a hefty toll on your home, especially your plumbing. Thoroughly preparing your well with proper maintenance is not only the best way to winterize your plumbing; it saves you the trouble of some costly plumbing repairs. Frigid temperatures are enough of a problem that no homeowner should have to deal with faulty plumbing on top of it. Don’t wait until there are icicles growing on your pipes. It’s time to prepare your well this winter season.
Call McHales, Inc. to learn about winter well maintenance today!