How to Insulate a Well From Freezing

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Heat tape

  • Thermal blanket

  • Desk lamp with a 100-watt bulb (optional)

  • Small footstool (optional)


Never thaw a frozen well water pipe with hot water as it could potentially cause the pipe to burst. Always keep at least two gallons of room temperature water on hand which can be poured over frozen pipes to thaw the water.

Preventing damage to pipes from a frozen water well is one of the responsibilities of getting water from a well instead of from a municipal water service provider. During cold weather, keep your well from freezing by following a few simple steps and insulating the well with items you may have around the house.


Step 1

Measure the length of the metal pipes coming out the side or top of the well and into the well pump. Cut an old thermal blanket (or old sweatshirt if you don't have a thermal blanket) twice the length of the pipe to use as insulation.

Step 2

Wrap the thermal blanket or old sweatshirt twice around the pipes coming from the well into the well pump. Just as dressing in layers helps to insulate a person from freezing, wrapping the water pipes two layers thick will help to insulate the water well from freezing

Step 3

Wrap one piece of heat tape every 1 to 1 1/2 inches around the pipe. Leave 1 to 1 1/2 inches between each segment of tape. Heat tape is available at many hardware stores, plumbing supply stores and home improvement stores.


Step 4

Place a small desk lamp on a footstool or use a hanging utility light near the pipe outdoors where it runs from inside the well and into the well pump. Plug the light into an outdoor extension cord leading to an outlet nearest the well. Use the light to ensure that the temperature of the water coming from the well to the pipes stays above freezing. Turn the light on at night or when temperatures are at their coldest.

Step 5

At night before going to bed, leave the faucets in the bathrooms and kitchen dripping warm water. This will keep the hot and cold waterlines on sinks and bathtubs from freezing.



Charlie Bradley

Charlie Bradley has been a freelance writer since 2007. Bradley's work has been featured on various websites. He holds a certificate in personal computer repair and support from West Georgia Technical College.