Rural homeowners who live in areas where winter temperatures are often well below the freezing mark face some unique home maintenance challenges. One of these involves trying to ensure that their water well pump, pressure tank, and any exposed water supply lines housed inside their well house do not freeze, which has the potential to split or burst pipes, damage components, and leave the home's occupants without water for long periods of time.
The well house is typically a small concrete block or wood frame building located near the home. While most of these buildings have some type of insulation, few are equipped with a safe heat source when they are built. This leaves homeowners to find a way to keep the interior warm, often by using small electric space heaters or heat lamps. Unfortunately, using this type of heating equipment in an unsupervised area can be a fire hazard especially if the electrical wiring was not designed for their use. If you are a homeowner in search of a safe way to keep your well house warm this winter, these electrical safety tips can help.
Hard wire a heater
Homeowners who lack a suitable electrical receptacle in their well house may choose to rely on an extension cord to provide power for an electric heater to keep the interior of the structure warm. This can be dangerous if the heater does not have a thermostat or if the thermostat does not work properly. This can also result in overheating of the electrical cord or the heater itself, both of which can cause a fire to erupt.
A better plan is to have an electrician install a small, wall-mounted, thermostatically controlled baseboard heather and hard wire it to the electrical panel. This would allow the electrical circuit breaker to safely turn off power to the heater, should it overheat or malfunction and eliminate the need for the dangerous use of extension cords.
Consider a heat light
If the well house is well-built and insulated correctly, the amount of heat required to keep the interior space warm may be very small. A good option for small spaces is to use a United Laboratories (UL) approved heat lamp. Because heat lamps are designed to produce heat, it is important to make sure that they are only used in sockets that are rated for this type of usage.
To learn more about the electrical safety renovations you will need when adding a heat source to your well house, speak with an electrical service, like Beckstoffer-Welsh Inc, before making beginning to make any changes.