View Full Version : handpump feezing in the yard

03-21-2017, 10:42 AM
good morning everyone,

got a question about hand pumps in winter, i am planning to get a few cattle in the next 2 months, and while i have no doubt of water for them from the swamp/spring, i am concerned for what to do in the winter. i have all the stuff needed to sink a sand point well in the field (down hill from the spring so it has a high water table) but will it work in the winter? i am thinking of having it out there with a water traugh and pump to fill the traugh daily or 2 times a day.

was also considering having a 40 foot well drilled close to the cabin and have a hand pump added to it outside, but have the same concern.

how did people historically water the cattle in winter, or avoid freezing their well pumps? the internet is scant on information on the topic

03-21-2017, 12:37 PM
The solution (?), or at least the common practice around my neck of the woods, is to drill a 1/8' hole in the side of the pipe a little above the foot valve so the water slowly leaks out of the lift pipe when it is not in use. It's usually the top few feet that freeze; after 4 or 5 feet depth the ground temps are above freezing.
Works for pitcher pumps (20' max lift) and displacement pumps, don't know about other kinds.
Hope that gives you something to look at.


03-21-2017, 05:31 PM
I have the same solution that Tickfarmer mentioned on my electric house pump and that hasn't frozen even at -50 F. They also sell "freeze-proof" hand pumps (see Lehmans and others) but I am not familiar with them and don't know how they work. When you drill your drain hole, make sure it it SMALL or you may not be able to get water. I got a check valve at the local well guy, so the hole is only open when there is no "suction" being applied, but it worked for years with just the hole.

03-21-2017, 11:49 PM
that seems to be the solution around here also. We do not worry about "frost lines" as the ground very rarely freezes, so usually the pump installer will drill the small drain hole (weep hole??) just a few feet below grade. Where the ground does freeze, drill it below the frost line. And you want to make sure no water stays in the pump also, as that could freeze and give you all sorts of problems.


03-22-2017, 11:08 AM
thanks for the replies, that drain seems to be the way to go