Light Bulb

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Maverick_54, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Maverick_54

    Maverick_54 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Hi guys,

    my mother has a well at her house that she uses strictly for the yard. Their is a nice pump house with the pipes being insulated. However, due to the really sold weather that we have experienced recently she has been putting a 100 w light bulb in the pump house to provide some additional heat. Fo some reason that light bulb lasts only about a week and then goes bad. My question is: do most of you guys use a heater in the pump house or a light bulb. She cannot figure out why the bulbs go bad so easily and the only thing I can think of is the extremem cold.

    Thanks
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I hope you don’t have that light wired into the pressure switch on 240 volts? Otherwise I don’t know why it is only lasting a week. But even if you get the short life of the bulb figured out, light bulbs always go out when you really need them, and the pipe freezes before you know it happened. Also I have seen many a well house burn to the ground because of a light bulb being used for freeze protection.

    Something like an oil filled type electric space heater is better, because it doesn’t get hot enough to catch things on fire.

    I prefer a “pump house heater”. I get them from Grainger for a little over 100 bucks. They have a thermostat that works at really low temps, no fans to clog up with lint, and they don’t get hot enough to catch things on fire.
  3. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    I've also seen a couple pump houses burn to the ground. Remember, u only gotta keep it 33 degrees.. Anything else is a waste of power.
  4. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Most every lightbulb factory in America is closing due to swap to flourescents, so if mom gets them at the dollar store, forget it. The import bulbs are a good joke. Use heat tape with a thermostat built into it. I still use a 60 watt bulb under a toilet tank by the trap.

    Hot tip: the big box stores still sell some "oven" "fan" and "refrigerator" lights 40 to 100 watt made in the last real lightbulb plant in the US. These are heavy duty and last about forever. Grab em before they are gone. [smaller size glass, but medium base]

    Graingers might still sell "railroad switch light bulbs" I had a few last for 12 years, standard medium base.

    The best bet is to run a bit of water so your pump cycles at night and when its really cold. I make neat ice sculptures with a hose that serves as the house fire hose all winter.

    When I built my house I even put a few hose bibs inside, but my wife wont let me hang a hose near them. Should have done a box in the wall.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  5. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    My lightbulbs was doing the same thing on my porch and my pole light nearer the road, they would last only a couple weeks at best. A friend told me to replace them with a Fluorescent Light ( CFL's) and since, then, haven't replaced them in at least over a year now. I bought them right at Home Depot. I won't use them indoors but outdoors they are the ticket. Maybe, we both need newer fixtures.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Fluorescent lights do last longer, maybe because they don’t put out as much heat. In this case the OP is using the bulb as a heater, so the fluorescent won’t help.

    Heat tape is a good idea. Especially for the little nipple that the pressure switch is screwed onto.

    If you have a fairly big pressure tank, letting the water trickle may not be a good idea. Many times I have seen the little nipple to the pressure switch freeze, before the tank was empty and the pump restarted. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard, “I had my water trickling all night, and still woke up to no water in the house”.
  7. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You are right, you have to be pretty good judge of your trickle to be sucessful. heat tape!

    Keeping the pressure switch tight to the tank and insulated over both helps in the trickle scenario however.
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