Will unplugging a well pump in cold temps damage it?

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MG70

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With outside temps currently dipping into the teens at night, I'm trying to figure out the best way to avoid the water pipe coming in from the well in an empty house basement from freezing. It's a black pipe about 1" OD that's connected to a copper pipe (3/4"?) leading to a brass Tee with a switch, pressure relief valve, faucet, 20 gal pressure tank, Pressure gauge, and shut-off valve. The house is empty, currently with no heat, there is electricity, but no heat source in the basement near where the water is coming in. The shut-off valve to the rest of the house, located downstream from the Tee with gauge, is turned on when people are there and off when they leave. The pipe is buried but enters in a basement where it's exposed to air and connected to copper. 1970's records state the well is approx. 40ft from the house, 6 1/4" casing, well is 155' deep with water standing at 35'.

The house is a fixer upper, currently with very little traffic. As of five days ago the pipes were intact, but today I was thinking that I should either unplug the well pump or buy an electric radiator type heater, run an extension cord and place it near where the water pipe enters. I have read that if I unplug the well pump that I can have problems with it not priming when I plug it back in. There's no internet there, so there would be no way to monitor that heater.

What would be my best options for trying to keep that pipe from bursting without spending a lot of money, but not having to worry about flooding or fires?

Thanks in advance, and I hope everyone is having a safe week!
 
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Valveman

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Sounds like a submersible pump down the well with only a pressure tank/switch up top. A submersible is always primed. It won't hurt tp turn the breaker off when needed. The electric radiator heater is a good idea as long as the power is on. I use one myself. But things usually freeze when the power goes off.

A bleeder orifice can be installed about 5' down the well which can automatically drain the pipe when the power is off and any faucet is opened. But the pump will have to be pulled up a little ways to install the bleeder.

Brass bleeder orifice.jpg
 

MG70

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Thank you for very much for the news! I will check my settings to see why I wasn't notified of the reply.

I believe the pump is exactly the setup you describe. I will drive out there and turn off power to the pump and attempt to drain the pressure tank as soon as I can.

I don't think I'll be messing with the pump in this cold, but where does that bleeder valve screw into? Do I have to drill and tap anything?

Thanks again and I hope you have a safe weekend!
 
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