Protect Your Well Water Pump From Freezing

Simple Pump against snowy scene.

November 30, 2017

Make Sure Your Hand Pump Can Handle the Cold

Simple Pump is Simply Better in the cold than any other hand pump. 

People in every state use the Simple Pump hand pumps and motor-operated pumps in the winter, even without a pump house. Simple Pumps hand pumps are operated trouble-free in Alaska, in the Colorado Rockies at 9000 feet, and in the coldest parts of the Midwest.

“I installed the pump this Fall at 11,000 feet and it is now working during the coldest part of the year!” ~Colorado

How Simple Pump Handles Freezing Weather

Your Simple Pump will be freeze-proof in one of two ways, depending on your well, with our pitless adaptor or pumping above ground with a weep hole.

The Simple Pump Pitless Adaptor

If you have a well with a submersible pump on a pitless (running your pipes and wiring underground), or if you are installing a Simple Pump into a new well, the Simple Pump pitless adaptor allows you to connect directly to an underground line. In this case, your water will run below the freezing level.

With a Bison, Baker, and other pump manufacturers, this is not an option. In fact, there is no other hand pump that offers a pitless option.

The Simple Pump Weep Hole

For simplicity and lower cost, most people choose to have their backup pump run water above ground. In this circumstance, your Simple Pump won’t freeze thanks to a small, built-in “weep hole”. This 1/16 inch hole, drilled in the top drop pipe, allows the water in the pump-head to drain out to below the frost line. The weep hole is exactly the right size to drain water fast enough that it won’t freeze.

If your frost line is lower than 4 feet, we will happily create a custom weep hole for you at no extra cost.

Pumping Into Pressure

Additionally, if you want to pump into your home’s pressure tank, Simple Pump’s one-way check valve can let air in behind the valve, allowing water to drain out of the pump head in freezing weather. 

Simple Pump’s Additional Safeguards from Freezing

Whether you have a pitless adaptor or are pumping above ground, you can further protect against freezing by leaving the handle pointing up after use. By doing this the stainless steel pump rod is kept ice-free inside the pump head.

Now that you know your options with the Simple Pump, compare our anti-freeze protection with our closest competitor — the Bison. 

Bison Pumps Lack of Freeze Proof Options

No Pitless Adaptor Option

First, Bison has no pitless option to allow you to run your water underground from your hand pump to your home. So your choice to do this is immediately removed.

But perhaps you don’t want to put your hand pump on a pitless. For pumping above ground, the Simple Pump has other advantages. Just two of these are:

  1. Drill your own weep hole

For the above-ground system, you will need a weep hole, as you do with the Simple Pump. But if you buy a Bison Pump, you’re going to have to drill your own weep-hole before you install it.

From Bison’s website…” Prior to installing the last piece of pipe and rod, drill a 1/8″ weep hole in the pipe just below where the frost line is for your area. … * This does not apply for inline hand pumps where freezing may occur.”

So Bison inline pumps can’t be freeze-proofed and YOU have to do the work if you get one of their other pumps. Aside from the tricky job of having to drill your own weep hole on the curved pipe, there’s another huge disadvantage with the Bison “do-it-yourself” freeze-proofing — reduced efficiency.

  1. The size makes a difference here

Simple Pump’s much smaller weep hole equals considerably greater pumping efficiency.

Simple Pump’s weep hole is 1/16 inch. Bison Pumps recommends you drill a 1/8 inch hole. That’s FOUR TIMES the area of the Simple Pump weep hole.

The size difference between the two holes means a significant difference in the amount of pressure you need to exert on the pump handle when you are pumping water! The amount of pressure loss due to the large weep hole in the Bison means you would certainly notice a difference in pumping water from your well.

Aside from Simple Pump’s ability to handle freezing weather, check out the other advantages of a Simple Pump water pump system.

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