Well Heater

I need a cost effective SAFE method of heating my well house.

Well house is fully insulated but the lines that sit underground in a hole essentially will freeze if it drops into the teens and stays there.

I have no idea if someone built it wrong (wouldn’t be surprised based on some of the other things we’ve seen here) but I need my water to work.

Probably need to ask a well man about those pipes freezing so easily, that is not right.

We have used these type well heaters for decades, on well houses, feed and tack rooms.
Never had any problem or anything frozen.
We always keep a couple on hand, as they last some years and then quit, so you want a replacement handy.
We set ours on a concrete block, a couple bricks also work, and face it to the pipes and pressure tank.
Everyone carries them, Walmart to any hardware store:


We have a little heater like Bluey posted in the well house. It is plugged into a temperature based controller (like for a greenhouse) so it only turns on when needed. In the summer we swap the controller program and plug in the exhaust fan instead.

A second on the milk house heaters as a safe and effective way to temporarily fix the problem. We used one in a well pit one winter when the wooden well cover was busted and it dropped to below 0F for an extended period of time. Tied it off and lowered it in with an extension cord, after checking that the pit wasn’t going to go ‘boom’ due to being a particularly nasty example of an enclosed space. A note on that, a lot of well pits and well houses can be very dangerous spaces with a build up of hazardous gases at the bottom. If it is a big one, i.e. deeper than four ft, such as ours (14 ft deep and 8x8), don’t just pop a ladder in and go to the bottom, you may not be coming back out.
But, I’d also suggest getting a well digger out, not a plumber, to have a look. That really shouldn’t be happening at such moderate temperatures especially if the structure has an enclosure, and any electrical heating element is going to rapidly be more expensive than their visit… Something may not be draining correctly?

Those type well heaters have their own thermostat that regulates when they come on or their blower comes on and when off.
They should not need an extra temperature controller for them?

We set ours on low and leave them like that all winter, part of winterizing everything in the fall.
Once warm weather again, we unplug them the rest of the year and turn their breaker off on the main panel.

Some people add a couple lights in the pump house and that helps.

This is my first year living somewhere that gets cold enough to have to worry so following this thread.

Only if you are using a bulb that puts off heat. LED bulbs will not work for this.

Our neighbors use a light that not LED with no issues.

This is what we are looking at installing long term for our pump house.

Lights work well for producing heat. We heat our chicken coop with an incandescent bulb inside a CMU. Works great.
I was simply pointing out that any old light will not work. I did not want the OP to buy a light and still freeze because the light they chose did not put off any heat. Finding standard incandescent bulbs is not as easy as it used to be.

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Lightbulbs worked really well for those purposes back when you could get 100w (or was it 75w? Whichever ones they’ve discontinued) incandescents. I wish you still could, they make a pretty good heated base for chicken waterers on the cheap, but alas…

We used 100W “regular old” lightbulb plugged in with one of those cubes that goes on based on temperature. Worked great.

So presumably you have electric in there? Do you have a regular outlet you can use?

Can you use a pipe heater? I did this when I was having issues with my frost-free hydrant, but I did consult with a friend who is an electrician because the off the shelf pipe stand heaters are not really what you want to use long term. (They are how to unfreeze a pipe that froze, and then you take it off.)

Can you dig down below the surface to expose more of the pipe? That is what I did - as far as I could reach. It worked really well.