Winter Well Pump Maintenance In Montana

Water well pump maintenance, Preventing frozen pipes, Maintaining yard hydrant, De-thawing frozen pipes, Protecting well pump from frozen lines, Water well maintenance tasks

Updated: January 2023

In North West Montana, particularly in counties like Lincoln and Flathead, it is important to properly maintain your water well pump during the winter months. With recent cold weather, many families have experienced the inconvenience and stress of going without water for a day or more due to frozen lines. However, with a little bit of preparation and knowledge, these issues can often be prevented. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss steps you can take to maintain your water well pump and prevent your water lines from freezing, as well as what to do if you do experience frozen pipes. By following these tips, you can save yourself a lot of stress and money and ensure that you and your family have reliable water all winter long.

Here are some steps you can take to maintain your pump system inside and outside. Most pump systems have one or more yard hydrants between the well and the house. Inside the house, the most likely place for water lines to freeze in below 0º temperatures is where it comes into the house. Typically next to the pressure tank, in a crawl space, or basement floor or wall, or in a utility room. Here are a few steps to prevent your water lines and frost-free hydrants from freezing:

  1. Keep your yard hydrant well-insulated. This can be done by wrapping it in foam insulation or by using a hydrant cover. This will help to keep the water in the hydrant from freezing, even in very cold temperatures.
  2. Run water through the hydrant periodically. This will help to prevent the water in the hydrant from freezing, and will also help to keep the water line from freezing. You can do this by attaching a hose to the hydrant and letting the water run for a few minutes at a time. When done running the water, disconnect the hose and check that the water is draining down the yard hydrant and clear the water from the garden hose.
  3. Use heat tape to keep the water line from freezing. This is a special tape that generates heat when plugged in and can be wrapped around the water line to help keep it from freezing.

If your water line or hydrant does freeze, there are several methods you can use to safely de-thaw it:

  • Use a hair dryer or heat gun to gently heat the frozen section of the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the frozen section of the pipe using a heating pad or hot water bottles.
  • Use a pipe thawing machine, which uses electricity to heat the pipe and melt the ice.

You can use some sort of enclosure to trap heat around the pipes. This can be done by covering the pipes with tarps, boxes, or other materials that will help to retain heat. Just be sure to take precautions to avoid the risk of fire, such as keeping flammable materials away from heat sources and using low-wattage heaters or heat tapes.

Often frozen water lines prevent the pressure switch from building up pressure and shutting off. When the pump runs, and there is a block in the flow of water this is called deadheading the pump. Deading a pump can result in burned-up pump motors, broken water lines, and higher electrical demand that can burn up pressure switches, control boxes, and electrical breakers. 

To protect your well pump system from deadheading against frozen lines, you can discharge water through the yard hydrant. This will help to prevent the pump from being damaged by the increased pressure caused by the frozen lines. If it is impossible to discharge water through the hydrant, you should turn off your well pump and work on de-thawing the frozen line, periodically checking it to see if the water is flowing through the frozen pipes into the house.

In addition to these steps, there are a few simple maintenance tasks you can do to keep your water well in good working order:

  • Check the pressure switch and pressure tank regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly.
  • Test the water quality from your well to ensure that it is safe to drink.
  • This can be done using a water test kit, which is available in Kalispell at Montana Environmental Labs.

When checking pressure switches, be on the lookout for any signs of electrical shorts, electrical burns, or damaged contacts. These can all indicate that the pressure switch is not functioning properly and may need to be replaced. 

To check the pressure tank, you should first turn off the power to the system and then drain the system by opening a faucet or valve. Once the system is drained, you can check the air pressure setting by using a gauge to measure the pressure in the tank. It should be two pounds less than the turn-out pressure.

Pressure tank maintenance is important to ensure that your water well is functioning properly. To check the pressure tank, you should first drain the system as described above. Then, check the tank to make sure it is light and hollow when empty. If it is not, this could indicate that the tank is waterlogged or full of water, which could cause problems with the well pump. If you suspect that the pressure tank is bad, you can check for a solid thud when you tap on it, as this could indicate that the tank is full of water. You can also check to see for the pump running on and off rapidly or quicker than a minute between turning on and shutting off, as this could indicate that the pressure tank is not absorbing any water.

If you have any concerns about your pump system, call or text us at 406-800-1175.

Enjoy the winter snow and stay hydrated!

Request an Estimate

    Contact Us

    Serving Northwest Montana

    +1 406-889-6000

    +1 406-219-1105

    Post Pump & Drilling
    Based on 14 reviews
    powered by Google
    Bud Lavery
    Bud Lavery
    16:43 01 Dec 21
    These folks have integrity and I trust them completely. The difference between a great business and a mediocre one is... how they respond when things don't start out right. In this case, initially, things started out badly. An employee was making it very hard to have our well drilled and this was potentially going to delay the building of our new house. When I contacted John and his wife to complain, he personally looked into the matter, addressed it with the employee, apologized profusely to us, and got to our well drilling job as soon as possible. These folks have a lot of integrity!read more
    Darryl Norton
    Darryl Norton
    03:39 15 Jun 21
    Post Pump & Drilling drilled our well ahead of the scheduled date and through the job the drilling rig operator... explained just what was goin on including what kind of rock and other substrates the drill head was going through. He was very knowledgeable about the whole operation as well as the geology of the area and happily answered any questions. When John Post came on site again to help with the final stages of the operation there is another level of knowledge and willingness to explain and or answer questions. We really appreciate The whole Post team and there willingness to get our well drilled.Again thank you for your promptness expertise and hard work.D&Jread more
    Tom Brazan
    Tom Brazan
    14:43 12 Jun 21
    Extremely satisfied with the quality of the work performed. Excellent communication from them throughout the process. ... I was around for both the drilling and the placement of the pump. No short cuts, delivered on their promises. And they’re nice people too! A great family more
    Daniel Willett
    Daniel Willett
    20:46 24 Apr 21
    I was extremely happy with the work that was done for us. Drilled our well and installed all the equipment to my... satisfaction. I would recommend these folks to more
    t Skippy
    t Skippy
    00:15 14 Jan 21
    I really liked working with Post Drilling. Their knowledge about the ground and how to find water was priceless. We... found water right where they said. I have one or two more wells to drill and I’m genuinely excited to work with them more
    West Stout
    West Stout
    02:43 20 Sep 20
    They were a great help and walked us through everything, very important to us since we were new to the area.
    Jeff Beck
    Jeff Beck
    03:48 16 Sep 20
    John, Clint and Josh are dedicated to their craft. I live in Haskill Basin which is notorious for fickle and difficult... wells. They went beyond and above to get water to my house. They have integrity and stand by their product. I will use them again and recommend anyone in need of water to use them. They are professional, courteous and fair. 5 starsread more
    Ron Brandt
    Ron Brandt
    13:13 11 Jun 20
    Clint and John drilled a well and installed a pump for us. From start to finish they were professional and honest. So... much of what goes into to this you can’t see as the property owner but they explained things in a way that made it easy to trust them and you knew they were doing what was best for your water. Any questions I had along the way were promptly answered even after I paid the bill. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire them again if I ever needed more
    Tellular .
    Tellular .
    00:54 11 Jun 20
    Post drilled our well June of 2020, and I couldn’t be happier with them. They’re very responsive, and informative. They... spent plenty of time with us before they ever punched the hole, and we felt very comfortable about the whole thing. We weren’t able to be there when they hit water, but they were very communicative and prompt. They’re very trustworthy, honest, and hard working. I recommend Post more
    Andy Crites
    Andy Crites
    00:40 19 May 20
    We spoke with several well drillers before we started, and we think we got lucky when we found John and Clint (and... Josh) to do our job. They are experienced, very knowledgable, hard working, honest, and pleasant to work with. (John has great stories). We had a tough project at our site, and these guys never let up; They wouldn't quit until they found us good water. I would highly recommend more
    Lori Stoffer
    Lori Stoffer
    02:44 22 Apr 20
    John and the Post Pump & Drilling team are great to work with! They obviously had in mind our success and satisfaction... as property owners. They communicated with patience and gave us options at several points as the drilling progressed. We highly recommend them in Lincoln County - or wherever in northwest Montana they're available to more
    Matthew Rhode
    Matthew Rhode
    21:27 17 Apr 20
    Clint and his family did a fantastic job installing a hand pump for our existing well. He also told us a few things to... possibly look out for in the future given the age of our pump. We'll definitely be using them again for the old pump replacement. Thanks for the hard work!read more
    Justin Post
    Justin Post
    15:53 13 Aug 18
    I have been very impressed with this company. They are trustworthy, experienced, and great at keeping you updated with... their progress. They are upfront with cost and offer very competitive more
    Next Reviews

    Our Service Area:

    • Kalispell, MT 59901
    • Olney, MT 59927
    • Trego, MT 59934
    • Lincoln County
    • Flathead County
    • Eureka, MT 59917
    • Libby, MT 59923
    • Troy, MT 59935
    • Whitefish, MT 59937
    • Creston, MT 59901
    • Columbia Falls, MT 59912
    • Marion, MT 59925
    • Bigfork, MT 59911
    • Rexford, MT 59930


    Quality Brands - Excellent Results

    Franklin Electric
    Simple Hand Pump
    Lorentz Solar Pumps
    Goulds Water Technology
    Gundfos Pumps
    Johnson Screens
    Boshart Industries
    Backwoods Solar